CHICAGO (CBS) — Prosecutors are often judged by how many criminals they put behind bars.
However, one year after her election as Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx says one of her biggest achievements is that so many convicts now believe they can depend on her office for a fair shake.READ MORE: Suspected Gang Leader Jason Brown, Already Accused Of Supporting ISIS, Now Faces Additional Drug, Gun Charges
“One of the most staggering statistics from the first year is that the Conviction Integrity Unit has seen a 500 percent increase in requests for review — 500 percent,” Foxx said.
A flood touched off when, just weeks into office, Foxx dismissed charges in the so-called “Marquette Park Four” case — four men convicted in a 1996 armed robbery and double murder.
“The influx is a direct result of the work we are doing to diligently review and investigate these cases and move to promptly address these findings,” she said.
Since then, on the State’s Attorney’s website, Foxx spelled out how her Conviction Integrity Unit works, how convicts claiming actual innocence can have their cases reviewed, and she sent pamphlets to state prison inmates on how to appeal wrongful convictions to her.READ MORE: Northwestern (Virtual) Dance Marathon Starts Thursday Night
Last November, 15 men were exonerated. Each of their cases was tied to the corrupt Chicago cop, Ron Watts.
“These, of course, aren’t the first individuals framed by Chicago police officers, and they won’t be the last,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.
Foxx insists there is no conflict between criminal justice reform and public safety.
My partners in law enforcement have the same goals that I do — to make sure we’re operating at the highest levels of integrity, and when we get it wrong, we fix it.”MORE NEWS: Police Investigating 2 Break-Ins In North Suburban Skokie
Foxx also highlighted steps to increase police co-operation, including monthly meetings with Chicago police on gun prosecutions and embedding prosecutors in the most violent districts. But, as CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley says, “Foxx is concerned with justice, not just convictions.”