Two Chicago men were released from prison recently after charges against them were dropped. The men who had been accused of murder 23 years ago, had been in jail ever since. Prosecutors decided to drop the charges because the officer responsible for their cases is now being called into question for the quality and truthfulness of his work.
Most recently, an appeals court identified that there seemed to be an alarming amount of misconduct associated with this case and the ultimate conviction of the two men. The attorneys for the men think this should be the beginning of an investigation into all convictions associated with this specific officer, but the Cook County State’s Attorney is not planning on that course of action. She contends that this case is being weighed solely on its merits and for this one case they simply didn’t have enough evidence to support their burden of proof.
Based on the testimony of a heroin addict who himself was facing felony charges, the two men were convicted of the murder of a man as he left his apartment. In subsequent interviews with the witness, the testimony was recanted. The two men maintained their innocence throughout. Even when one of the defendants was offered a deal by prosecutors seven years ago to walk free if he acknowledged his guilt the deal was declined. The man said that he just couldn’t do it, because he held steadfast in his innocence.
This is not the first wrongful conviction attributed to the officer. The last victim was awarded a verdict of $21 million against the officer. In that case the man was framed for murder as well.
Although not every arrest that ultimately results in an acquittal, finding of not guilty or successful appeal is a proper basis for a multi-million dollar civil rights lawsuit, many are. What price can you put on freedom after all? So when a person spends even one day in jail due to manipulated evidence or lies perpetrated by police or prosecuting authorities, it is important that justice prevails and that person is adequately compensated for his or her pain and suffering.
Everyone deserves to be treated fairly. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you need to have the best attorneys fighting for your rights. The attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC can provide you with superior legal representation. Call us 24 hours a day at 800-996-4824 to discuss your case for free and see how we can help you.