Chicago Man Awarded $21 Million for Wrongful Conviction

Juan Johnson, a man who spent 11 and a half years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, was awarded the largest wrongful conviction award in the history of Chicago, according to WLS-TV.

Johnson was convicted of fatally beating a man with a two-by-four in Chicago’s Humbolt Park neighborhood in 1989.

Johnson’s defense attorneys relentlessly fought his conviction, and he was acquitted in 2004.

In his defense, Johnson claimed to have been framed for murder by a now-retired Chicago police detective in the gang crime unit, Reynaldo Guevara. That speculation is what won him his acquittal, and his record-breaking federal jury award.

“What we proved in this federal case that his conviction was not an accident but he was a victim of police misconduct by Officer Guevara,” said Jon Loevy, Johnson’s attorney.

Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions is investigating more than 40 alleged frame-ups by Detective Guevara.

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