CHICAGO (CBS) — Ten men who spent years in prison after being framed by a corrupt Chicago police sergeant now have their names cleared.
It was happy faces all around as the men walked out of court Monday morning.
The mass exoneration marks the fourth in the last 15 months.
The Exoneration Project says for more than a decade former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts and his team planted evidence and fabricated charges, even organizing their own drug and gun trade.
That led the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to vacate and dismiss the charges of dozens of men and women.
“To this day I am not physically able to go to sleep right,” said Kim Wilbourn, who was exonerated. “I can’t eat the same anymore. The way I think is messed up. I can’t get a job. I’m physically incapable. What this man did, he destroyed any capability of me becoming something.”
Watts was federally indicted in 2012 and pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from an informant. He served 22 months and was released in 2015.