Chicago Man’s Release Twists Illinois Death Penalty Reform Narrative

This undated photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows inmate Alstory Simon. On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, a Cook County judge ordered the release of Simon, whose confession helped free a death row inmate in a 1982 double killing. Simon's confession in the high-profile case led to the 1999 release of Anthony Porter, who had spent 16 years on death row and whose supporters maintained he was wrongfully convicted. (Photo: AP)
This undated photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows inmate Alstory Simon. On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, a Cook County judge ordered the release of Simon, whose confession helped free a death row inmate in a 1982 double killing. Simon’s confession in the high-profile case led to the 1999 release of Anthony Porter, who had spent 16 years on death row and whose supporters maintained he was wrongfully convicted.
(Photo: AP)

A 64-year-old man whose confession for a double homicide played a key role in Illinois eventually abolishing the death penalty has been freed.

Alstory Simon’s confession to the homicides led to the freeing of death row inmate Anthony Porter in 1999, and spurred the state to abolish the death penalty.

But after a re-examination of Simon’s case, Cook County state’s attorney Anita Alvarez said she had no choice but to request that a judge vacate Simon’s murder and voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Simon was freed hours after a judge agreed to vacate the conviction.

Porter was originally convicted of shooting 17-year-old Jerry Hillard and 19-year-old Marilyn Green as they were sitting in a Chicago park. Porter was arrested days after the 1982 shooting. He was found guilty about a year later and ultimately sentenced to death.

But in 1998, a group of journalism students at Northwestern University led by professor David Protess began investigating the case. With the help of a private investigator, Paul Ciolino, they uncovered evidence and ultimately a videotape statement in which Simon admitted to the murder.

Click here to read more

Source: USA Today | Aamer Madhani

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s