BY Francis Akhalbey, 12:00pm April 05, 2023,

Man exonerated after spending 28 years in prison for a crime he was allegedly forced to confess  

David Wright spent 28 years in prison for a double murder he says he did not commit -- Photo Credit: CBS News

David Wright said detectives with the Chicago Police Department forced him to confess to the 1994 shooting deaths of his two friends. Despite maintaining his innocence, he ended up spending nearly thirty years in prison. On Wednesday, the murder charges that were brought against him were dismissed by Cook County prosecutors, CBS News reported.

The dismissal of the charges comes after Wright was released last year, following the vacation of his conviction. Now that his charges have ultimately been dismissed, Wright says he has set his sights on getting justice for wrongfully convicted people.

“It feels good, but at the same time, it’s questionable. For the last 30 years you’ve done implemented in two families’ minds that I did something that I didn’t,” Wright said on Wednesday. “So how do you change that now?”

Wright was convicted in the 1994 shooting deaths of his friends, 16-year-old Tyrone Rockett and 26-year-old Robert Smith. One of them was fatally shot as he was passing through a gangway, while the other was killed at the back of a building.

“Their families are going to walk around for the rest of their lives, thinking I killed their loved ones. How do you change that?” Wright said.

Wright was 17 when he was allegedly forced to sign the confession letter after a 14-hour interrogation that was described as abusive, his lawyer said. Three Chicago police detectives partook in the interrogation, CBS News reported. 

“The only evidence that ever existed against Mr. Wright was the statements that they said that he gave as a juvenile,” Wright’s attorney, David Owens, said. “There was no eyewitness. There is no forensic evidence. There’s no bullet evidence. There’s no nothing like that. It’s just, ‘Oh yeah, this kid after 15 hours of interrogation said this,’ and that’s all it was. So once we showed that the cops lacked reliability, that was part of it.”

Now that Wright’s name has been cleared, Smith’s family said they want to know the person behind the double murder. “The overwhelming evidence was that he was guilty; and be that as it may, we all have to answer to a higher power. So, you know, I’m gonna leave it there,” Smith’s mother, Deborra Morgan, said.

“There’s no winners for any of the families involved,” Smith’s sister, Sabrina Morgan, added. “Where is the justice for my brother, her son? Where is the justice for Tyrone’s family? Where is it?”

The three Chicago police detectives involved in Wright’s case were accused of misconduct in several other cases, Owens stated. The attorney said 25 convictions linked to the detectives have so far been overturned, and charges brought against them have also been dropped. They have since retired from the force. 

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 5, 2023


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