Congratulations to our client Frankie Benitez on his very deserved exoneration that occurred September 26, 2023. His conviction was vacated by a Cook County judge in August and in September the State dropped charges. Mr. Benitez spent almost 34 years wrongfully incarcerated and was only 18 when he was convicted.
Mr. Benitez was only 18 years old when he was wrongfully convicted. An evidentiary hearing was held in April of this year regarding his claims of innocence, in which his attorneys presented evidence from eyewitnesses about the identities of the true perpetrators of the crime. The hearing also featured the testimony of the gang crimes officer that had originally arrested him, who admitted that he always believed Mr. Benitez was innocent and that they charged the wrong person. Also presented was evidence that detectives Jerome Bogucki and Raymond Schalk, the officers responsible for his wrongful conviction, played key roles in two other murder cases that fell apart due to their misconduct and witness manipulation.
Mr. Benitez is pictured here at the time of his release and reunion with family in August following his vacated conviction.