SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Attorneys for Gary Dotson, who has served six years in prison for a rape the alleged victim now says never happened, filed a petition for executive clemency Friday with the state prisoner review board.
Gov. James R. Thompson said he and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board will begin examining the clemency application immediately.
"If I can come to a decision together with the board simply from reading the transcript of the original trial and Judge (Richard L.) Samuels' hearing, I'll do that, and if it requires an additional hearing, I'll order that," said Thompson, a lawyer and former federal prosecutor.
Holds News Conference
At an impromptu news conference in Chicago, Thompson also said the convicted rapist's guilt or innocence might not be a factor in deciding the case.
"The issue is probably not guilt or innocence, but mercy and the appropriateness of the sentence under all the conditions which exist today. And on that issue, I can hear any kind of evidence," Thompson said.