Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Attorneys have reached a one million dollar settlement with the Chicago Police for Corethian Bell, a mentally disabled man who was coerced into confessing to the murder of his mother and spent 17 months in Cook County Jail for a crime he did not commit.
"This settlement helps to return some dignity to a man who was cruelly accused of killing his mother despite any evidence linking him to the heinous crime," said University of Chicago School of Law Clinical CrimProf Craig Futterman, who is also Bell's attorney at the Edwin F. Mandell Clinic at the Law School "Corethian's case has been a shocking example of police abuse and misconduct, and it's only right and fair that he be compensated for the egregious mishandling of the interrogation and subsequent investigation. We're extremely happy to find some justice for Corethian today."
Bell, a man with mental illness, found his murdered mother in her apartment on July 16, 2000, and immediately called the police to report the crime. He was wrongly charged in her murder after he gave a video taped confession that Chicago police elicited after more than 50 hours of interrogation during which Bell repeatedly said he did not commit the crime. The police had no evidence that Bell committed the murder.
Bell then spent 17 months in Cook County Jail while the case was pending. The Cook County State's attorney eventually dropped the charges against Bell after DNA evidence proved his innocence.