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Chicago Settles Wrongful Arrest Case for $2 Million

The Chicago City Council has approved a $2 million settlement for a youth wrongfully accused of murdering 11 year old Ryan Harris. A second youth's case remains pending.

"It's probably one of the most shameful episodes in our city's history," Alderman Joe Moore said Monday. "We're getting off pretty easy."

Another Alderman thought the settlement should be $10 million. If the city had gone to trial and lost, the verdict might have been $30 to 50 million.

Here's some details of the case--and the inexcusable police conduct. Here's some background on Floyd Durr, whose DNA did match semen in Ryan's underwear and who is awaiting trial for her murder.

Update: This Northewestern University clinic's report describes the treatment of the boys. They were committed to the psychiatric ward for four days--when they were allowed to go home, they had to wear ankle monitors. They weighed 50 and 60 pounds. One was impaired by a speech impediment that made it difficult for him to communicate. Three weeks after going home, the DNA results came in, matching Floyd Durr, a convicted sex offender.

Aaron in the comments references the August, 1998 New Yorker article on the case, Unprotected, which is touted by several authorities on the case, but I haven't found it online.

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  • Re: Chicago Settles Wrongful Arrest Case for $2 Mi (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:02:28 PM EST
    The New Yorker did an outstanding piece on the prosecution of the two boys. I doubt that it is available through the Web, but if you're interested in the case it is worth finding.

    I couldn't bear to read any more of the sickening details of this prosecution but am curious what conclusions they draw re: blame, etc.