CHICAGO -- Convictions for two more men were vacated Monday after they successfully argued they were framed by Chicago police in the early 1990s, while a third man has filed a civil lawsuit against the City for his own wrongful conviction.
Anthony Jakes and Robert Bouto received a round of applause as they walked out of the courthouse Monday after Cook County judges vacated their convictions. They spent 45 years in prison combined, serving their full sentences before being paroled.
Their cases are just the latest examples of a slew of wrongful convictions costing taxpayers millions of dollars in settlements — and it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Anthony Jakes was just 15 when he was convicted in a 1991 murder that happened in a Back of the Yards sandwich shop. Jakes claims he was beaten into signing a false confession by the cops in that case, Detective Michael Kill and Kenneth Boudreau, who were both trained by disgraced police Commander Jon Burge.
He served 22 years in prison before being paroled in 2013. A judge vacated his conviction and declared him innocent on Monday. He said in order to “move forward” and make up for lost time, he might take a trip to Disney World.
"I wish my grandmother and my mother was here to celebrate this with me, 'cause they was my biggest, biggest supporters,” Jakes said.
Robert Bouto was also a teenager when he was convicted of a shooting death near Roosevelt High School in 1993. His attorneys successfully argued Detective Reynaldo Guevara used false evidence in his case.
“Everybody is just like, 'say you did it.' I’m like, 'no I didn’t do it,'” Bouto said.
Bouto was paroled in 2016 after spending 23 years in prison. A judge vacated his conviction Monday, but he was not formally declared innocent, as charges against him are still pending. Even if they were to try his case again (they likely won’t) he can't spend any more time in prison because he served his full sentence. He will return to court on May 29.
He says he can’t wait for the day he’s officially declared innocent because it’s been very difficult to get a job. As he looks towards his future, he says he also has plans to get married in three weeks.
While Bouto's lawyers say his case is the 18th that has unraveled because of false evidence presented by Detective Guevara, another man who says he was framed by the officer is filing a lawsuit against the City.
“It’s hard when you’re locked up for something you didn’t do,” Tomas Sierra said. “You cannot repay or replace the time that was taken from you; My family my daughter, being a father to her.”
Tomas Sierra claims he spent 22 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit after he was framed by Detective Guevara. Prosecutors dropped the charges against him after eyewitnesses in the case said the whole thing was made up.
“This is not about one rogue actor. This is about a Chicago police department that allowed an actor like this to exist,” attorney Anand Swaminathan said.
Trial attorney Jon Loevy and others are calling on the state’s attorney to file charges against Rey Guevara, saying at the very least he could be prosecuted for perjury.