Justice for All: Civil Rights Group Celebrates Freedom for Chicago's Englewood 5
(CHICAGO - November 25, 2011) - A Cook County Judge vacated the convictions of men, known as the Englewood 5, who were falsely arrested and harshly prosecuted for crimes they didn't commit last Wednesday (11.16.11). This decision combined with the Nov. 3 exoneration of the Dixmoor 5 shows that evidence, hope, and tireless legal and community advocacy can overcome long-standing injustices.
"Today's decision closes a painful chapter in Chicago's criminal justice system. However, forced confessions and wrongful convictions remain, particularly for youth of color, and we will not rest until these abusive and discriminatory practices end," said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. "This is clearly a victory for everyone impacted by forced confessions, wrongful convictions, and unjust incarceration. It's also a victory for those who are victims of violent crime as this decision condemns irresponsible law enforcement practices and allows Cook County police and prosecutors to focus on real efforts to reduce crime and protect the public's safety."
Robinson continued, "Today's decision marks a major step in stopping forced confessions and wrongful convictions and creates and opening to reform Cook County's criminal justice system. Instead of locking up innocent Black youth, city leaders will be able and encouraged to allocate police resources toward real crime prevention and sustained public safety efforts."
The activism of 65,000 ColorOfChange.org members and the tireless legal efforts of our friends at the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and the Innocence Project helped secure freedom for the Black men known as the Cook County 10--bringing justice for some who've waited nearly 20 years.
Check out our blog for the full story and video of our petition delivery here: http://colorofchange.org/blog/2011/nov/16/justice_in_cook_county/