Judge forces wrongfully-convicted man to wait again on decision

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Roosevelt Myles

Crusader Staff Report

A Cook County Judge for the second time delayed his decision to allow a hearing granted by an appeals court for a wrongfully-convicted man who was forced to wait 18 years to tell his story as he languished in jail for 27 years.

The decision devastated the relatives and friends who traveled nearly 200 miles to Chicago, hoping that Roosevelt Myles would finally get a hearing that will significantly boost his chances of winning his freedom. They made another trip on November 7, where they learned that Judge Porter will make a decision on December 17. Myles’ relatives and friends had their hopes high that Myles would be free by Christmas.

Now, Judge Dennis Porter set a new hearing on January 8, where he will decide on the fate of 54-year-old Roosevelt Myles, a Chicago man who was convicted of first degree murder in 1996 based on the coerced testimony of Octavius Morris. The 15-year old who was the state’s main witness, twice signed sworn affidavits saying Chicago Police Detective Anthony Wojcik forced her to say Myles was the killer after the officer repeatedly visited Morris’ house after the shooting on the West Side on November 16, 1992.

Myles, who had several alibis that said he was blocks from the scene of the crime, has always maintained his innocence and has argued that he received ineffective legal representation. In 2000, an Illinois Appellate Court granted him a hearing based on his accusations, saying that he satisfied the state’s requirements for a hearing. But he never got the hearing and a string of public defenders racked up 70 delays under Porter.

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