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Convictions Overturned For 2 Men Who Spent Half A Century Behind Bars

CHICAGO (CBS) - The convictions for two men, who spent nearly half a century behind bars, have been overturned.

One of the men was beaten into a false confession and taken by detectives working under the notorious Police Commander John Burge. The other man was falsely arrested.

Anthony Jakes was 15 years old when he says he was beaten into signing a murder confession by Chicago detectives. He spent 22 years behind bars.

"I wish my grandmother and my mother was here to celebrate this with me because they were my biggest, biggest supporters," said Jakes. "All my growing up came being in the penitentiary."

Jakes is the nephew of Alderman Emma Mitts, who says she kept her nephew in her thoughts and prayers. "A lot of prayers went up and they went up for good reasons. Many people have been praying all along the way because it's been a long journey," said Mitts.

"It's just a great day right now. I'm so happy. It's a big burden off my shoulders, like it is off mine," said Robert Bouto, who's conviction was also overturned.

Bouto spent 23 years behind bars after a false arrest for a murder.

Attorneys from The Exoneration Project have one more legal hurdle for Bouto. While the State's Attorney's office overturned his conviction, the charges in Bouto's case were reinstated. A spokesperson from the office says they are reviewing the case and looking at evidence to see if a new trial will take place.

"Really, there's no evidence against Mr. Bouto and he's got plenty of evidence of his innocence," said Russell Ainsworth from The Exoneration Project. "This is not a case that anybody wants to take to trial."

The attorney for the two men say that he plans on talking with his clients and their families about whether they plan to file suit against the city and against the Chicago Police Department.

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