Four men reached a $31 million settlement with Chicago for their wrongful conviction, The Chicago Sun Times reported. The so-called “Englewood Four” were teenagers when the police coerced them into confessing to a rape and murder they did not commit.
“These were four young men who no way possible they could have committed the crime they were manipulated and coerced into confessing to. They all spent . . . over a decade in prison for something they didn’t do. The number is very large, and the magnitude of the injury is very large,” said attorney Locke Bowman, who represents one of the four men.
Michael Saunders, Vincent Thames, Harold Richardson and Terrill Swift will divide the settlement, which comes six years after they were exonerated by DNA evidence. They were between ages 15 and 18 when the police accused them of strangling Nina Glover, a 30-year-old prostitute, in 1994. Her naked body was found wrapped in a bloody sheet inside a dumpster. The men filed a lawsuit in 2012 that accused a Cook County prosecutor and several Chicago Police detectives of ignoring evidence that pointed to the real killer and chose instead to prosecute the them. Detectives used various psychological tactics, that included “deceit, intimidation and threats” to trick the teenagers into confessing, the attorney said.
The Bowman praised former assistant state’s attorney Terrence Johnson for “breaking ranks” and confirming the veracity of the Englewood Four’s story to federal investigators. “The wagons had been circled and the code of silence was in full force and effect and Terence Johnson spilled the beans,” Bowman stated. Chicago taxpayers have had to foot the bill for police misconduct to the tune of over $500 million in settlement over the past decade.
SOURCE: Chicago Sun Times