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by Sue Basko Friday, Dec. 21, 2007 at 2:34 AM

Paul Modrowksi, convicted of Murder 1 on an accountability basis for supposedly lending his car to a supposed killer -- who was acquitted -- seeks release from prison for Christmas.

Paul Modrowski, who was wrongfully convicted of the 1992 murder of Dean Fawcett, is seeking release from prison. Modrowski, autistic, and then 18 years old, was convicted of Murder 1 on an “accountability” theory for supposedly lending his car to the supposed killer – who was acquitted. Modrowski was then sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. He has been in prison for about 15 years and needs our help.

You can sign a petition at:

Signing is free and takes just a minute.

Modrowski filed a Clemency petition that he wrote himself. A hearing was held by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, where Paul was represented by his mother, Linda. The Review Board then sent the petition on to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

If you want to encourage Governor Blagojevich to sign the Clemency petition, you can sign this petition:

The Fawcett murder got mixed up in the infamous Brown’s Chicken massacre murders in Palatine, Illinois, that took place nearby in time and place. The Brown’s Chicken massacre appeared “unsolvable,” but two strong suspects, James Degorski and Juan Luna, were finally arrested in 2002. Luna has been convicted and Degorski should go to trial in 2008.

Through fear and media frenzy, Paul Modrowski was considered a “prime suspect” in the 1993 Brown’s Chicken Massacre in Palatine, Illinois -- but not for any good reason. This was highly publicized so people assumed Modrowski was guilty of the Palatine killings. There were newspapers on stands inside the courthouse cafeteria when Modrowski’s jury went to lunch – with a front page article saying: “Prime Suspect in Brown’s Massacre Killings on Trial in Other Murder.” The judge did not grant a mistrial or a change of venue. Unfair? Sign now:

Those involved in the legal process against Paul Modrowski in the Fawcett case may have believed that they had to secure that conviction and long sentence to have leverage in solving the Palatine massacre murders or to appear as if they had gotten the (assumed) restaurant killer on something. This was probably more true after the acquittal of Robert Faraci, who also stood accused of murdering Dean Fawcett.

1) Essentially, Paul Modrowski was convicted of loaning his car for the murder. The only evidence about this was the testimony of a police officer, who said Modrowski confessed this to him. There was no written or signed confession, no confession on tape or video. Paul Modrowski is autistic and was held for several days and mistreated before “confessing.” He was not given an attorney and signed no waiver giving up that right. The officer claimed Modrowski confessed, yet he did not write a report about that till weeks later. ALL of this should call its truth seriously into question. Show you care about fairness and sign at:

2) The State’s Attorney used the theory of “accountability” to say that Modrowski was guilty of Murder 1 because he supposedly lent his car to the other defendant, Robert Faraci, who was acquitted by his separate jury. The car was thoroughly searched by the FBI and it contained not even a trace of evidence. Does this bug you? Sign the petition at:

3) The judge sentenced Modrowski to LIFE IN PRISON WITH NO POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. He has been in prison for about 15 years now and cannot get out unless Governor Blagojevich signs the Clemency petition. Want to help? Sign the petition at:

4 ) Paul Modrowski probably would have been freed or at least retried after some level of appeal, but his appeals were bollixed up by lawyers having personal problems. His appeals were half-written, sent in without mandatory affidavits, filed one day late, etc. The “one day late” issue went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that prisoners should know what their lawyers are doing and should file a second set of papers on their own to be sure it is done right. Obviously, this makes no sense. Help right this wrong by signing:

5) Paul Modrowski’s trial probably would have gone much differently if he had been afforded the rules that are now mandatory in Illinois death penalty cases, such as the requirement of a lawyer qualified to try death penalty cases and full discovery procedures. Crucial materials were withheld from the defense and STILL have not been given to Modrowski—but the prosecution and judge saw them!

6) The meager physical evidence in the crime was found in the Barrington woods months after Dean Fawcett’s murder, when Robert Faraci was arrested, as opposed to being located there when first searched at the time the body was found. The woods went from having no evidence during a thorough search when the body was found, to having pieces of odd evidence once an arrest was made. The evidence makes little sense. A broken saw and shovel were supposedly used to dismember a body, yet showed not even microscopic traces of blood or skin tissue. Why would someone dismembering a body take the head and arms with them, but leave behind a saw and shovel? None of this adds up to reliable evidence.

7) Paul Modrowski earned a college degree while in prison, getting straight As – before education was removed from Illinois prisons. He has read many books. He wrote his own Clemency petition. He wants to complete his education, start a career and family. His parents and family are eager to help him adjust to being free. Want to help give him that chance?

Please sign the petition at:

Thanks, Sue Basko

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