Sunday, August 14, 2011

This makes my day. Seeing as how a judge has already found that Dale Helmig's defense attorneys established his actual innocence and his conviction was only achieved through prosecutorial shenanigans, deciding not to waste taxpayer money prosecuting this guy for the murder of his mother, which he didn't commit, is definitely the right call.

But (you knew I wouldn't offer unreserved praise for a prosecutor, didn't you?), the dang prosecutor just can't quite admit that he really is innocent. She just can't bring herself to admit a fellow prosecutor went after the wrong guy. Even a prosecutor as challenged at going after the right guy as Kenny Hulshof. Nope. She just has to point out that there is no statute of limitations for murder. And she just has to insist that they will refile the charges if new evidence comes to light. All with absolutely no mention that they might have to look at the guy who probably is the real killer. (I'm not sure if that man, the victim's husband, is still alive.)

So, gee, that's that, Mr. Helmig. You've served 14 years in prison, you've been labeled the murderer of your mother, and you've undoubtedly lost pretty much everything you ever had. Job, home, money, basic material possessions (like favorite books or beloved record collections), and any pets you may have had at the time of your wrongful incarceration. And pretty much all because a prosecutor refused to play by the rules. (But, hey, he got a 12 year Congressional career and a sweet big firm job out of the deal, so it's not a total loss.)

But you're free now, so it's all good. You don't need the state to acknowledge your innocence to assist you in any job search or to allow you to live out your remaining years without this shadow of suspicion hanging over you. You should just be thankful the state isn't going to try to send you back to prison.

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