Englewood 4

Vincent Thames, Michael Saunders, Harold Richardson, and Terrill Swift, known as the “Englewood 4” were wrongfully imprisoned between 1994 and 2011 for the alleged rape and murder of a 30-year-old prostitute, Nina Glover.

The men were just teenagers, aged 15-18 at the time of their arrest. Glover’s body had been found in a dumpster behind a South-Side Chicago liquor store, wrapped in a bloody sheet.

The four men confessed to killing Glover, but years later it was revealed that these confessions were not genuine, and the city of Chicago now owes them millions of dollars.

From The Chicago Tribune:

The four were convicted largely on their confessions, but they later alleged their statements were coerced. Forensic testing in 2011 matched DNA from Glover’s body to Johnny Douglas, a convicted murderer and sex offender shot to death in 2008. A judge threw out their convictions over the objections of prosecutors from the office of then-State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

While the proposed settlement would be one of the largest such payouts in city history, it will be divided among the men. The city has repeatedly paid out multimillion-dollar settlements or verdicts to individual plaintiffs in wrongful conviction or misconduct lawsuits.

A story on the payouts can be seen in the video below:

Too often, innocent people are coerced by prosecutors into pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit. These four young men likely had inadequate representation, otherwise, they would have never admitted to committing these crimes. The City of Chicago likely sought a plea deal in order to reduce its caseload and didn’t seem to care if these men were innocent or not.

If you look at this story like I did, this has to be one of the biggest miscarriages of justice ever! These men were innocent but were forced to plead guilty. The system failed them and now the system has to pay.

This case reminds me somewhat of the popular Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer” which focuses on a man Steven Avery, who served 18 years in prison for a rape he never committed. After being released, Avery sued the county that prosecuted him, but his settlement was significantly reduced after he was arrested for murder following his release from prison.

Our justice system should not be set up this way, but too often individuals who do not have enough money to afford good lawyers get screwed over by the law. Who knows how many innocent people across this country are sitting in jail for crimes they never committed!

Do you agree that the City of Chicago owes these innocent men money? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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