National Media Asks Questions Chicago Media Won't...
Media outlets are asking sensible questions about Northwestern University and the Innocence Project that Chicago won't.
Did the Innocence Project frame an innocent man?
The Innocence Project has made a large impact on the debate over the death penalty, in part by re-investigating cases that sent defendants to Death Row and getting their convictions reversed. That is how Anthony Porter found himself freed from prison after being convicted of a double homicide in Chicago after several eyewitnesses identified him as the gunman. The Innocence Project found a man who confessed to the murders, and Alstory Simom was convicted and ended up doing 15 years.
Why only 15 years? The Cook County Attorney’s office moved to have Simon’s conviction set aside after discovering the tactics used by the Innocence Project of Northwestern University to get the confession:
The investigation by the Innocence Project, [Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez] said, “involved a series of alarming tactics that were not only coercive and absolutely unacceptable by law enforcement standards, they were potentially in violation of Mr. Simon’s constitutionally protected rights.”
Illinois state attorney Anita Alvarez has vacated the 37-year prison sentence of a man whose 1999 confession to a double-murder was obtained through “corrupt” means by a Northwestern University journalism professor and his team of student investigators, one of whom is currently a reporter with The Associated Press.
The outcome of the specious investigation, led by David Protess, then of the Northwestern University Innocence Project, was significant because it served as a catalyst for then-Illinois Gov. George Ryan to end the death penalty in the state in 2000.
And these media outlets are asking some questions Chicago won't either:
The Daily Caller reached out to Rubinsky, Armbrust and the Innocence Project, but none returned a request for comment.
The Daily Caller actually thought it was worthwhile to call some people involved in the investigation and ask them, "Hey, how come the State's Attorney said Northwestern University was violating the rights of Alstory Simon in their attempts to get him to confess to a double homicide in one of the state's biggest wrongful conviction cases?"
Isn't that kind of a compelling question the local media should be asking as well? One of the students, Cara Rubinsky, is a reporter with the Associated Press. Another, Shawn Armbrust, heads an Innocence Project on the east coast.