Illinois man receives posthumous clemency in Mt. Vernon stabbing case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A wrongfully convicted Illinois man has been exonerated decades after he died in prison thanks to the UIS based Illinois Innocence Project.

Chicago area resident Grover Thompson was granted clemency by former Governor Rauner in the 1981 rape and stabbing death of a Mount Vernon woman. Thompson decided to rest in the lobby of a Mount Vernon post office during a bus journey to see family in Mississippi while, at the same time, a man broke into the home of 72-year-old widow Ida White, and stabbed her. This is the first posthumous exoneration in Illinois history and the 21st nationwide. Thompson was arrested and found guilty, then sentenced to 40 years behind bars for attempted murder. He died in prison in 1996.

Innocence Project Director John Hanlon talks about the struggle with posthumous exoneration.

Thompson’s nephew S.T. Jamison offered a description of a man who sounded nothing like a hardened killer.

The Innocence Project says Lt. Paul Echols, a now-retired member of Carbondale’s police department, ended up getting a confession to the crime from Tim Krajcir. Krajcir has a history of sex crimes dating back decades and admitted to killing nine people.