Apparently, having the medical examiner state that your conviction was based on a misunderstanding of the evidence is not enough to keep you from serving 31 years in prison for a “murder” that you did not commit. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled it would not take up the case of a Lincolnshire day care worker who was sentenced to 31 years in prison for the death of a 16-month-old boy in 2009…
But the attorney for Melissa Calusinski, who was convicted of killing Deerfield toddler Benjamin Kingan on Jan. 14, 2009, when she became frustrated and hurled him to the floor at the Minee Subee day care center, said she will continue to push for a new trial.
Attorney Kathleen Zellner said an expert witness has revised his conclusion, since the original autopsy was completed, to now include evidence the boy suffered another injury prior to the day he died.
Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd reopened the investigation and determined there was a prior injury. He made his decision after reviewing the trial testimony, obtaining new evidence and analyzing Forensic Pathologist Eupil Choi’s findings.
Choi stated in a sworn affidavit that the boy “had suffered an old injury that pre-dated Jan. 14, 2009,” the date of his death.
The affidavit has been a key part of the defense’s argument for a new trial.
Zellner called attempts to get the case before the high court a long shot, saying, “They deny a petition for appeal about 98 percent of the time.”
But Zellner is still pressing on with a post-conviction petition in Lake County Circuit Court.
“It’s a work in progress,” she said.