february 3, 2014 (http://thesouthern.com)
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A man originally sentenced to death who has spent 44 years behind bars in the slaying of a Rockford gas station attendant is scheduled to make his 33rd plea for freedom.
Calvin Madison, 66, appears to have a chance to win his release from Graham Correction Center after last year when five members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board — three short of the number needed to be granted parole — voted last year to release him. His co-defendant in the case, Thomas Ray Charles, was released from prison in 1986 after he was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.
Madison is scheduled to appear before a member of the Illinois Review Board on March 4, and the entire board is expected to decide on May 1 whether or not Madison should be released.
The Rockford Register Star (http://bit.ly/1n5Wih6 ) reported Sunday that Madison’s family has started to encourage people to write letters in favor of Madison’s release and the family of the victim, 19-year-old John Hogan, is arguing against his release.
The slaying took place on Jan, 22, 1970, at the Gas-For-Less service station in Rockford. According to the newspaper, when Madison and Charles ordered him to hand over money, Hogan did as he was told and gave them about $100 in cash.
Then, Madison forced Hogan into a restroom, ordered him to his knees and shot him four times in the back of the head with a pistol.
“It was premeditated murder — there’s no other way of looking at it,” said Hogan’s brother, Terry.
Madison, who was sentenced to death in 1970, was resentenced in 1972 to 75-100 years in prison after the U.S. Supreme Court suspended the death penalty in the United States in 1972. The court ultimately reinstated the death penalty a few years later.