State of Conviction: Illinois
Wrongful Conviction: Murder
Exonerated Date: 2004
Years Served: 17
One innocent life lost by execution is not worth 10 guilty persons being executed.
Randy Steidl spent 17 years in Illinois prisons, including 12 on death row, before his exoneration in 2004. He was wrongly sentenced to death for the 1986 murder of a couple. An Illinois State Police investigation in 2000 found that local police had severely botched their investigation, due to political corruption that led all the way to the Illinois Governor’s office. Randy had poor legal representation, and witnesses fabricated testimony against him due to police misconduct. An investigation by the Illinois State Police proved that local law enforcement and prosecutors had framed Randy. In 2003, a federal judge overturned Randy’s conviction and ordered a new trial. The state re-investigated the case, tested DNA evidence, and found no link to him. Randy was finally released on May 28, 2004.
Source: Witness to Innocence
Read more about Randy’s innocence here.