'Dixmoor Five' Sue Police Who Framed Them for Murder They Didn't Commit
The Roderick MacArthur Justice Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Robert Taylor, one of five men known as the 'Dixmoor Five' who, as teenagers, were wrongfully convicted of murder and spent decades in prison for a crime they didn't commit. Attorneys for the other four men— Jonathan Barr, James Harden, Shainne Sharp and Robert Veal—also filed suit on October 17 seeking damages for the gross injustices the men suffered.
The suit alleges that Illinois State Police and the officers with the south suburban Dixmoor Police Department unconstitutionally coerced false confessions from three of the men—who were all teenage boys at the time—leading to the wrongful conviction of all five in the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year old Cateresa Matthews. DNA evidence ultimately identified the true perpetrator, a convicted sex offender with no connection to any of the wrongfully convicted men, and in 2011 prosecutors finally withdrew charges against the Dixmoor Five. Two of the five men were previously released after serving terms of 10 years, while the remaining three, all of whom served more than 19 years, were released from prison in November 2011 after their convictions were vacated. In April, the State of Illinois formally granted Certificates of Innocence to three of the five, while the other two innocent men continue to pursue such Certificates.
'Dixmoor 5' Sue Police, Claim Confessions Were Coerced, Chicago Tribune
'Dixmoor 5' Sue Over Wrongful Rape, Murder Convictions, Channel 2 coverage (video)
Updated - 10/29/2012