Illinois Prosecutor to Retire After Controversial Comments About DNA


Michael Mermel, the longtime Lake County, Ill., prosecutor under fire for “inappropriate” comments he made to the New York Times about DNA evidence, will retire in January. The announcement by State’s Attorney Michael Waller came days after Sheriff Mark Curran called for Mermel’s dismissal over controversial statements dating to 1995 that Curran said reflect poorly on the county’s criminal justice system, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Mermel, 60, has been a prosecutor since 1990. He was quoted extensively in a Nov. 27 New York Times article challenging DNA tests. Some DNA tests have shown that sperm found inside several rape and murder victims did not come from men he prosecuted. The Tribune said he has made controversial statements for years. In October 2010, Mermel was quoted as saying: “The taxpayers don’t pay us for intellectual curiosity. They pay us to get convictions.”

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