Daniel Taylor, wrongly convicted of double murder, awarded $14M by Chicago City Council

Daniel Taylor was 17 and in police custody on an unrelated charge at the time of the murders

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Daniel Taylor served 20 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit as he was already incarcerated when the crime was carried out. His wrongful conviction will now cost Chicago taxpayers nearly $15 million.

As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Taylor was 17 and in police custody on an unrelated disorderly conduct charge at the time of the double murder. Police were allegedly aware that it was physically impossible for him to have pulled off the heinous crime but still beat a confession out of him.

The CPD officers who handled the case are also accused of coercing false confessions from six other men. Taylor was identified by one of them “as having participated in the double murder,” the Sun-Times reports.

There were no fingerprints, DNA, or other physical evidence connecting Taylor to the murder, per the report. According to the lawsuit, the Chicago Police Department also “withheld evidence” about Taylor’s incarceration at the time of the murders and that vital information could have exonerated him. Taylor was convicted based on “coerced and false testimony.”

Taylor took legal action against the city of Chicago in 2014. The day the lawsuit was filed, Locke Bowman, executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center, noted that Taylor was the victim of a “deliberate frame-up.” 

“Daniel Taylor was coerced — as a 17-year-old boy — into confessing to a crime that he could not have committed,” Bowman said, adding that it was “not an accident” and “not a mistake.”

Bowman continued, “He was framed by the creation of evidence that purported to establish he wasn’t in police custody.” 

Jail fence Adobe Stock
Photo: Stockvault.net

“That is a fear and anguish they put on me that only God knows how I survived,” Taylor said.

“The city knew Daniel was innocent back in 1992 and they fought to convict him. They fought his innocence claim and they fought his civil suit for almost nine years,” said lawyer Alexa Van Brunt.

The CPD’s blatant deception will now make Taylor a wealthy man. 

On Monday, the Chicago City Council voted unanimously to award him a settlement of $14.25 million. 

“Our client is happy for a measure of compensation. But it can’t begin to make Daniel whole for all he lost,” Taylor’s attorneys, David Owens of Loevy & Loevy and Brunt of the MacArthur Justice Center said in a statement to the Sun-Times.

“I look forward to the rest of my life. I have a 7-year-old who I love,” Taylor told ABC7 Chicago.

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