Innocence Blog

Four More Illinois Men Still Seeking Freedom

Posted: November 15, 2011 5:00 pm


Cook County Judge Paul Biebel will issue a decision Wednesday in the case of four men who have filed motions to vacate their convictions of the 1994 murder of Nina Glover in the Englewood neighborhood.

Two of the four -- Harold Richardson and Innocence Project client Michael Saunders -- are in state prison. Terrill Swift has been released from prison and is currently on parole. The fourth, Vincent Thames, completed his sentence.  

DNA recovered from Glover’s body was recently checked against the CODIS -- the national DNA database --– and there was a “hit” to a man named Johnny Douglas. Douglas, then 32, was present when Glover’s naked body was recovered from the dumpster.  Douglas was later convicted of a very similar 1997 strangulation murder of sex worker Gytonne Marsh. His DNA also matched the semen recovered from the strangulation-murder of sex worker Elaine Martin, but he was found not guilty of that crime. During Martin’s murder trial, the State’s Attorney’s Office sought to introduce evidence that Douglas was responsible for at least five other violent physical assaults of sex workers between March 1993 and September 1997. 

Three men recently exonerated in a similar case -- Robert Taylor, James Harden and Jonathan Barr  -- will be in court tomorrow to show their support.

The office of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has continued to oppose the release of the four men in Glover’s murder, arguing that the DNA result is not enough to establish the innocence of the four men.

Join thousands of Innocence Project supporters around the world in calling on Alvarez to accept that the DNA evidence proves innocence in this case and join us in calling for their exonerations.