Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn criticized the Prisoner Review Board for the early release of a man now charged with murder, but he ignored a vital fact, reports the Associated Press: While he says the board should have ordered Edjuan Payne held for six months, his administration recommended two, about the same amount of time Payne was locked up. Payne was serving time for criminal damage to property when he got out last fall as part of Quinn’s secret early prison release program, although he also had an earlier murder conviction.
He was sent back in January for violating parole on the property damage charge by drinking alcohol and not properly reporting to his parole agent. He was freed in March. On Friday, he was charged with murder in Peoria. Quinn responded by saying the review board, which decides whether parole violators will stay locked up, should have kept him for six months, until July 22, the date Payne would have been discharged from parole. Records show the state corrections department recommended Payne serve only two months for his parole infractions. Corrections spokeswoman Sharyn Elman said the two-month term suggested by Payne’s parole agent was not an official recommendation, although it was signed by a supervisor.