Chicago police union official is criticizing a $31 million settlement for four African-American men whose murder convictions were overturned, calling the wrongful conviction movement “a cottage industry” that uses taxpayers as a blank check in pricey payouts.
Arthur Brown, convicted of murder in connection with a fatal arson fire in Chicago in 1988, had steadfastly insisted that he was innocent. Nearly 30 years later, prosecutors agreed, saying “there were significant evidentiary issues that raised deep concerns about the fairness of Mr. Brown’s conviction.”
The Lone Star State is one of the most generous in the nation when it comes to compensating the wrongly convicted. To date, it has paid a total of $109 million to 109 women and men who were exonerated.
Dan and Fran Keller, who spent more than 21 years in prison after they were accused of sexually abusing children during supposed satanic rituals at their Austin day care facility, are getting $3.4 million from a state fund for those wrongly convicted of crimes, The case featured “inept therapists, gullible police and an investigation that spiraled out of control.”
In an unusual action, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit blames a specific prosecutor for errors. A candidate for the DA job has asked for a review of how Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has handled bungled cases.
The “Beatrice Six” were coaxed into false-memory confessions for a 1985 rape and murder. They served up to 19 years in prison before DNA testing showed that the victim had been attacked by a teenager who lived in her building.