Chicago, IL

Advocates Urge Chicago Mayor to Stop Spending Millions on Legal Battles Against Wrongly Convicted

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

A public relations campaign targeting Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson gains momentum

Launched by a social justice organization, the campaign against Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson features a video titled "Dear Brandon," appealing to the mayor to cease spending substantial sums, reaching into the hundreds of millions, on legal pursuits against individuals already acquitted in criminal cases.

The inaugural episode of the video campaign, unveiled online on Monday afternoon, showcases James Gibson, who endured over 29 years of imprisonment for a double murder before it was revealed that he had been tortured into giving a false confession by the Chicago police.

Investigations have shown that the Johnson Administration persists in legal battles such as Gibson's, even after the wrongly convicted have been officially declared innocent. Gibson, in a poignant statement, questions the necessity of re-litigating against the city when he has already been exonerated and compensated with $200,000 by the state of Illinois.

The "Dear Brandon" campaign aims to spotlight cases of wrongful convictions and mothers who have lost their sons to unwarranted police shootings in Chicago. It seeks to exert public pressure on Mayor Johnson to reconsider the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars towards legal battles against wrongfully convicted individuals holding certificates of innocence granted by a judge.

The investigation reveals a longstanding practice, spanning decades, wherein taxpayers foot the bill for legal losses and court battles that experts argue the city should avoid undertaking.

Prominent defense attorney Andrew Stroth remarks on the disgraceful aspect of Chicago's history, expressing confidence that James Gibson will prevail in his case, whether through trial or settlement.

The Truth Hope & Justice Initiative spearheads this civil rights and government fiscal responsibility campaign, promising additional videos in the "Dear Brandon" series in the near future.

Despite persistent request for information, City law officials and Mayor Johnson have yet to provide explanations regarding the necessity and fiscal prudence of pursuing these legal cases.


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