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Illinois Supreme Court To Hear Case Seeking To Get Decades Of Chicago Police Misconduct Records Released

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A significant step has been made in a man's fight to get decades of Chicago Police misconduct records released.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Wednesday night, the case is going all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Attorney Jared Kosoglad only hoped for this opportunity – and now it is official. He got a notice telling him the state Supreme Court agreed to hear his case, and justices will decide if the city should release five decades of police misconduct files.

"It means that the Illinois Supreme Court is going to decide this case, and since the Appellate Court decided against us, it means that we have a fighting chance – and they see a real legal issue here," Kosoglad said.

Kosoglad is 11 years into his battle on behalf of his client, Charles Green.

Green has spent the last decade fighting to clear his name of any connection to a 1985 quadruple murder, for which he spent 24 years in prison. Kozlov talked with him in May.

Kozlov: "Did you have anything to do with the murder of those people?"

Green: "No ma'am, I did not."

On Jan. 12, 1985, police discovered the burned bodies of Raynard Rule, Lauren Rule, and Yvonne Brooks in a second-floor apartment at 458 N. Hamlin Ave. in the East Garfield Park neighborhood – now the site of an empty lot. A fourth victim, Kim Brooks, also later died.

Green was 16 when a Chicago Police detective brought him in for questioning without a lawyer or a parent present.

"He goes to like punch me and hit me," Green said in May.

Green said he felt the beatings left him with no other choice but to sign a confession.

"Eventually, it led to me saying, 'Wow, they're going to kill me – I'd better just go on ahead,' you know what I'm saying?" Green said in May. "Because it was like, 'Now we have a statement we need you to sign before you go home.'"

Released from prison in 2009, Green began fighting to clear his name. That was when he submitted a public records request to get all police misconduct files released to help him prove his innocence.

The city ignored it, so Green sued and won. But city lawyers fought that ruling, and an Illinois Appellate Court judge ruled in favor of the city.

That was when Kosoglad went to the state Supreme Court.

"We're going to go to the Supreme Court, and we're going to ask them to undo this injustice," Kosoglad said. "He's expecting to prove that there is a cover-up that has gone back decades, and that these files are the proof."

Kosoglad's Supreme Court notice comes one week before Green's clemency hearing before the state.

"What he's doing here is to help other people who may still be in prison – who may still be fighting, and claiming they're innocent – and are innocent – giving them access to these records without having to fight for them."

Pending is a now-stalled City Council plan to release just some of those misconduct files. A spokesperson for Chicago's Law Department said the city plans to defend the Appellate Court's decision – meaning they plan to fight to keep those records from being released.

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