‘Exoneration Day’: Families Celebrate Mass Exoneration

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For Chicago, this was Exoneration Day.”
— Marissa Perlman, CBS 2 News

A mass exoneration event like no other.
— Charlie Wojciechowski, NBC 5 News

A monumental day for the Illinois justice system.
— Irika Sargent, CBS 2 News

On August 9, 2022, exonerees, families and supporters celebrated the unprecedented mass exoneration of eight wrongfully convicted victims of disgraced former Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara, including five new exonerees represented by the Exoneration Project: Alfredo Gonzalez, Louis Robinson, David Colon, Johnny Flores, and Marilyn Mulero. These five have served over 100 years being wrongfully convicted of murder because of Guevara and his corrupt cronies’ misconduct, despite overwhelming evidence that justice needed to be done. 

[Exonerees] were met with a joyous greeting of family and supporters who’d waited hours in the pouring rain — and a quarter century — for them.

Then, on August 16, 2022, EP client Gamalier Rivera became the 37th person whose murder conviction was reversed based on retired-Detective Guevara’s “pattern of abusing witnesses and suspects into making false statements or identifications, fabricating evidence, and rigging lineups.”

Eruby Abrego was exonerated on July 20, 2022, after 23 years of wrongful imprisonment due to the misconduct of former CPD Detectives Reynaldo Guevara and Anthony Wojcik. Eruby and his codefendant Jeremiah Cain (represented by Bonjean Law Group) presented evidence of their innocence and Guevara’s and Wojcik’s pattern and practice of misconduct to the court before the State withdrew their opposition and dismissed all charges. Eruby and Jeremiah walked out of prison into the arms of his loving family, supporters, and lawyers. Welcome home, Eruby and Jeremiah!

On July 18, 2022, David Gecht was officially exonerated after 23 years of a wrongful conviction also due to the misconduct of disgraced former CPD Detective Reynaldo Guevara. In May, Cook County Judge Diana Kenworthy vacated David’s conviction and ordered a new trial following a hearing on his innocence and Guevara’s pattern and practice. The State has now dropped all charges.

On July 15, 2002, brothers Juan and Rosendo Hernandez, wrongfully imprisoned 25 years thanks to a Chicago Police Det. Reynaldo Guevara frame-up, walked out of Dixon Correctional Center. They were met with a joyous greeting of family and supporters who’d waited hours in the pouring rain — and a quarter century — for them. Especially to be noted is the brothers’ mother, Esther Hernandez, who tirelessly promoted the case of her sons and other wrongfully convicted people. The brothers are clients of both The Exoneration Project and Northwestern University.

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