Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chicago offering $2.7 million in wrongful-conviction case

A Chicago man would receive $100,000 for each of the 27 years he spent behind bars before DNA testing set him free under a settlement endorsed Monday by the Chicago City Council Finance Committee.

The $2.7 million would be paid to the estate of Paul Terry, who suffered profound mental damage behind bars. "He will have enough money for the rest of his life to take care of his psychological problems and needs," said Flint Taylor, one of his attorneys.

Terry and Michael Evans were both convicted at age 17 in the 1976 rape and murder of 9-year-old Lisa Cabassa on the South Side. They were released in 2003 after a former prosecutor's misgivings led to DNA tests that excluded them as perpetrators of the assault.

The charges against them came out of the police area headquarters where former Cmdr. Jon Burge allegedly tortured suspects, but at a time when Burge was not there. Detectives in the case, however, had worked under him, Taylor said.

Evans alleged in a federal lawsuit seeking compensation that he was railroaded by overzealous officers, but jurors determined police had sufficient evidence to arrest him. The city had offered Evans a $2.7 million before trial.

Terry's case, filed in state court, was stronger, city Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

No comments: