March 31, 2007
Court: Clear man's record
BY STEVE PATTERSON, Chicago Sun Times
The state should destroy all records relating to the conviction of a man
freed from Death Row by Gov. George Ryan, the Appellate Court of Illinois
Stanley Howard is entitled to have his record expunged after he was pardoned
for a 1984 murder, the court said.
Though the conviction was lifted, his record remained, which Howard argued
would hinder his efforts to get a job once he's freed from prison.
Though Cook County Judge Paul Biebel denied Howard's request for
expungement, the appellate court said he's entitled to it.
But he remains in prison, as he was separately convicted of rape and isn't
eligible to be released until 2023.
Still, "this goes a long way toward clearing his name," said attorney Jon
"This rights the wrongs and is the final step in the criminal courts for
him," said his other attorney, Russell Ainsworth.
But John Gorman, spokesman for State's Attorney Richard Devine, said that
while the office respects the court's opinion to expunge Howard's record,
"he remains a convicted rapist and he's in prison where he belongs."
Howard said his confession to murder came only after he was tortured by
Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and others.
Howard and three other men, also pardoned by Ryan, are pursuing civil claims
against the city.
Fired in 1993, Burge is retired in Florida, drawing his pension.
Source : Chicago Sun Times