This news report covers the controversy over the Gary Dotson case and his supporters' attempt to request clemency from Illinois Gov. Thompson.
0:12Copy video clip URL Elizabeth Brackett reports on the case of Gary Dotson. His supporters were trying to request clemency for Dotson from Illinois governor James Thompson. Supporters believe that his conviction was based on a false rape accusation. His defenders intend to present new evidence to the court, but they may alternatively seek a commutation of his sentence. Gov. Thompson says he will consider the case, but that he will not allow public opinion to sway him.
2:27Copy video clip URL A Cook County Illinois judge refused to believe Cathleen Webb when she told the court that her original testimony against Dotson was a lie. Webb’s lawyer, John McLario, says that her troubled childhood was the reason behind the lie she told in 1979. McLario claims that Webb had feared she may be pregnant and did not want to be kicked out of her foster home, so she faked the rape as an excuse for her promiscuity. He says Webb had never intended to bring her claim to the police, but her lie “snowballed”.
5:31Copy video clip URL The prosecutors say that the detailed description and brutality of the attack convinced them that Webb could not have made up the story. However, McLario says that her injuries were minor. The prosecutors hesitated to give a possible motive that could explain why Webb would lie this second time. McLario says that Webb is simply trying to “do what was right”.
7:42Copy video clip URL Gary Dotson’s mother believes that the public pressure will help her son’s case. However, Barbara Engels, a counselor of rape victims, believes that Dotson’s release would have a “chilling effect” on the reporting of rape. Brackett speaks to Bernard Carey, former Cook County state’s attorney, who says that the criminal justice system will be damaged if Dotson’s sentence is not commuted.
9:41Copy video clip URL End of tape.