Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx today announced her office is moving to vacate the convictions of seven individuals whose arrests and convictions were obtained by corrupt former Chicago Police Sergeant Ronald Watts and other officers working under his command. Today’s announcement brings the total number of people with vacated criminal convictions to 54 under the Foxx administration.
“After a thorough review by our Conviction Integrity Unit, it is in the interest of justice that we ask the Court to vacate these convictions,” Foxx said. “As much as it is our duty to prosecute, when we find an injustice we also have an obligation to work diligently and promptly to correct it.”
Today in court, prosecutors formally presented the motions to Cook County Judge Leroy K. Martin, Jr. during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago, who granted the motions and vacated the convictions.
“We found a pattern of misconduct by Watts and other officers in these cases, which caused our office to lose confidence in the initial arrests and validity of these convictions,” Foxx said. “May the defendants, who we now believe were victims, find a path forward in healing and justice.”
The Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) reviews claims of actual innocence or wrongful conviction. Any living person, or the authorized representative of a living person, convicted of any felony charge[s] in Cook County is eligible to have their conviction reviewed.
The State’s Attorney’s Office works to uphold public safety through the fair and efficient administration of justice. Follow @SAKimFoxx and @CookCountySAO on Twitter and Facebook for updates.