Chicago Judge Throws Out 15 Convictions On Fears Police Reports Were Dishonest : The Two-Way : NPR

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Leonard Gipson, one among 15 males who say corrupt Chicago police framed them and whose convictions have been thrown out, talks to reporters Thursday.

Teresa Crawford/AP


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Teresa Crawford/AP

Leonard Gipson, one among 15 males who say corrupt Chicago police framed them and whose convictions have been thrown out, talks to reporters Thursday.

Teresa Crawford/AP

Today in Chicago, Judge Leroy Martin threw out the convictions of 15 males in what protection attorneys name a landmark determination and the “first mbad exoneration” in Cook County. The males, who all served jail phrases, declare they have been framed by former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts and officers underneath his command. One of the lads, Leonard Gipson, spent 4 years in jail and says Watts would demand cash after which medicine on an individual and arrest them if he was not paid.

Four years in the past, Watts was convicted of extorting cash from a drug vendor who turned out to be an FBI informant. Prosecutors within the Cook County State’s Attorney workplace stated after reviewing the circumstances of the 15 males, the workplace did not have confidence within the police studies and testimony. They requested the court docket to throw these circumstances out and stated they’re wanting into a number of extra which might be tied to Watts’ command.

Defense attorneys with the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project filed a petition final spring asking for the circumstances to be overturned. Attorney Joshua Tepfer stated it is “extraordinarily powerful” to have prosecutors take that step. He added that Watts was concerned in almost 1,000 circumstances and almost 500 convictions which are actually suspect.

Thursday’s listening to for the 15 defendants got here after the discharge earlier this week of one other man in a separate case. Chicagoan Arthur Brown had spent many years in jail for crimes he stated he didn’t commit. The Cook County State’s Attorney dropped the fees in opposition to him saying an investigation confirmed there have been deep issues in regards to the equity of Brown’s conviction on homicide and arson prices.

In an announcement Thursday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stated they’ve zero tolerance for abuse, misconduct or any illegal motion by those that are sworn to uphold legal guidelines. They stated the actions of Watts should be condemned and they’d proceed to work to make sure the abuses are by no means repeated.

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