William B. Crawford is a former reporter, writer and legal affairs columnist for the Chicago Tribune. During a 23-year-career at the newspaper, he was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize as well as many other major awards for his work.
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A new documentary released this year A Murder in the Park, concerns the unjust exoneration of murderer, Anthony Porter. This film reveals the underbelly of the Innocence movement. This documentary covers the unsavory actions of a Chicago Innocence group headed by a Northwestern university professor, David Protess, and how they caused a convicted murderer to walk free while coercing another man take the fall and go to prison.
Anthony Porter was on death row for shooting two people to death in 1982. Fifteen years later, Protess’s Innocence project, with the help of private investigator, Paul Ciolino, coerced a false confession from an innocent man and influenced the star witness to recant his testimony which resulted in the release of Porter and an innocent man, Alstroy Simon, taking the blame. Because of this case, the death penalty was abolished in Illinois.