While I believe that the efforts in Illinois and Washington to block the Burris appointment are flagrant abuses of power, there is a legitimate reason to decry the choice. It is not due to the presumptively guilty man who appointed him but the clearly innocent man he wanted to kill: Rolando Cruz.
Cruz was a national scandal because of the tireless efforts of prosecutors to block efforts to prove his innocence of the rape and murder and of a 10-year-old girl in Naperville, Illinois in 1983.
In 1992, another man confessed to the crime and eventually the prosecutors agreed that he should be released. The problem was the Illinois Attorney General who was running for Governor at that time: Roland Burris. Despite a plea from his own deputy attorney general, Burris refused to release Cruz. Mary Brigid Kenney sent Burris a detailed memo on the reasons why she believed Cruz was innocent, not the least of which was the fact that Brian Dugan, a repeat sex offender and murderer, had confessed to the crime. Even the lead detective in the case believed Cruz was innocent. Burris would not even meet with Kenney.
To her credit, Deputy attorney general Kenney resigned in protest. In her resignation letter, Kenney claimed Burris had “seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case . . .I cannot sit idly by as this office continues to pursue the unjust prosecution of Rolando Cruz, I realized that I was being asked to help execute an innocent man.”
The prosecution of Cruz continued even after DNA evidence cleared him of the crime.
Of course, none of this have bearing on the fact that Burris is the legitimate successor to Obama. However, this position is compelled by the law not any sympathy for Burris, who had precious little for an innocent man.
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