Does NIU Student murder suspect deserve to die? - – Rockford’s News Leader

State's Attorney Elect considers death penalty in NIU student murder case

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By Elizabeth Fay

ROCKFORD (WREX)- When Clay Campbell becomes DeKalb County State's Attorney, he'll have a grave decision to make, does 34-year-old William P. Curl deserve to die?

"If you can imagine any human being put in the position to make that decision, I think that I will be as thorough and as circumspect as I can," says Campbell who was elected as DeKalb County State's Attorney Tuesday night.

Curl sits in DeKalb County Jail on murder charges. He's accused of killing Northern Illinois University Student, 18-year-old "Toni" Keller.

Former Winnebago County State's Attorney, Paul Logli says it's unusual for a state's attorney to jump into a case like this, but the law, the facts, and the nature of the crime will guide him to a decision.

"Does it really indicate that there should be the most extreme penalty available in order to not only deter this individual from committing future crimes but to deter other individuals from committing similar crimes?" asks Logli.

Campbell says he'll talk with detectives and listen to community input before coming to a conclusion. "I think most importantly, the victim's family, I would like to sit down with them and see what their feelings are considering they're the ones closest to the loss," says Campbell.


A states attorney, in making this decision, will find himself or herself in a pretty solitary situation. They can consult with people. They can have a committee within the office but the decision is an intensely personal decision that you have to justify yourself," says Logli.


Campbell says the grand jury is expected to indict Curl in the near future. Once that happens, he'll have 120 days to decide if he will pursue the death penalty.


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