Recommended Reading: Yet another tale of a Cook County wrongful conviction

Here is a link to a lengthy story by Nicholas Schmidle in this week’s New Yorker about a man named Tyrone Hood, who was convicted of murder over 20 years ago in Cook County.

The case against Hood was mainly composed of testimony of people who claimed to have been eyewitnesses to the murder.  Virtually all of them later recanted their testimony, claiming that they were coerced by Chicago Police to make statements either by physical violence or threats to send them to prison.

The facts of the case strongly implicate the victim’s father, not only as the murderer of his own son, Marshall Morgan, Jr., but of three other people in separate cases (he was found guilty of two of them).  The father, Marshall Morgan, Sr.,  had not seen his son for 17 years before the murder, but had recently taken out a life insurance policy on his son’s life.  He later did the same for a girlfriend who was found shot to death in an eerily similar manner as his son.  In that case, Morgan Sr. not only collected life insurance but was able to sell the girlfriend’s house.

Most of this was known before Hood had a bench trial, but the trial judge limited the defense from presenting evidence of the father’s guilt.  The defense attorney was chided by the judge for trying to be like Perry Mason and proving that the true murderer was sitting in the back of the courtroom all along.  Hood was convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison.  Since then, there have been at least two other people allegedly killed by Morgan Sr.  He is now in prison for one of them, doing a 75 year sentence himself.

The nightmare for Hood continues to this day, as Cook County prosecutors continue to fight against exoneration, and a new Cook County judge found the evidence of Morgan Sr.’s financial motive “immaterial.”

This is yet another case, like the Jerry Hobbs prosecution in Lake County, where the zealous prosecution of an innocent man not only unfairly cost that person his liberty, but lead to the deaths of innocent people because the real murderers were allowed to remain free.

Here is the link to the article:  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/04/crime-fiction  Read it now while it is still available for free.

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