Chicago man who spent 29 years in prison for murder had his life sentence commuted by Gov. Pritzter, is now back in jail


LAKE COUNTY, IN – According to a report from Fox 32, a Chicago man is back in jail for an alleged crime spree after having his life sentence commuted by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

The convicted felon, Gerald Reed, was released from prison after 29 years and is now back behind bars after an alleged months-long crime spree. Reed’s sentence was commuted back in 2021 by Pritzker.

He was released from prison, where he was initially serving a life sentence for a double murder that took place back in 1990.

Reed’s conviction was overturned by a Cook County judge and his sentence was commuted after his lawyers argued that his confession was “beaten out” of him by Chicago police. However, within a year of being released, Reed has allegedly committed a string of crimes.

He has reportedly been arrested and charged multiple times in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana for crimes including robbery, theft, and others. Reed is now being held in the Lake County, Indiana jail after allegedly robbing two women at gunpoint in a Walmart parking lot.

Criminal Defense Professor Richard Kling said that it is not unheard of for people who have had a sentence commutation for one crime to wind up back in jail for another. He added:

“It’s hard to house somebody for 25 years in an institution and say, ‘now go out and become a good citizen,’ and not realize that there’s gonna be a hold-over from when you were incarcerated for 20 years.”

A special prosecutor handling the cases for Cook County wants to re-try Reed for the 1990 double murder. However, Reed will remain in an Indiana jail until the current cases are resolved.

In the state of Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his plans to commute the sentence of a man convicted for a murder that happened in 1973.

Hutchinson will commute the sentence of Walter Bowden from life in prison to immediately parole eligible. Bowden, along with two other defendants were found guilty for the murder of W.C. Anderson.

The incident happened on December 29, 1973. The first trial was reversed by the Arkansas Supreme Court, ruling that Bowden’s confession was “involuntary an inadmissible.”

Bowden was interrogated by North Little Rock police officers, who allegedly were “not satisfied” with his answers and scheduled a polygraph test for the next day.

He was held in jail overnight despite not being charged and was not “free to leave” despite police believing he was under arrest. After the polygraph, Bowden was interrogated a second time and stated that he did not kill anyone.

At the time, Bowden was advised by Jim Hamilton, a Pulaski County prosecuting attorney, that he could not make any promises, but that Bowden would not face more than 21 years in prison if he committed a crime.

After being in jail for around 30 hours Bowden admitted to participating in robbing Anderson and implicated the two others in the murder. A second trial was held in 1975 where Bowden was again found guilty of murder.

In 2013, Bowden filed a petition claiming that his defense counsel was “ineffective” when he was told to reject the state’s plea of 21 years of imprisonment. He said that he would have accepted the plea deal, but instead received a life sentence.

Due to the state’s statute of limitations, that petition was dismissed. The current Pulaski County prosecuting attorney said he has raised an objection to Hutchinson’s commutation. The governor plans to grant several other pardons and commutations.

Per a news release, he plans to grant 10 pardons and two commutations. An additional 51 clemency requests were denied, which include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

One Arizona death row inmate’s clemency request was unanimously rejected by the board and he still faces execution towards the end of November.

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency rejected the request by Murray Hooper for his death sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

Hooper, is is currently scheduled to be executed on November 16th, was sentenced in 1982 after being convicted of the murders of William “Pat” Redmond and his mother-in-law, Helen Phelps, two years prior.

The state of Arizona resumed executions in May after an eight year hiatus attributed to criticisms of a botched 2014 execution and the difficulties in obtaining lethal injection drugs.

Redmond’s wife, Marilyn, survived being shot in the head and testified against Hooper and two other men at trial.

The two other men convicted in the murders, William Bracy and Edward McCall, were also sentenced to death, but died of other causes before their executions were carried out.

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