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Jan 09,2008
Wrongfully jailed man freed after 21 years
by UPI

PARIS, Ill., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A wrongfully convicted Illinois man walked arm-in-arm from prison with his grown daughter after 21 years behind bars.

Herb Whitlock left the Edgar County Jail in Paris, Ill., Tuesday, after exoneration in the 1986 stabbing deaths of newlyweds Karen and Dyke Rhoads, The Chicago Tribune said.

"It's a long time coming," defense attorney Richard Kling told the paper. "It took 21 years too long. Herb is innocent."

Among those celebrating his release at a party was retired Illinois State Police Lt. Michale Callahan, who determined eight years ago that Whitlock and Gordon Steidl, a drinking buddy, were innocent of the killings. Steidl was freed more than three years ago, the newspaper said.

"This whole case is a travesty, 21 years of deceit and coverup," Callahan told the paper. "I think this should be an example that this can happen to anyone in this country if government is allowed to go unchecked."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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