innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jury Sides with Cops in Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit

This AP article ran in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, August 8, 2006.

Jury refuses damages to prisoner cleared after 27 years

By MIKE ROBINSONAP Legal Affairs Writer
Published August 8, 2006, 4:23 PM CDT

CHICAGO -- In a stunning victory for 10 veteran police officers, a federal court jury refused Tuesday to award any damages to a man who spent 27 years in prison for rape and murder before being freed by a DNA test. The civil jury of six men and three women rejected claims by attorneys for former prisoner Michael Evans that he was framed as part of a plot by Chicago homicide detectives who were eager to close the high-profile case.

"We're thrilled -- this is a great day for the Chicago police department," defense attorney Andrew Hale, who represented the nine retired and one current officers named in the lawsuit, told reporters. Evans, 48, who had broken down and cried on the witness stand as he described his prison ordeal, looked glum as the verdict was read.

"Tough," Evans attorney Jon Loevy said sadly, putting his arm on Evans' shoulder as they left U.S. District Judge David H. Coar's courtroom. The state of Illinois already has paid Evans $160,000 under a program that limits the amount paid to those wrongfully imprisoned. The lawsuit against the 10 former detectives and police officials charged that Evans was the victim of a malicious prosecution and a conspiracy. Loevy had suggested to the jury in his closing argument that it might be appropriate to award more than $58 million in damages to Evans.

Evans and another man, Paul Terry, were convicted of the rape of 9-year-old Lisa Cabassa, whose body was found in a South Side alley on a January night in 1976. Police were under heavy pressure to solve the case. Evans was finally freed and pardoned after Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions obtained a DNA swab, which showed that he could not have been the one who raped the girl.

Hale told jurors the fact that the DNA test had come up negative did not mean Evans had not taken part in the abduction. He cited the testimony of chief prosecution witness Judy Januczewski, who claimed she had seen Evans wrestling with the girl on a street corner.

Januczewski came forward five days after the killing, contacting people who were offering a reward. She did not name Evans as the one she saw with Cabassa until police had been questioning her for six weeks. Loevy told jurors police put heavy pressure on Januczewski, subjecting her to marathon interrogations, and finally fed her Evans' name. "I think her testimony was very persuasive," Hale told reporters. Asked about the next step, Hale said: "I hope there isn't a next step. As far as we're concerned, we're done."

"These guys are going to be glad to get back to their retirement," he added. None of the veteran officers was on hand when the verdict was read. "We are disappointed, and we're going to appeal," Loevy said.

Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University told reporters that "30 years ago a miscarriage of justice took place at 26th and California," site of the Cook County Criminal Courts. "Another miscarriage of justice took place here today," he told reporters in the lobby of Chicago's Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse. In his closing argument, Loevy told jurors that one of the detectives had taken the Fifth Amendment when questioned about the case before trial.

But Hale said Wednesday after the decision that jurors most likely ignored that because the detective had been at the scene the first day and then dropped off the case. The detectives who investigated the case were from the South Side's Area 2 violent crimes division, the center of a long-running controversy.

Court-appointed special prosecutors found recently that there is evidence dozens of suspects might have been beaten, dunked in water and hooded with a typewriter cover in the interrogation rooms at Area 2. But they said the cases were too old to bring criminal charges.

The allegation in the Evans case was not that the police had tortured anyone but that evidence against the two defendants had been fabricated. Terry, Evans' co-defendant, has also been pardoned and has filed suit against the police in Cook County Circuit Court.


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  • At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Wendi said…

    A typical dictionary definition of hypnosis states that it is: a state that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion. However, anyone who has tried hypnosis (and any self respecting hypnotist) will tell you that this is a very simplistic view of the subject!

    A much better description comes from the Free Online Dictionary which states that hypnosis is: an artificially induced state of consciousness, characterised by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. So what does this mean and how can it be used to your advantage?

    Well, the subject of hypnosis has been discussed and pondered since the late 1700s. Many explanations and theories have come and gone though science, however, has yet to supply a valid and well-established definition of how it actually happens. It's fairly unlikely that the scientific community will arrive at a definitive explanation for hypnosis in the near future either, as the untapped resources of our 'mostly' uncharted mind still remain something of a mystery.

    However, the general characteristics of hypnosis are well documented. It is a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, deep relaxation and heightened imaginative functioning. It's not really like sleep at all, because the subject is alert the whole time. It is most often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you watch a movie or read a captivating book. You are fully conscious, but you tune out most of the outside world. Your focus is concentrated intensely on the mental processes you are experiencing - if movies didn't provide such disassociation with everyday life and put a person in a very receptive state then they would not be as popular (nor would TV advertising be as effective!). Have you ever stated that a film wasn't great because you just couldn't 'get into it'???

    This works very simply; while daydream or watching a movie, an imaginary world becomes almost real to you because it fully engages your emotional responses. Such mental pursuits will on most occasions cause real emotional responses such as fear, sadness or happiness (have you ever cried at a sad movie, felt excited by a future event not yet taken place or shivered at the thought of your worst fear?).

    It is widely accepted that these states are all forms of self-hypnosis. If you take this view you can easily see that you go into and out of mild hypnotic states on a daily basis - when driving home from work, washing the dishes, or even listening to a boring conversation. Although these situations produce a mental state that is very receptive to suggestion the most powerful time for self-change occurs in the trance state brought on by intentional relaxation and focusing exercises. This deep hypnosis is often compared to the relaxed mental state between wakefulness and sleep.

    In this mental state, people feel uninhibited and relaxed and they release all worries and doubts that normally occupy their mind. A similar experience occurs while you are daydreaming or watching the TV. You become so involved in the onscreen antics that worries and everyday cares fade away, until all you're focused on is the TV. In this state, you are also highly suggestible. That is why when a hypnotist tells you do something under trance; you'll probably embrace the idea completely.

    However, your sense of safety and morality remain entrenched throughout the experience and should either of these be threatened you immediately wake!

    A hypnotist can not get you to do anything you don't want to do. So while in such a state, when we are highly suggestible and open to new beliefs, a skillful hypnotist, whether in person or via a recording, can alter life-long behaviours and even give us new ones! erotic hypnosis

  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Hypno said…

    Many people know the importance of self confidence and try to boost their own by using many different personal development models. Self confidence to most people is the ability to feel at ease in most situations but low self confidence in many areas may be due to a lack of self esteem. Low self esteem takes a more subtle form that low self confidence. So if you are tired of feeling not good enough, afraid of moving towards your desires and goals, feel that no matter what you do it is just never good enough, then your self esteem could do with a boost.
    Every day we make decisions based on our level of self-esteem. We also exhibit that level of self esteem to those around us through our behaviour. 90% of all communication is non-verbal - it is not what you say but ho you say it that matters! Your body language, tonality and facial gestures can all tell a completely different story to your words. It is our behaviour which influences others and people react to us by reading our non-verbal communications. Have you ever met someone you just didn't like although on the surface they seemed polite and courteous, or you met someone who seemed to speak confidently yet you knew they were really frightened underneath and just displaying bravado?
    Parental and peer influences play a major part in moulding our level of self-esteem when we are children and in our early years of adolescence. The opinions of the people closest to us and how they reacted to us as individuals or part of the group was a dominant factor in the processes involved in forming our self esteem.
    As adults we tend to perpetuate these beliefs about ourselves and in the vast majority of cases they are ridiculously erroneous. It is time to re-evaluate our opinion of ourselves and come to some new conclusions about these old belief patterns.
    Ask yourself some serious question:
    Is your long-held view about yourself accurate? Do we respect the sources from which we derived these beliefs? Most of the negative feedback we bought into as we were growing up actually came from people we have little or no respect for and as adults we would probably laugh their comments away! Yet the damage to your self esteem was done when you were very young and you still carry it with you to this day.
    Is it possible that even those people you respected, who influenced your self-worth, were wrong? Perhaps they had low self esteem also.
    As adults we have the opportunity to reshape our self-esteem. Try to judge accurately the feedback you receive from people you respect. This process will allow you to deepen your understanding of yourself and expand your self-image. It will also show you were you actually need to change things about yourself and were you don't. Many people are striving to better themselves in areas where they are just fine or actually excelling and it is only because they have an inaccurate picture of themselves in their minds due to low self esteem!
    Setting small goals and achieving them will greatly boost your self-esteem. Identify your real weakness and strengths and begin a training program to better your inter-personal or professional skills. This will support you in your future big life goals and boost your self-esteem and self confidence to high levels you didn't existed!
    Learn to recognise what makes you feel good about yourself and do more of it. Everyone has certain things that they do which makes them feel worthwhile but people with low self esteem tend to belittle these feelings or ignore them.
    Take inventory of all the things that you have already accomplished in your life no matter how small they may seem. Recognise that you have made achievements in your life and remember all the positive things that you have done for yourself and others. Take a note of your failures and don't make excuses like "I'm just not good enough" or "I just knew that would happen to me", analyse the situation and prepare yourself better for the next time. If someone else created success, regardless of the obstacles, then you are capable of doing the same! Remember everyone has different strengths and weakness so do not judge your own performance against that of another just use them as inspiration and know that what one human being has achieved so can another!
    Surround yourself with people who respect you and want what is best for you - people who are honest about your strengths and will help you work through your weakness. Give the same level of support to them!
    Avoid people who continually undermine you or make you feel small. These people are just displaying very low self esteem. As your own self esteem grows you will find that you are no longer intimidated by another's self confidence or success and you can actually be joyful for them! Do things you love to do and that make you happy. A truly happy person never has low self esteem they are too busy enjoying life! By getting busy living your life with passion and joy you will not be able to be self-consciousness.
    If you find yourself feeling self-conscious in any situation focus on the fact that others can tell and many of them will be feeling the same. Be honest. People respond to someone better if they openly say "To tell you the truth I'm a bit nervous" rather than displaying bravo or fake confidence that they can see right through. Their reactions to you, will show your mind at a deep level, that there was actually nothing to be frightened of and everything is great. If someone reacts to this negatively they are just displaying low self esteem and very quickly you will find others noticing this! Really listen to people when they talk to you instead of running through all the negative things that could happen in your head or focusing on your lack of confidence. People respond to someone who is truly with them in the moment..
    Breath deeply and slow down. Don't rush to do things.
    Stop the negative talk! 'I'm no good at that' or "I couldn't possibly do that" are affirmations that support your lack of self esteem. Instead say "I have never done that before but I am willing to try" or "how best can I do that?". Which leads us to the last point - the quality of the questions you ask yourself s very important.
    When you ask a question it almost always has a preposition in it. For example, "How did I mess that up?" presumes that something was messed up, a better way of phrasing the question would be "what way can I fix this quickly?", as this presumes you can and will fix it. Or "How am I ever going to reach my goal?" could be rephrased as "what way will lead me to my goal quicker" presumes that you are going to reach your goal! Get the picture? Change the quality of your questions and your results will change!
    Practise these techniques and watch your self esteem rise day by day. lucid dreaming

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger oakleyses said…

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger oakleyses said…

  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger oakleyses said…

  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger oakleyses said…

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