Record Sum Awarded to Chicago Exoneree

June 23rd, 2009

Juan Johnson, a former member of the Chicago gang the Spanish Cobras, was awarded 21 million dollars yesterday by a federal jury, after spending 11 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. The court found that Johnson was framed by the arresting officer, Reynaldo Guevara, and that witnesses were coerced into testifying against Johnson at trial. The city of Chicago will pay remuneration. Despite the hardship that Johnson endured while in prison, he says that he only seeks an apology from the arresting officer. None has been forthcoming, so Guevara must pay 15 thousand dollars in punitive damages. No charges have been brought against the arresting officer at this time.

Chicago Tribune: Record verdict: Former gang member awarded $21 million for wrongful conviction