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16,733. A fourteen-year-old girl brutally assaulted. Five young men convicted of the horrific crime, but twenty years later new evidence surfaces that reopens old wounds. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) True Crimes with Aphrodite Jones s3e10: Confession and Lies, ID 2013
16,734. Taylor signs his own hand-written confession implicating himself and the four other boys. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,735. They become known as the Dixmoor Five. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,736. The DNA sample that was found in Cateresa’s body belongs to a sole male, and it doesn't match any one of the boys in the Dixmoor Five. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,737. There’s no physical evidence at all linking the Dixmoor Five to the crime scene. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,738. None of the Dixmoor Five routinely hung out together. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,739. The Dixmoor Five are innocent. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,740. Willie Randolph ... He may have just got away with murder. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) ibid.
16,741. Chicago (CBS) — Once, they were teenagers — convicted of the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Dixmoor. Now the Dixmoor Five are adults: freed from prison by DNA, and they are suing authorities who investigated the case.
Four of the Dixmoor Five stood with their lawyers on Wednesday to announce the filing of federal lawsuits against Dixmoor Police and Illinois State Police officers.
‘I spent 20 years locked up for a crime I didn’t commit,’ said James Harden, who is one of the five. ‘I come home to nothing, for something I didn’t do. I just want the people to do the right thing, whatever that is. God bless you.’ (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) CBS online article 17th October 2012
16,742. In 1991, a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and killed in Dixmoor, a village in south suburban Chicago. Ten months after the victim’s body was found, police focused their investigation around Robert Taylor, Jonathan Barr, James Harden, Robert Lee Veal and Shainne Sharp. Three of them confessed after high-pressure police interrogations, and all five were arrested and charged with the crime.
DNA testing was conducted on sperm cells from swabs of the victim’s body, and the profile pointed to a single unidentified male – excluding all five teens. Regardless, the five men were charged with the crime. Two of them pled guilty and testified against the others in exchange for shorter sentences. Both men have since recanted their testimony. The other three were convicted after trials, and each was sentenced to at least 80 years in prison.
In March 2011, DNA from semen found on the victim’s body was linked to a man with a lengthy record including sexual assault and armed robbery convictions. He was 32 years old when his DNA was found in the 14-year-old victim’s body, and he currently lives in Chicago. In a written motion opposing the release of the Dixmoor Five, the State’s Attorney’s office downplayed the significance of the DNA results, which clearly implicate a man with no connection to the five teens convicted of the crime.
After months of ignoring calls for justice, a Cook County Circuit Court judge finally agreed to set aside the convictions of Taylor, Barr, and Harden in November 2011. The State’s Attorney’s Office stated that it would be filing a motion soon to vacate the convictions of Veal and Sharp. (Miscarriages of Justice: Dixmoor 5 & Murder Cases: Matthews) Innocence Project online article