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Nearly one out of every three criminal exonerations in the U.S. last year occurred in Illinois, according to a new report. Most of those cases stemmed from disgraced former police Sgt. Ronald Watts and his crew.

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(Chicago Tonight)

Plaintiffs claim they were framed by disgraced former police Sgt. Ronald Watts and his tactical team at a South Side housing project, and that a “code of silence” allowed it to happen.

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Attorney Joel Flaxman, right, stands inside the Leighton Criminal Court Building with Jermaine Coleman, center, and Germain Sims on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Four men were exonerated of false drug convictions Wednesday, joining more than 60 others who’ve been falsely convicted and later exonerated in cases related to former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts.

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Bill Amor (Illinois Innocence Project / Facebook)

Bill Amor spent two decades behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit. On Wednesday, a DuPage County judge agreed – and acquitted him in a retrial of a 1995 arson case.

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Nevest Coleman, left, stands with his attorney, Russell Ainsworth. (Chicago Tonight)

Nevest Coleman spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now he’s suing the city of Chicago, claiming he was beaten and coerced into giving a false confession.

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Thomas Sierra, center, exits the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Tuesday. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

Thomas Sierra, 41, spent more than half his life in prison, convicted of a murder he has claimed from the beginning he didn’t commit. On Tuesday, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped the charges. “It’s a bittersweet situation,” Sierra said.

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“It’s a brand new beginning for me,” said Leonard Gipson, one of 15 men who had drug convictions vacated by a judge Thursday. The convictions stemmed from arrests made more than a decade ago by disgraced former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts.

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(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

According to data from the National Registry of Exonerations, Illinois has a false confession rate more than three times higher than the national average. Is there “a culture in Chicago of solving cases by confession?”

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More than 2,000 exoneration cases are on record in the U.S., according to the National Registry of Exonerations. Only a handful of people appear on that list twice, and one of them is Chicago native Dana Holland.

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(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

More than a dozen residents of the former Ida B. Wells housing project say they were framed and intimidated by a former Chicago Police Department sergeant. Now they are seeking to have their convictions overturned.

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Juan Rivera (© Northwestern Pritzker School of Law)

A new book tells the stories of people wrongfully convicted of a crime – and how they came to be released.

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Released from prison, a group of wrongfully convicted men remake themselves as blues musicians.

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