Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/25/2014 4:26 PM

Exonerated men will be paid $40 million settlement

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

Five men convicted and later cleared of the 1991 rape and murder of a South suburban girl have reached a $40 million settlement in a lawsuit against the Illinois State Police, their attorneys said Wednesday.

The men, who came to be known as the "Dixmoor 5," were teenagers when they were arrested in the death of Cateresa Matthews, a 14-year-old from Dixmoor. They spent a decade or more in prison before DNA evidence cleared them.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Speaking in a federal court lobby in Chicago, lawyers for the men heralded the settlement as bringing their wrongly imprisoned clients a degree of justice. One of the attorneys, Peter Neufeld, called for an investigation into the prevalence of false confessions in the Chicago area.

"What Cooperstown is to baseball, Chicago and Cook County has been to false confessions," he said. "It is not the Hall of Fame -- it is the Hall of Shame."

Robert Taylor, James Harden and Jonathan Barr were freed in 2011 after 19 years in prison, while Shainne Sharp and Robert Veal were released after 10 years behind bars.

According to the plaintiffs' filings, at least one of the three who confessed was beaten by officers and all those who confessed were coerced and illegally taken advantage of by the officers who were under pressure to solve the case.

The settlement is only with the state police, one of the defendants in a suit filed in 2012. The case continues against the Village of Dixmoor. In court filings, lawyers for the village denied allegations that its officer coerced confessions.

A state police spokeswoman did not immediately return a call on Wednesday seeking comment.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.