February 19, 2015

"A wrongfully convicted man filed a $40 million lawsuit on Tuesday against Northwestern University, a former journalism professor, a private investigator and an attorney..."

"... accusing them of framing him for a double murder to get another man released."
Alstory Simon... was imprisoned in 1999 after confessing to the 1982 murder of two people in a park, and spent more than 15 years behind bars before he was exonerated on Oct. 30, when prosecutors decided his confession was coerced....

Another man, Anthony Porter, was originally convicted of the murders, and sentenced to death but was released after Simon's confession.... Porter's release was an early victory for Innocence Project programs....

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Innocence Project not so innocent.

Lucid said...

There's a book worth of details needed to fill in what we are missing here.

Although it seems Illinois has a problem with forced confessions.

Michael K said...

"“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time

This seems to have started early.

Larry J said...

This is what happens when amateurs investigate crimes. This is why universities have no business handling rape allegations. Not only are they untrained and unqualified to conduct such investigations, they're denying the accused his due process rights. They may also commit mistakes that will hinder the prosecution of legitimate rapists. Interfering with a criminal investigation is a felony.

Universities should expect more such lawsuits in the future.

SteveR said...

Johnny Cochrane was unavailable to comment

Irene said...

Additional background here.

BarrySanders20 said...

Steven Avery is one of UW Law School's Innocence Project's biggest successes.

On September 11, 2003, a joint motion to dismiss the charges brought by the Manitowoc District Attorney’s Office and the Wisconsin Innocence Project was granted and Avery was released. On March 9, 2005, prompted by Beernsten and Avery, the Wisconsin Department of Justice adopted a model eyewitness identification protocol.

On October 31, 2005, 25-year-old Teresa Halbach, a free-lance photographer, came to Avery’s salvage yard in Mishicot, Wisconsin, to photograph a vehicle there. She was attacked, raped and murdered. Days after her disappearance, her vehicle was found in the salvage lot under branches, pieces of wood and car parts.
Investigators found her bone fragments in a pit, Avery’s and her blood in her vehicle and two guns hanging above Avery’s bed. A rifle was linked to a bullet found in Avery’s garage with Halbach’s DNA on it. Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted in separate trials and were both sentenced to life in prison.

Bloody do-gooders.

Anonymous said...

Steven Avery is one of the reasons I support the Death Penalty.

The innocence project can't get them out of hell.

Big Mike said...

@eric, you said it first and best.

Anonymous said...

I hope he wins, and drives them all into financial bankruptcy.

After all, they've already shown themselves to be intellectually and morally bankrupt.

prairie wind said...

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

True for American Red Cross, true for Susan B. Komen and those pink ribbons.

I know that DNA testing is not a "cause" but someday, if not already, DNA testing will stop being the "oooh, science!" answer and become a racket.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

prairie wind said...
I know that DNA testing is not a "cause" but someday, if not already, DNA testing will stop being the "oooh, science!" answer and become a racket

It already did during the Duke Lacrosse case.

Quaestor said...

Alstory Simon... was exonerated on Oct. 30, when prosecutors decided his confession was coerced...

Coerced how, and who coerced him? And why? Confessions are worthless without compelling evidence, so framing Alstory Simon simply by coercing a confession would have cut little ice with Anthony Porter's prosecutors. I sure this story makes sense, but not according to the Reuters.

Xmas said...

Quaestor,

Irene's link above has the details. Alstory's ex-wife told a private investigator that Alstory had committed the murder...and I'll just quote:

Then Simon received a visit from Ciolino and another man. They had guns and badges and claimed to be Chicago police officers. They said they knew he had killed Green and Hillard, so he better confess if he hoped to avoid the death penalty.

They showed him a video of his ex-wife, Inez Jackson, implicating him for the crime — a claim she recanted on her death bed in 2005 — and another video of a supposed witness to the crime who turned out to be an actor.

They coached Simon through a videotaped confession, promising him a light sentence and money from book and movie deals on the case. Simon, admittedly on a three-day crack cocaine bender, struggled to understand what was going on.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

What I have noticed is that when the anti-capital punishment people get involved, everything goes to hell. Many of those people will do and say anything to get a person off death row. Apparently, the ends justify the means and they are big heros in the movement when they pull something underhanded for the cause.

Big Mike said...

Confessions are worthless without compelling evidence, so framing Alstory Simon simply by coercing a confession would have cut little ice with Anthony Porter's prosecutors.

Oh, really? On which continent? You have a guy (Porter) who really did get incompetent counsel and another guy (Simon) with a taped confession. If they don't swap Simon for Porter they're apt to lose Porter anyway, given his near retardation and incompetent counsel. What ice is there to be cut?

Crimso said...

"Confessions are worthless without compelling evidence, so framing Alstory Simon simply by coercing a confession would have cut little ice with Anthony Porter's prosecutors."

The West Memphis 3 were convicted on hardly more than Miskelly's confession, which itself was told a number of times and got key details known only to the killer(s) wrong with every telling. Even when the interrogators were telling him the "correct" answers.

Revenant said...

This is what happens when amateurs investigate crimes.

We're talking about Illinois, where police routinely tortured confessions out of innocent people.

Somebody has to investigate the crimes. The police suck at it.

Revenant said...

Steven Avery is one of UW Law School's Innocence Project's biggest successes

Actually, the Innocence Project's biggest successes are the 18 innocent people it has prevented the government from murdering.

On September 11, 2003, a joint motion to dismiss the charges brought by the Manitowoc District Attorney’s Office and the Wisconsin Innocence Project was granted and Avery was released.

Notice how that was a joint motion with the district attorney? Avery was provably innocent of the crime he had been convicted of.

It is self-evident that if you lock up a man who hasn't committed a crime, that man won't be able to commit *real* crimes later. I guess that's your argument -- that we should have locked him up for a crime he didn't commit to prevent a crime years in the future.

But that's a pretty sorry-assed justification for locking up innocent men.

aberman said...

In his book Systemantics (as in Systems display antics) John Gall generalized Le Chatlier's principle to human systems, stating that 'Systems tend to oppose their own proper function,' or 'The System always kicks back.'

Mike said...

Keep in mind that the Innocence Project isn't one big corporation: it's a series of chapters in various states. What Protess did was way beyond the bounds of standard practice and is precisely what the Innocence Project has been on about for years: getting people to give false confessions.

Tarun Gupta said...

This
is
interesting read

Dominic Jiminez said...

This is heights of cruelty, compelled to stay behind bars despite being innocent. We at BasleyLawFirm.com strongly feel that his compensation of 40 million USD can not actually make it up for the invaluable years he lost in prison. We hope he gets some kind of closure.