Burris’ Death Row Flub

With Roland Burris heading for the Senate to fill Obama’s empty seat, what stains can be found on his record? In 1992, then-State Attorney General Burris pushed for the execution of Rolando Cruz, who was twice convicted of the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl seven years earlier, even though, by the time of his trial, someone else had confessed to the crime, reports Ben Protess at Propublica. Burris’s deputy attorney general, Mary Brigid Kenney, was so convinced Cruz was innocent she resigned rather than push the case forward. At the time, Burris was running for governor and Kenney thinks he didn’t want to look soft on crime. In her resignation letter, Kenney alleged Burris had "seen fit to ignore the evidence in this case." "I cannot sit idly by as this office continues to pursue the unjust prosecution of Rolando Cruz," she wrote. "I realized that I was being asked to help execute an innocent man."