Monday, September 20, 2010

Letters to Gov. Quinn on behalf of the Carroll Family

I try to feature family based legal news on my blog and I figured this was very relavant to my non-audience. This is a dear work friend of mine and I want to spread the word as much as possible so here it is.

Note posted by Dannielle Carroll on Facebook:

Most of you know that my father was killed in 1996, when I was a sophomore in high school.  For those of you that don't, I have included a link below to a news article that covered the story at the time.  My family recently found out that one of the men convicted of his murder has petitioned the Governor of Illinois for clemency and release.  We, as citizens across the country who believe in the justice system, can not let this happen.

I am asking you to please take a moment to read my message below and then do two things.  First, write or email a letter to the Governor of Illinois, Patrick Quinn, as soon as you can.  The clemency hearing is scheduled for October 8, 2010.  Second, please send this message on to your family and friends.  If this man is released, he will be living among the rest of us -- and can choose to live anywhere in the countryMy father's death was not an accidental death. This attack was unprovoked and unwarranted. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  My family really appreciates it.

Back in 1998, Richard Fikejs was convicted of the 1996 murder of three men, including my father, Kevin Carroll.  At the time, my dad was 39, happily married almost 20 years to my mom, Lynn, and the father to six children, including two foster children (Dannielle, Heather, Frank, Jennifer, Bridget, and Jessica).

Richard Fikejs was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.  He recently (unsuccessfully) attempted suicide.  Based upon this, his mother has petitioned the governor for clemency, stating that her son is emotionally unstable/unfit to be in prison.  She has been granted a hearing next month in order for the governor to determine clemency.  If it is granted, Richard Fikejs' will be immediately released and his record will be expunged. 

An example text for your letter is below, but please feel free to add or write whatever you like. Keep in mind that his mother is asking for his release from prison with no record of him ever being there!!! He was convicted of murdering three men with no provocation. Thanks again for your help. My family really appreciates it.
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Dear Governor Quinn,

This letter is regarding the upcoming clemency hearing on behalf of IDOC inmate Richard Fikejs. He was convicted in 1998 of the October 12, 1996 murder of three men, including Kevin Thomas Carroll.

(Please insert a statement here about how you knew my dad or my family. Some examples are:
  1. Mr. Carroll grew up on the same street as me. I remember meeting him while growing up, and was actually a classmate of his daughter, Heather Carroll. He was very devoted to his family and his murder was devastating to our entire neighborhood.
  2. Mr. Carroll was a member of my church, St. Denis.  He was actively involved in Boy Scouts, of which I/my son was a member.
  3. Mr. Carroll was a volunteer with the St. Rita band, helping to set up halftime shows during football games.  His dauther, Dannielle Carroll, was a fellow member of the band with me.
  4. Mr. Carroll was an active member of the community.  Growing up on the southside of Chicago, he attended Tonti School and Hubbard High School.  He coached Little League in Merrionette Park.  He raised his family here and was a member of St. Denis Parish.  He could frequently be seen enjoying our neighborhood, whether it was bringing his kids to Marquette Park to go fishing, or sitting at his kids softball games on Saturday mornings at Hayes Park.  He was a proud supporter of the Boy Scouts and volunteered with the Chicago Area Council, spending summer weekends completing repair projects at Owasippe Scout Reservation so that all Chicago area scouts would have the chance to enjoy the outdoors. 
  5. etc.......Also include something about how you knew our family....classmate, friend, family, concerned citizen, etc.)
His death in 1996 was devastating.  Not only was a valued community member killed, but my own sense of security was tested.

In 1998, we believed that justice had been served when Richard Fikejs was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. When I found out that his mother was petitioning for clemency due to Mr. Fikejs' recent unsuccessful suicide attempt, I was shocked. There is absolutely no reason why Mr. Fikejs should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of free society after committing such a horrific crime. I hope you feel the same way and DENY this clemency request on October 8, 2010.

123 Main St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 123-4567

Thank you for your support. If you read my blog, you understand how important family is to me. So let's make things happen for this family. Thanks.


  1. Thank you so so so so much for trying to get the word out!
    Heather Carroll
    (Dannielles Sister)

  2. I just sent an email. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. This man should definitely not be let out.

    On another note... how is someone "emotionally unstable/unfit to be in prison". Isn't that the point? I can't believe they are even considering this.