Instead of the killer being caught, prosecuted and punished, quickly and efficiently, and the Nicarico family receiving whatever solace it could, the case has shapeshifted into something it should have never been.
With three innocent men being prosecuted for the crime, it's become a case about law enforcement's mistakes and misconduct.And it's been an example of the DuPage County state's attorney's office putting other priorities ahead of justice for far too long.
26 years ago, Brian Dugan kidnapped and murdered 10 year old Jeanine Nicarico. Dugan offered to plead guilty to this case in 1985, but the prosecutor did not believe his confession. Instead, two innocent men were sent to Illinois' death row. Dugan has finally entered a plea in this case.
One of the many consequences of wrongful convictions is that the real perpretrator may be free to continue his or her criminal offending. When the police and prosecutors fail to investigate and prosecute cases objectively based on the evidence, miscarriages of justice often result.
The case of Charles Fain has a smiliar pattern. Arrested and convicted of killing nine year old Daralyn Johnson in 1982, Mr. Fain spent 18 years on Idaho's death row. DNA evidence eventually led to his exoneration. The real killer has never been apprehended for this crime. What other crimes were committed and who else became victims while the police and prosecutor focused on an innocent person?