I’ve been following this case for about a month. The Innocence Project is a group setup of Northwestern University Journalism Students that review cases of possible false imprisonment. They go back over old cases, and see if the Justice System got it wrong. Over the years they have helped men be freed from DEATH ROW because of their work.

NOW, the Cook County States Attorney’s Office is harrassing them. First, they wanted a copy of the GRADES of the students involved.

Now, this.

From The Wall Street Journal

NOVEMBER 11, 2009
Did Students Pay Witnesses?
Prosecutors Allege Journalism Class Sought Testimony to Overturn Murder Conviction

CHICAGO — Prosecutors alleged Tuesday that a group of Northwestern University journalism students paid two people to testify in a class project seeking to overturn a 1981 murder conviction.

The claims marked the latest twist in a monthslong battle between the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office and the Medill Innocence Project at Northwestern. Past student research has helped set free 11 wrongly convicted men since 1992, including five on death row.

The Medill Innocence Project has investigated the case of Anthony McKinney, sentenced to life in prison.

The allegations Tuesday concern the 1978 murder of security guard Donald Lundahl in the southern suburb of Harvey. Anthony McKinney was found guilty of putting a shotgun in Mr. Lundahl’s face and firing. In 1982, Mr. McKinney was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors allege the students paid a man $40 — which authorities claim he used to buy crack cocaine — in exchange for a videotaped confession to the murder. They also allege the students paid another man $50 to $100, though he didn’t provide any information.

Prosecutors declined to comment on whether any of the students would face criminal charges.

The students — and their Northwestern professor, David Protess — denied the allegations Tuesday, calling the state’s court filing part of a “smear campaign.”

“If my students had turned in a paper with that many factual errors in it, they would have gotten an F,” Mr. Protess said.

Mr. Protess and his students’ work have been highly influential. In one well-known case in 1999, Northwestern students uncovered evidence that helped free Anthony Porter, who at one point had been 50 hours away from being executed.

They’ve gotten folks off DEATH ROW, and there wasn’t the kind of reaction that I’m seeing now, with this case. there is a stench on this case something bad. And, someone or someones, want to keep it buried. Now, remember, we’re the town of John Burge. We’re the state of 13 men on Death Row freed. Nobody, not a cop or prosecutor has remotely been charged for the misconduct in THOSE cases…so, why the attack on them now? What have those students uncovered, or what are they afraid of what will be uncovered? What is it about THIS case that frightens SOMEBODY this much?

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