by Eric Zorn
This opinion was originally published in the Chicago Tribune on May 28, 2010.
[Will County}Sheriff Paul Kaupas, whose department brought the original case against Kevin Fox, recently underwent a medical procedure and was unavailable for comment Thursday. Kaupas' spokesman, Pat Barry, issued an apology on the sheriff's behalf. "He is issuing his apology to Kevin Fox and the Fox family," Barry said. "He is grateful that the person who did this has been brought in. Justice is going to be served." ...
This passage jumped out at me considering the time line: Charges dropped based on DNA evidence nearly five years ago. Federal jury award to Melissa and Kevin Fox nearly two and a half years ago. A vile miscarriage of justice inflicted on an innocent man whose daughter had been murdered and only now comes an apology?
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals chastised the investigators on the case, implying that their decision to quickly rule out the girl's death as the work of a sexual predator was "absurd." The court also found that detectives lacked probable cause to arrest Fox, given the "exceedingly weak evidence" they had assembled.
Fox gave police a videotaped confession at the end of a 14-hour overnight interrogation. He later said the confession was coerced.
Y'think? Barry said today he was unaware if any member of the investigatory team had been disciplined or even reprimanded for their conduct in the Fox case.