Crooked City

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Sun Times Cops Out...Again...

After two groundbreaking articles on the Anthony Porter case, a Sun Times editorial published today retreats back into its own lies...

Here's a Letter to the Editor in response to their editorial that will never get published:


Dear Editor:

It would serve the citizens of Chicago a great deal if the editorial board of the Sun Times would acquaint themselves with even the most basic facts of a subject before they write about it. Otherwise, there would not be journalistic travesties like their recent article about the Anthony Porter case.

The Sun Times editorial claims dropping the case against Porter was appropriate call by the state’s attorney. One wonders if the Editorial board writers bothered to read their own recent news stories. Two stories by Frank Main point to evidence clearly contradicting this claim. The first story revealed a statement by then prosecutor Thomas Epach saying he was not convinced Porter was innocent and he was not convinced that Simon was guilty. The second article revealed a statement by city attorneys also questioning the decision to release Anthony Porter.

Porter was found guilty in a criminal trial, the case for his innocence fell apart in a grand jury hearing. Porter was also essentially re-convicted in a civil trial. Now documents from former state’s attorneys and city attorneys involved in the case emerge questioning the decision to release Porter. In light of these facts, it’s difficult to fathom, then, what exactly the editorial writers can be thinking when they claim that “dropping the case against Porter was reasonable.”

The statements by the editorial writers regarding Alstory Simon’s confession are similarly misinformed. The Sun Times has printed myriad stories about alleged coerced confessions in wrongful conviction cases against the police and advocated that the cases be tossed based on these allegations. For some reason, the Sun Times refuses to apply the same moral criteria in the Porter case. The evidence of coercion is overwhelming. Even the man who obtained the “confession” from Porter boasted that he “bull rushed” it from the hapless Simon. The private investigator also admitted he obtained an attorney for Simon. When in the history of Chicago’s criminal law has an individual accusing a man of murder and trying to get a confession from him obtained the man’s attorney for him?

The Sun Times also ignores the claims by witnesses in the Porter case in which they said they changed their testimony based upon promises of wealth and celebrity, as well as the many similar claims in other Northwestern cases. Are the editorial writers at the Sun Times aware of the phrase modus operandi? 

The Porter travesty could not have taken place without the complicity of Chicago’s media, including the Sun Times. It’s time the paper faced the truth and lived up to their own headline in this editorial: Follow Facts, not pressure, in criminal cases. That's what the detectives did in the Porter case and that's why they indicted Anthony Porter, not Alstory Simon.