A wrong righted
Grover Johnson died in prison in 1996, 25 years into a 40-year sentence for the rape and attempted murder of an elderly woman, Ida White. More than two decades later, Johnson became the first case in Illinois of an individual posthumously exonerated, an action former governor Bruce Rauner took just before leaving office.
Paul Echols, now retired from the Carbondale Police Department, brought the true killer and rapist, Tim Krajcir, to justice, although Krajcir went on to kill another three women before he was caught.
Johnson’s nephew, S.T. Jamison, spoke fondly of his uncle before accepting the exoneration certificate signed by Rauner. “It was so depressing and so chilling that a man like him, a good man like him, could be accused of a heinous crime,” Jamison said. “None of us could believe it.” John Hanlon, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project, said, “He got on a bus in Chicago to visit family, and instead he died in prison.”