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Kimberly Foxx Moves to Vacate Convictions Tied to Former Police Sergeant Watts

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced today that the office moved to vacate the convictions for an additional five cases as part of the office’s ongoing review of misconduct by corrupt former Chicago Police Sergeant Ronald Watts. Since State’s Attorney Foxx took office in December 2016, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) has moved to vacate a total of 114 cases involving former Sergeant Watts.

“As prosecutors, we know that harm was caused, some of it was done by this office, and it is now our duty to make sure that those harms are addressed and never repeated,” said State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “Today is a step towards righting the wrongs of the past and giving these individuals their names back.

The CCSAO’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), tasked with investigating and addressing claims of wrongful convictions, is reviewing cases after a pattern of misconduct by Watts was uncovered which has significantly impacted the confidence in the initial arrests and validity of the convictions.

Today in court, prosecutors formally presented the orders to Cook County Judge Erica Reddick during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, who granted the motions and vacated the convictions.

In 2017, newly in her role as State’s Attorney, Foxx directed her administration to initiate court action regarding cases involving Watts, resulting in 18 individuals who had their convictions vacated that year. Today, more than 90 individuals have had cases related to Watts vacated.

Under the Foxx administration, the work of the CIU has led to vacated convictions of 123 different cases of 93 individuals. Anyone who wishes to have a case reviewed by the CIU can fill out a request form

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