WBEZ | wrongful convictions http://www.wbez.org/tags/wrongful-convictions Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'Morning Shift' #57: Remembering Chess Records http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2012-11-28/morning-shift-57-remembering-chess-records-104095 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chuck_Berry_1972 (1).JPG" alt="" /><p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-57-remembering-chess-records.js"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-57-remembering-chess-records" target="_blank">View the story "'Morning Shift' #57: Remembering Chess Records" on Storify</a>]</noscript><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 07:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2012-11-28/morning-shift-57-remembering-chess-records-104095 Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez discusses wrongful convictions http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-26/cook-county-states-attorney-anita-alvarez-discusses-wrongful-convictions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-26/grendelkhan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/attorneys-seeking-innocence-certificates-englewood-4-95634" target="_blank">Four men are seeking certificates of innocence</a> after prosecutors dropped rape and murder charges against them last week. They each spent more than 15 years in prison and the cases come on top of another five men who were recently released for a 1991 murder, which makes nine people in the last few months in Cook County alone.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.statesattorney.org/" target="_blank">Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez</a>&nbsp; joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss how her office has been revisiting these difficult cases. WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter Robert Wildeboer has been covering these cases and joined the conversation with some additional background.</p></p> Thu, 26 Jan 2012 14:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-26/cook-county-states-attorney-anita-alvarez-discusses-wrongful-convictions 4 Chicago murder convictions thrown out http://www.wbez.org/story/4-chicago-murder-convictions-thrown-out-94122 <p><p>A Cook County judge is throwing out the convictions of four men and ordering new trials on the basis of DNA evidence. The four men had been convicted of the rape and murder of a 30-year-old woman in 1994.</p><p>At the time, they were all teens and they gave confessions, but their attorneys say the confessions were coerced. A new DNA test was done in the last year on semen from a vaginal swab from the victim. The DNA matched a man named Johnny Douglas, who died a couple years ago. Douglas had a lengthy criminal history, including murder and sexual assault, and he was in the area where the victim's body was discovered. In fact, he was interviewed by police, but he said he didn't know the victim.</p><p>In ordering a new trial, Judge Paul Biebel also noted that four adolescents engaging in unprotected intercourse with the victim would likely have left semen.</p><p>Just two weeks ago prosecutors dropped charges against five other men convicted of a 1991 rape and murder. They too had given confessions, but again, a recent DNA match pointed to someone else.</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/4-chicago-murder-convictions-thrown-out-94122 New report looks at the financial implications of wrongful convictions in the state http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-20/new-report-looks-financial-implications-wrongful-convictions-state-88052 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-20/Detective Getty File.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A wrongful conviction is a horrible cost to the person who goes to prison for a crime they did not commit. But they're also a huge burden for taxpayers. That’s according to a new report out from the <a href="http://www.bettergov.org/" target="_blank">Better Government Association</a> and the <a href="http://www.law.northwestern.edu/cwc/" target="_blank">Center on Wrongful Convictions</a>.<br> <br> According to the report <a href="http://www.bettergov.org/investigations/wrongful_convictions_1.aspx" target="_blank">"The High Costs of Wrongful Convictions</a>", at least 85 people in Illinois have been wrongfully convicted of a violent crime over the past two decades. That’s cost taxpayers over $200 million. Meanwhile, the BGA says the people who actually committed these crimes continues their unlawful ways, committing at least 14 murders, 11 sexual assaults and 10 kidnappings.<br> <br> John Conroy is a senior investigator with the Better Government Association, and he joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to explain more about the findings in the report.<br> <br> <br> <strong>More on wrongful convictions:</strong><br> When Professor Alec Klein took over as director of the Medill Innocence Project, his instincts as a former <em>Washington Post </em>reporter kicked into gear. The Northwestern University professor teamed up with six undergraduate students and a private investigator to examine the case of convicted murderer Donald Watkins. His first-degree murder conviction never sat well with a veteran court reporter from the criminal courthouse at 26<sup>th</sup> and California. Based largely on her expressed concern, Klein and his team poured over public and medical records; they interviewed Watkins, experts, family members and witnesses. After a 10-week investigation, they uncovered information that raises questions about the conviction.<br> <br> <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> continued its conversation with the Medill Innocence Project, talking with students from the program. Klein was joined by seniors Jared Hoffman, Lara Takenaga, Taylor Soppe and Alex Campbell. Their classmates, seniors Caitlin Kearney and Monica Kim, were unable to participate in the discussion.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483524-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Innocence Web Extra FINAL.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-20/new-report-looks-financial-implications-wrongful-convictions-state-88052