Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed on behalf of Jonathan Barr of Dixmoor 5

People’s Law Office Lawyers File Dixmoor Five Lawsuit on Behalf of Jonathan Barr

Five innocent men, known as the Dixmoor Five, today filed civil rights complaints in Federal District Court alleging that their Constitutional rights to a fair trial were violated when they were wrongfully convicted for the brutal 1991murder and rape of a young girl. The complaint alleges that Illinois state and Dixmoor police officers, unable to solve the crime, coerced three of the Five to falsely confess to the crimes, and to name the two others as additional perpetrators. Despite the fact that DNA evidence excluded the Five, the suits allege that they were convicted on the basis of the false testimony of two of the young men who had confessed and who were offered leniency in exchange for their false testimony.

The People’s Law Office together with the noted New York firm of Neufeld, Scheck, and Brustin, today filed a complaint for damages on behalf of one of the men, Jonathan Barr, who was 14 at the time of the murder. Arrested a year after the murder, Barr did not confess, but was convicted solely on the false and fabricated testimony and spent more than 18 years in prison before he was finally released in 2009. After a belated DNA match established that a 33 year old repeat sex offender committed the crime, Barr was exonerated and subsequently received a certificate of innocence from the criminal court of Cook County. Speaking eloquently at a press conference called to announce the filings, Barr talked of losing his mother, father, and grandmother before he was released from prison, and his desire for justice, not only for himself, but also for all the men and women who have been unjustly convicted.

More Information:
Sun-Times Article: Dixmoor 5, Wrongfully Convicted of Murder, Sue Police
People’s Law Office work on other Wrongful Convictions