After Exoneration Marquette Four Say They Want Justice

One year after being exonerated of a brutal, execution-style double murder, Charles Johnson, Lashawn Ezell, Larod Styles and Troshawn McCoy say they want justice.

Now the men who have come to be known as the Marquette four say they plan to sue the city of Chicago and its police department for forcing them to confess to crimes they did not commit.

“We just need to do what is right,” Styles said.

The four signed confessions after two people were killed during an armed robbery at a used car dealership.

There was no physical evidence linking them to the crime.

“They were cajoled, abused, threatened, lied to and coerced into confessing to a horrible, execution style murder that they did not commit,” Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center told NBC 5.

Last year, when new fingerprint evidence cleared them of the crime, the state’s attorney dropped all charges.

“When they gave those confessions, they were teenagers,” said attorney Jon Loevy. “Some of them were 15 (or) 16-year-old boys.”

And the wrongful convictions, their attorneys said Monday, robbed the four of their young adulthood.

“As you can see, today is a big day–but on the other side–no monetary value can replace what I lost being wrongfully convicted of a crime I did not commit,” Johnson said.

Two of the four say they now want to help other young men avoid similar situations.

“I want to help young kids be able to learn they can be informed so that they can make the right decisions in their life,” Styles said.

But their attorneys say they are looking for more from the city, including policy changes and accountability for police officers to make sure what happened to the Marquette four does not happen again.

“This is a story that has been told too many times before,” Bowman said.

Published in: Local News

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