Tabitha Pollock was asleep when her boyfriend killed her 3-year-old daughter. Charged with first-degree murder because prosecutors believed she should have known of the danger, Pollock spent more than six years in prison before the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the conviction.
This Washington Post article highlights one of the major flaws in the criminal justice system. When a defendant is sentenced, he or she is frequently asked show remorse and accept responsibility for their actions. However, when the State makes a mistake, it does not abide by its own requirements.
While Illinois has some kind of compensation for the wrongfully convicted (as dysfunctional as it is), only 22 states have any sort of provision. The remainder, including Idaho, have no statutory provisions to compensate the innocent. Not only is this situation an embarrassment, but it violates any sense of fairness. Instead of reinforcing confidence in the criminal justice system, the failure to recognize and correct the factors underlying wrongful convictions continues to undermine its legitimacy.