An Illinois woman experts say suffered from postpartum psychosis when she killed her two young children more than two decades ago was essentially freed from prison by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn today.
Quinn commuted Debra Lynn Gindorf's life sentence to 48 years. Her lawyer says that likely means she's eligible for parole because she's served 24 years and can qualify for day-for-day good-conduct time.
The 45-year-old woman was found guilty but mentally ill in the 1985 slaying of her children, 23-month-old Christina and 3-month-old Jason.
Experts conceded she was a depressed and battered wife but couldn't agree what was wrong with her. She and her supporters now believe she had postpartum depression when she attempted to kill herself, then decided to take her children with her.
Quinn, whose office had no comment on the case Friday afternoon, will no doubt have some difficult explaining to do to people who don't understand that post-partum psychosis is very real and both explains and excuses dreadful acts.
In this, he proved as brave as his predecessor was cowardly, the Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn noted.
In addition to commuting Gindorf's sentence, Quinn pardoned 17 others who were convicted of crimes ranging from battery and prostitution to mail theft.