Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Friday, October 30, 2015


         We, the comrades of Unit 1012, NEVER and DO NOT support any wrongful conviction, we want the guilty to be punished. However, we know that the ACLU Demons, uses the word, ‘innocent convicted’ not because they fear convicting the innocent, but they just oppose convicting the guilty.

            On this date, October 30, 2014, Alstory Simon was freed from Prison after spending nearly 15 years behind bar after being framed by the Innocence Project. Unit 1012 will present this book, Justice Perverted: How The Innocence Project at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism Sent an Innocent Man to Prison by William B. Crawford and also these three blog posts on a Big Lie by the Innocence Project.

Justice Perverted: How The Innocence Project at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism Sent an Innocent Man to Prison Paperback – June 9, 2015

Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune: “Should be on the reading list of every journalism school and law school in this country.”

In 1983, Anthony Porter was convicted of the brutal double murder of Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard. While sitting in the bleachers near Chicago’s Washington Park swimming pool, the victims were shot multiple times at point-blank range. Porter was sentenced to death.

In 1998, within fifty hours of Porter’s scheduled execution, the Illinois Supreme Court granted a stay, pending a hearing on Porter’s mental competency. At this point, journalism professor David Protess and his Northwestern University Innocence Project students took up Porter’s cause. Soon, Porter was released from prison, and Alstory Simon, then a Milwaukee resident, was convicted of the Washington Park homicides.

But that’s not the end of the story. Nor is it all of the story. Simon himself has now been exonerated and is suing Northwestern University, David Protess, and two other individuals for more than $40 million in punitive damages. This is the true story of how and why Alstory Simon replaced Anthony Porter in prison.

Alstory Simon

Anthony Porter, Reconsidered
August 28, 2008 6:16 PM | Posted by Kent Scheidegger | 0 Comments

"It's not what we don't know that gets us in trouble, it's what we know for a fact that just ain't so."

One of the things everybody in the death penalty debate knows for a fact is that Anthony Porter of Chicago was an innocent man, wrongly convicted, and sentenced to death. Everybody knows that he was saved at the eleventh hour because idealistic young journalism students uncovered in a class project the truth that had eluded professionals of both sides in the original investigation and trial. Until today, I believed that myself, never having heard it challenged.

Today at the conference of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation, I heard a talk by James Sotos, who now represents the man "everyone knows" is the real killer, Alstory Simon. Turns out the students had almost nothing to do with getting Simon's confession to the crime. That videotaped confession was obtained by a seasoned private investigator using tactics that, if a police officer had used them, would have the defense bar screaming with outrage.

Why did Simon subsequently plead guilty? He did it on the advice of the attorney arranged for him, according to Sotos, by the same investigator who obtained that confession.

Of course, Sotos is an advocate, and an advocate's job is to present the facts in the way most favorable to his client. So I won't endorse his version of the story without looking into it further. But there appears to be a substantial chance that the anti-side's number one poster boy of exoneration really did it. Given how many other cases of "exoneration" have turned out to be cases of guilty murderers walking, that would not be surprising.

Free: Alstory Simon confessed to a double murder in 1999, mainly because of an investigation from a team of students at Northwestern University. He was released from Jacksonville Correctional Facility last week

Did the Innocence Project Frame an Innocent Man?
November 10, 2014 1:37 PM | Posted by Kent Scheidegger | 1 Comment

An important change in the public perception of capital punishment occurred about 15 years ago as stories of death row inmates being exonerated came to the surface.  Foremost among these stories was that of Anthony Porter, who was close to execution when another man confessed to the murder.  The truth was supposedly dug up by idealistic young journalism students who succeeded where the criminal justice professionals had failed.

The story was almost too good to be true for the anti-death-penalty movement.  And now we know it likely was not true.

Some years ago, I attended a talk by the lawyer for Alstory Simon, the man who confessed and went to prison while Porter was freed.  He said it wasn't the journalism students who got a confession from the "real" killer, it was a hired investigator.  On top of that, he said, the investigator used tactics that would result in a conviction being thrown out if a police officer had used them, and possibly a civil rights prosecution to boot.

Years later, the lawyer's efforts have born fruit, and Alstory Simon is the one who is exonerated.  Jim Stingl has this story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Last week, Simon walked out of prison a free man after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced that her office, after a yearlong investigation, was vacating the charges against him and ending his 37-year sentence.

The investigation by the Innocence Project, she said, "involved a series of alarming tactics that were not only coercive and absolutely unacceptable by law enforcement standards, they were potentially in violation of Mr. Simon's constitutionally protected rights."

The truth took 15 years to come out. That's 15 years that Simon, now 64, spent behind bars.

*                                       *                                 *

Protess and two of his journalism students came to Simon's home in the 200 block of E. Wright St. in Milwaukee and told him they were working on a book about unsolved murders. According to Simon, Protess told him, "We know you did it."

Then Simon received a visit from Ciolino and another man. They had guns and badges and claimed to be Chicago police officers. They said they knew he had killed Green and Hillard, so he better confess if he hoped to avoid the death penalty.

They showed him a video of his ex-wife, Inez Jackson, implicating him for the crime -- a claim she recanted on her death bed in 2005 -- and another video of a supposed witness to the crime who turned out to be an actor.

They coached Simon through a videotaped confession, promising him a light sentence and money from book and movie deals on the case. Simon, admittedly on a three-day crack cocaine bender, struggled to understand what was going on.

Perhaps worst of all, they hooked up Simon with a free lawyer to represent him, Jack Rimland, without telling him that Rimland was a friend of Ciolino and Protess and in on their plan to free Porter.

At Rimland's urging, Simon pleaded guilty to the crime and even offered what sounded like a sincere apology to Green's family in court. As added leverage to make him cooperate, Rimland had told Simon he was suspected in a Milwaukee murder, though nothing ever came of it.

*                                       *                                 *

When his abuses came to light, Protess was suspended by Northwestern and has since retired from there. He isn't talking, but he is now president of the Chicago Innocence Project which investigates wrongful convictions. Ciolino put out a statement saying Simon also had confessed to a Milwaukee TV reporter, his lawyer and others. "You explain that," he said.

We know now that the explanation was that Simon was snared in a trap set by people who wanted to end the death penalty, no matter what the cost. Once they convinced Simon it was for his own good, he was all in.
This case once furnished the poster boy for the anti-death-penalty movement.  It may now stand as the exemplar of that movement's bottomless dishonesty.

Framed by the Innocence Project?
February 23, 2015 1:42 PM | Posted by Kent Scheidegger | 0 Comments

We previously noted the Alstory Simon story here in 2008 and here last November.

Jacob Siegel reports in the Daily Beast on the restitution suit filed by the "actual killer" in one of the earliest and most famous "exoneration" cases.  The ironic and inconvenient truth is that the "actual killer" nailed by the "innocence" crusaders was actually innocent.

"It took two sides to get this thing done," Crawford says of the forces that pulled Simon into the murder case and put him in prison.

"This thing" Crawford refers to darkly is the collusion between overzealous state prosecutors and a high-profile leader of a since disbanded franchise of the Innocence Project, a nationally lauded legal program that gathers evidence to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners. In this case Crawford and others allege that in its eagerness to free a prisoner on death row, the Northwestern University branch of the Innocence Project framed Simon, and Cook County prosecutors went along with it.

Simon was convicted in 1999 for a double-murder in Chicago in 1982 on the basis of what he says was a coerced confession and released on Oct 30, 2014 after being exonerated by a new investigation. Now, in a bid for restitution and maybe some justice, Simon has filed a $40 million lawsuit against Northwestern and former professor David Protess, famed founder of Medill's Innocence Project.

According to Simon's lawsuit, "The horrific injustice that befell Simon occurred when defendants, Northwestern University professor David Protess, Northwestern University private investigator Paul Ciolino, and attorney Jack Rimland, conspired to frame Simon for the murders in order to secure the release of the real killer, Anthony Porter," the suit reads.

*                                            *                                          *

The problem, as Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement after Simon's release, was that the "investigation by David Protess and his team involved a series of alarming tactics." Those tactics, "were not only coercive and absolutely unacceptable by law-enforcement standards," Alvarez said, "they were potentially in violation of Mr. Simon's constitutionally protected rights."



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