Watch CBS News

State Has Paid At Least $1 Million For False Convictions

CBS (CHICAGO)— Vondell Wilbourn spent seven years in prison after he says former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watt framed him for drug possession.

Wilbourn is among those now seeking a certificate of innocence.

Since 2016, 42 people have had 56 convictions thrown out.

Wilbourn claims Watt framed him for drug possession.

"It prevented me from doing a lot. Job? I'm 42 and I haven't worked a day in my life," Wilbourn said.

The Exoneration Project has recently turned over at least two dozen cases to the state's attorney.

"And we still think this is just the beginning," said Joshua Tepfer of The Exoneration Project.

Tepfer estimates that more than $1 million has been paid to victims.

Multiple lawsuits that are still pending make it unclear how much the state could eventually pay out for settlements.

"Everyone in the city, in the upper echelon of the Chicago Police Department,  knew this was going on," Tepfer said.

Wilbourn says multiple complaints he filed fell on deaf ears.







View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.