Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bulletin: Danile Taylor, Deon Patrick and Nicole Harris; Chicago; They all received certificates of innocence after their murder convictions were dismissed - all had falsely confessed after lengthy interrogations that involved police threats and manipulations; (Chicago Tribune story notes that the era of DNA exonerations may be coming to an end in Cook County); (Must Read. HL);

STORY: "Three get certificates of innocence after murder convictions dismissed," by reporters
Duaa Eldeib and Steve Mill, published by the Chicago Tribune on January 23, 2014;

GIST: "In the span of 15 minutes, a Cook County judge wiped clean the records of three people who collectively spent decades in prison for murders they did not commit. Daniel Taylor, Deon Patrick and Nicole Harris have long maintained their innocence, each of them saying they falsely confessed after lengthy interrogations that involved police threats and manipulations. When their cases unraveled, their convictions were thrown out. Obtaining a certificate of innocence was the final step in expunging their records. Cook County prosecutors did not object to their requests......... That three exonerated inmates could have their cases heard on the same day in front of the same judge illustrates how common wrongful convictions have been in Cook County — 72 of them in the last quarter-century, according to Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, whose attorneys represented Harris and Taylor. That all three cases turned on false confessions underscores the scope of that problem for Chicago police. The cases also suggest that the era of DNA exonerations may be nearing an end; since the mid-1990s, if DNA was available in a case, it likely was tested before trial. As a result, future exoneration attempts likely will come in cases that do not have DNA. Those exonerations, said Rob Warden, executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, will be harder to achieve.. “These other cases, they’re hard. You’ve got to go back and you really have to reinvestigate the entire case,” said Warden. “It’s not just a DNA test.”.........Harris was released from prison last year after spending nearly eight years behind bars for the 2005 murder of her 4-year-old son Jaquari Dancy. Virtually the only evidence against her was her confession, which she said she gave only after police threatened her, deprived her of food and water and told her she failed a polygraph she was certain would clear her. For years, Harris said her confession was false and her son's death was an accident. Jaquari was found with a fitted bedsheet cord wrapped around his neck. His brother, who was 5 at the time, told authorities that he saw Jaquari wrap the cord around his neck while playing, but he was barred from testifying at Harris' trial."

The entire story can be found at:



Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:


I look forward to hearing from readers at: