Lake County sheriff calls for assistant state's attorney to resign
It looks like there's trouble in paradise for the law enforcement arm of Lake County. Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran called for Assistant State's Attorney Michael Mermel to be fired for making "inappropriate statements" to the media. Sheriff Mark Curran referred to Mermel's aggressive prosecution tactics as "Disgusting", and that murder suspects in Lake County were still targeted even after DNA evidence pointed to other possible perpetrators.
One of the most shocking statements made by Mermel was in the case of the People v. Jerry Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs was charged with murdering his own eight year old daughter and her friend. Sperm was found "inside" one of the girls that was linked to another man who is a convicted rapist and is accused in another murder.
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Even after this exculpatory evidence was found, Mermel had told the New York Times magazine that, "the girl could have picked up the semen from being outside in a secluded area where people might have had sex."
How absolutely ludicrous!!
Mr. Hobbs was wrongfully accused of murdering his own child and her friend, spent five years in jail awaiting trial, only to have his case dismissed after extreme pressure was placed on the Lake County State's Attorneys Office. Imagine grieving for the loss of your eight year old child while being wrongfully accused of her murder by a malicious prosecutor like Mermel!!
Now I'd like to reiterate what Mermel said, "the girl could have picked up the semen from being outside in a secluded area where people might have had sex." Sure, its possible that something like that could happen, just like aliens from another dimension could have inserted semen into her before she was murdered. However, one would think that a Prosecutor would have a little bit better judgment than to overreach and try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
If the evidence is not there, or points to another individual committing the crime, the last thing you want to do as a prosecutor, is try to convict an innocent person. There simply isn't any room for that in a civilized society.
I don't know how Mermel sleeps at night, or that he might not really understand what the true meaning of "Justice" really is. In Mermel's mind, he really may not have been concerned that he had the wrong man, but that "Someone or anyone" was going to pay for the heinous acts committed against the two children.
Regardless, I applaud Sheriff Curran for calling this Mermel out. I only hope that Mermel does the honorable thing and resigns from his position as a State Prosecutor.