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Governor Releasing Prison Inmate Who Has AIDS

March 22, 1989

EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) _ Gov. James R. Thompson is commuting the sentence of a prison inmate who is dying of AIDS, the governor’s counsel said.

Marvin Sittig Jr., serving a six-year sentence for stealing about $70 from a piggy bank at his aunt’s house, will be released from the East Moline Correctional Center ″as soon as the paperwork is completed, which will be about a week,″ counsel Terrence Barnich said Tuesday.

″Marvin was crying,″ said his attorney, Barbara Paschen. ″He was extremely happy.″

Ms. Paschen had requested clemency in January, but officials at the time predicted it could be a year before Thompson issued an opinion on the case. Sittig, 25, maintained he could die by then.

He was diagnosed as having AIDS last June, but acquired the virus before he entered prison in 1987.

Sitting was transferred to East Moline two months ago and is taking medication to prevent pneumonia. He plans to return to his family in Dixon.

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