The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Juan Johnson, a Chicago resident, was awarded $21 million dollars by a jury in a wrongful conviction lawsuit. Johnson was framed for a 1989 murder and spent eleven and a half years in prison before he was finally cleared of the crime in 2004. The award is the largest ever in Chicago for a wrongful conviction case.
The defendants in the case, The City Of Chicago and former police officer Reynaldo Guevara were alleged to have intimidated witnesses into testifying that Johnson killed a rival gang member outside a nightclub on North and Western Avenues on the northside of Chicago. The former officer allegedly told witnesses that if they didn’t blame Johnson for the murder then they themselves might be implicated.
The City Of Chicago says that it plans to appeal the jury’s decision.