Time for the Feds to Take Over Anthony Porter Investigation?
Critics of the Anthony Porter exoneration have been assailing the case since 1999, pointing out the myriad evidence that members of Northwestern's Innocence Project engaged in a criminal conspiracy to free convicted killer and gang enforcer Anthony Porter, end the death penalty, and make a nice $20 million along the way.
Part of the criticism was leveled at the State's Attorney's Office Under Dick Devine.
On the one hand, Devine's office convened a grand jury shortly after Porter was released, the transcripts of which show clearly the Northwestern claims that Porter was innocent were ridiculous. Included in the transcripts is testimony from Professor David Protess and his students that they didn't even interview four of six witnesses who fingered Porter. Other chilling testimony included the means by which the Northwestern investigators coerced a central witness into changing his testimony.
Despite all this evidence, the state's attorney accepted Alstory Simon's confession to the murders once ascribed to Porter, never mentioning at Simon's sentencing the fact that all the witnesses still fingered Porter.
The evidence shows the state's attorney threw Alstory Simon, the investigating detectives, the police department in general, as well as the citizens who had to live in proximity to the newly-released Porter, under the bus.
Much of this evidence has been revealed in a groundbreaking article, called Chimera, by retired journalist Bill Crawford. Crawford's desperate attempts for the last three years to get this story to the public and free the wrongfully convicted Alstory Simon were met with contempt and derision by Chicago's crooked media.
Finally, "investigative" journalist Frank Main, from the Sun Times, took this information from Crawford and yours truly, stamped his name on it and called it an exclusive.
Thanks Frank, and you're welcome.
But some key questions now need to be asked.
With so much evidence against a former state's attorney, should the current prosecutor now be the one to investigate the Porter case? Hardly. There is too much dirt against the Cook County Prosecutor. You can't have an office investigating its own potential corruption, especially in Cook County.
Moreover, can the prosecutor be trusted to investigate the entire Porter debacle? Will the state's attorney follow the vast evidence of corruption in this case into other cases?
The clear answer is that federal authorities need to take over this investigation.
It's time to start following the evidence and forget about the politics.