Crooked City

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State's Attorney to Review Anthony Porter Case...

In a stunning reversal, the Cook County Prosecutor's Office announced Monday it would review the Anthony Porter murder case.  

Once the crown jewel of all wrongful conviction cases in Illinois, the Porter case has come under fire by lawyers, retired cops, the police union and others. Opponents of the decision to release Anthony Porter and convict another man, Alstory Simon, for the killings, claim the investigation by David Protess and the Innocence Project at Northwestern University was fraudulent and may even have been criminal.

In 2011, Protess left Northwestern in the cloud of scandal. The university stated Protess lied to his attorney, to prosecutors and to the school about his investigations. 

The decision by the prosecutor comes in the wake of calls for a review by the police union and by new allegations from a former high-ranking prosecutor in the case who claims he doubted the decision to free Porter and incarcerate Simon. The prosecutor said he made these doubts known at the time Porter was released.

The decision is also a vindication for a former Chicago Tribune journalist, Bill Crawford, who has been investigating the case for several years, trying to get local media to see the holes and corruption in the Northwestern case.  

"At last, perhaps, Alstory Simon will get the justice he deserves, justice that was denied to him the first day he was railroaded in the case and sentenced to 37 years in prison," Crawford said in response to the announcement that the case will be reviewed.  

The Anthony Porter case had a profound impact on Chicago's criminal justice system. It was the case that compelled Governor Ryan to end the death penalty in Illinois and encouraged a flood of other wrongful conviction claims from inmates. 

It also suggests that, if Simon is shown to be innocent of the murders, wrongful conviction advocates may be guilty of the worst wrongful conviction of them all.

 The State's Attorney will now review the case through the Conviction Integrity Unit.