Spending time in prison for a crime you didn’t commit is something no one wants to do, but without the right evidence to prove one’s innocence, that individual is out of luck. Five men, known as the Dixmoor 5, were placed in that exact situation, but prosecutors withdrew charges against them in 2011. Teenagers at the time, the group was wrongfully convicted in 1991, but a $40 million settlement has finally been reached in the lawsuit.
One of the defendants filed a suit in 2012 seeking damages for the injustices they suffered. The settlement was reached with the Illinois State Police, but the case continues against the Village of Dixmoor, which hasn’t agreed to settlement terms.
The suit alleged that the state police and officers with the Dixmoor Police Department coerced false confessions from three of the five. Those false confessions lead to the wrongful conviction of everyone in the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews.
An attorney representing James Harden said that DNA evidence linked the murder to a serial rapist and that the Dixmoor 5 had no connection with the convicted sex offender.