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Former Inmate Sues Over Conviction Pence Wouldn’t Pardon

Scales of Justice.

Photo: Steve Burns

Gov. Eric Holcomb pardoned Cooper after former Gov. Mike Pence declined to.

A Chicago man pardoned after spending nearly a decade in prison for a robbery he didn’t commit is suing a northern Indiana city, its police chief and three officers, alleging they fabricated evidence against him.

The federal lawsuit filed Monday in South Bend by 50-year-old Keith Cooper accuses Elkhart and the other defendants of violating his constitutional rights, including his right to a fair trial. He’s seeking unspecified damages.

Cooper was pardoned Feb. 9 by Gov. Eric Holcomb shortly after the Republican succeeded Mike Pence, who declined to pardon him while campaigning for vice president despite the recommendations of the prosecutor and the parole board.

Cooper was convicted of a 1996 armed robbery during which a teenager was shot. He was released in 2006 after a co-defendant’s conviction was overturned.

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  • lastcamp2

    Why would Pence pardon the innocent when it might get in the way of his political career?
    Didn’t Pence say he is “a Christian first?” WWJD? Would He withhold forgiveness and mercy because of political expedience? Particularly when there has been no offense?

  • chad hatten Albuquerque

    interesting story..

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