Friday, April 11, 2008
Gordan Steidl was sentenced to death in 1987 for murder of Karen and Dyke Rhoads, but fought to prove his innocence. He was granted a new sentencing hearing in 1999 and had his conviction overturned in 2003. After consideration of DNA and other evidence, he was freed in 2004. Since winning his freedom, Steidl has applied for a pardon from Gov. Rod Blogojevich (D). But, on February 14, 2008, a letter arrived saying the request for clemency had been denied. Steidl has since learned the denial letter was mailed as a result of a "clerical error." The Governor has not actuality acted on the request. The incident is just the latest in an increasingly bizarre year for the pardon power in the State of Illinois. First, there was the breaking news of the Chandra Gill pardon. Then there was a fascinating federal court ruling which rebuked the State's failure to process clemency applications and asserted that clemency applicants had a "right" to timely consideration of their requests by the Governor. Meanwhile, PardonPower wonders why the Governor allows Alton Logan to remain in prison. See full story on the Steidl blunder here.