CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s top prosecutor has dropped her opposition to the parole bid of a man convicted in the 1967 slaying of a Chicago police officer — the second time since last summer that she’s done so in a case involving a convicted killer of a police officer.
Kim Foxx did not explain her change of mind in the case of Joseph Hurst, 77, who was originally sentenced to death before being sentenced to 100 to 300 years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared a moratorium on capital punishment in 1972.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cook County state’s attorney in a written statement said only that her office would not oppose parole, but that “our lack of opposition should not be construed as a show of support but rather the office’s position that we would no longer actively object.” She also said that Officer Herman Stallworth’s family strongly opposes parole.
Former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline, who now heads the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, told Foxx in a letter that he was disappointed in her decision and asked her to reconsider.
Hurst was on probation for robbing Chicago bus drivers in 1967 when he shot and killed Stallworth during a traffic stop, before he shot another officer in the face as he ran away.
Over the summer, Foxx wrote the prisoner review board that her office was no longer opposed to parole for Ronnie Carrasquillo, 62, who was convicted in the 1976 shooting death of Officer Terrence Loftus. In September, the board denied Parole to Carrasquillo.
In a separate case, Foxx wrote the parole board that she continues to oppose parole for Johnny Veal, who was convicted in the 1970 slayings of two Chicago police officers.
Grants of parole for people convicted of killing police officers are rare, but they do happen. In 2015, the board paroled a man convicted of murder in the 1972 slaying of a Chicago police officer. Last year, the board paroled a man convicted in the 1976 slaying of an Illinois State Police trooper.