Wrongly convicted man wins settlement 26 years later


Randy Steidloriginally by: Illinois Times
published: 4 April 2013

After more than 26 years of fighting, Randy Steidl is ready to put the past behind him.

The Paris, Ill., man spent 17 years on Illinois’ death row for a double murder he didn’t commit, but last week Steidl finally got some closure. His lawsuit against those who allegedly conspired to frame him and another man was settled on March 27 to the tune of $3.5 million. Herb Whitlock, the other man wrongly convicted of the murders, was exonerated and freed in 2008 after nearly 21 years behind bars. Whitlock previously settled a similar lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

“After 26-and-a-half years, I’m pleased that this is concluded,” Steidl said. “I want to move on and have some kind of life.”

Steidl was exonerated and freed from prison in May 2004 after forensic evidence discredited two supposed eyewitnesses whose testimony led to his conviction.  In 2005, Steidl sued the Illinois State Police, the City of Paris, Ill., Edgar County and several government officials for their roles in his wrongful conviction.

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