Dave Stoppenhagen | February 11, 2004
Not sure how many people heard about this but pardoned death row inmate Leroy Orange was busted for dealing crack to a cop.

Lori Lancaster | February 11, 2004
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Dave Stoppenhagen | February 11, 2004
For those not registered the story is below.

Pardoned man held in drug sale

By H. Gregory Meyer
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 11, 2004

A former Death Row inmate pardoned last year by an outgoing Gov. George Ryan has been charged with dealing crack cocaine to an undercover police officer on the South Side.

Bail was set Tuesday at $20,000 for Leroy Orange, 52, who police said was arrested Monday afternoon blocks from his apartment in the 8500 block of South Carpenter Street.

Orange was convicted in 1985 and sentenced to death for the fatal stabbings of his former girlfriend, her son and two others. In January 2003, Ryan pardoned Orange, Madison Hobley, Stanley Howard and Aaron Patterson of what he called "crimes for which they were wrongfully prosecuted and sentenced to die."

Orange was caught with about $106 in suspected crack wrapped in plastic bags, according to an arrest report. He was charged with delivery of a controlled substance to an undercover officer and drug possession. Another man, Chris Neely, 21, of the 8500 block of South Paulina Street, was also charged.

"I don't believe it," said Robin Hobley, the sister of Madison Hobley who now heads a foundation meant to aid the wrongly accused and prisoners returning to society. "They want him back incarcerated so badly. They might have set him up."

Lori Lancaster | February 11, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | February 11, 2004
How could the police set someone up enough to convince someone to commit a crime? Like, they didn't force him to sell crack to anyone, right? Messed up reasoning.

Some people are bad seeds, some people don't know any different, and some people might be looking forward to getting back to their old way of life after prison, even if it's a life of crime. Some people even commit crimes so they can return to prison. I admit, this guy was real stupid, but he obviously wasn't smart enough to keep himself off death row the first time.

Aaron Fischer | February 12, 2004
I believe most of you will side with me on this one. I think we need to ensure that all possible avenues of evidence are exhausted before executing our prisoners. However, I think we also need to minimize the financial burdens of those criminals on the general populous.

Here’s the fun part. I propose that we proposition our legislators to consider making prisoners work more in order to minimize the burden to the honest tax-paying citizen. We should offer companies that are trying to export manual labor overseas the option to use prisoners as a potential revenue increasing option. The companies should only be required to pay them what the daily living cost is (i.e. per inmate power & food).

Scott Hardie | February 12, 2004
Recidivism happens, especially when a state sets free as many prisoners as Illinois has been setting free lately. (As for this guy in particular, I thought Ryan just commuted their sentences and they were still in jail for life. Either I was wrong or Leroy was an exception.)

I can't say you have a bad idea there, Aaron. If some company is going to lay me off from their work force, the least they can do is help me cut down on my taxes in this way. It does evoke slavery, but a kind that our society so far seems willing to accept. And it would take care of the problem of ex-cons having no job skills.

Anna Gregoline | February 12, 2004
I think it's a good plan. But added to that, let's stop killing prisoners altogether.

Jackie Mason | February 12, 2004
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