(CBS) — Three Chicago-area men whose prison sentences in unrelated cases were commuted by Gov. Pat Quinn in the hours before he left office have been released on parole.
The releases all occurred between 4 and 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, at three different state prisons, about five hours after the paperwork cleared the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
The first to be released was 51-year-old Tyrone Hood, who had been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 1993 murder of IIT basketball player Marshall Morgan Jr. Hood has steadfastly maintained his innocence, claiming that the evidence points toward Morgan’s father, who is serving a 75-year sentence for the murder of an ex-girlfriend, and whose fiance also met a violent death.
Hood’s attorney, Gayle Horn, said from downstate Menard that Hood’s legal team will continue to work for full exoneration.
Next to be released, from the Dixon prison, was 63-year-old Howard Morgan, a former Chicago police officer who was working as a railroad policeman when a 2005 traffic stop in the Lawndale neighborhood turned into a full shoot-out. Morgan claimed he was the victim of overzealous officers. He lived despite being shot by officers more than 25 times; he wounded three officers. Morgan was serving a 40-year sentence.
The 63-year-old former police officer needed a cane to walk out of prison, expressing his gratitude to former Governor Pat Quinn for his decision to commute his 40 year sentence.
“I thank God most of all and the governor for his foresight,” he said.