The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

20 Years in Prison after Coerced Confession

Aug 5, 2013

Daniel Taylor was just released from prison, exonerated after spending 20 years in prison for a double murder police knew he couldn’t have committed–because he was in police custody when it happened! Taylor was a 17-year-old black teenager when Chicago police arrested him for a double murder in 1992 and coerced him into signing a confession, even though they had records showing he had been in custody on a disorderly conduct charge at the time.

“The level of trickery that they used at the police station with a 17-year-old with a 2nd grade education was beyond me at the time,” Taylor said, describing being handcuffed to a wall and beaten until he confessed.

Taylor is certainly not alone. He is the 90th person exonerated in Cook County since 1989, and the 34th proven to have been wrongfully convicted because of a false “confession.”

No cop or prosecutor will be charged with kidnapping this teenager off the street and locking him away for 20 years. Deon Patrick, convicted of the same crime as Taylor, remains locked up, even though his prosecution was linked in detail to Taylor’s, and Taylor’s innocence proves Patrick’s confession is also false. And hundreds if not thousands more young men from Chicago, mostly poor and black or Hispanic, undoubtedly rot in prison or have felony convictions that make it almost impossible to get a job because of similarly coerced confessions.

Taylor’s 20 years in prison and Patrick’s continued imprisonment show once again that the “criminal justice” system in Chicago is criminal itself, and has nothing to do with justice.