Oppenheimer Firm

Chicago’s Nationally Recognized Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Firm

The Marquette Park Four get a $50 million settlement

In a historic move, the Chicago City Council has approved a record-breaking $50-million settlement for four men wrongfully imprisoned for a total of 73 years. The men, known as the “Marquette Park Four,” were exonerated in 2017 after spending decades incarcerated for a 1995 double murder they did not commit.  

The four men, LaShawn Ezell, Charles Johnson, Troshawn McCoy and Larod Styles, were teenagers coerced into signing false confessions. The settlement closes four federal civil rights lawsuits that alleged the Chicago police used brutal interrogation tactics to extract these confessions.  

The case of the Marquette Park Four is a stark reminder of the systemic issues within our criminal justice system. Teenagers at the time, the four were thrust into a situation that would change their lives forever. The brutal interrogation tactics used by the police, as alleged in the lawsuits, are a chilling testament to the lengths some will go to secure a conviction, even at the cost of justice.  

“The City’s willingness to settle this matter restores some measure of faith in the system and the belief that justice can be achieved through perseverance and unwavering commitment,” said attorney Michael Oppenheimer, who represented Troshawn McCoy.  

The $50 million settlement is one of the largest in the city’s history for a wrongful conviction case. It serves not just as compensation for the years the men lost but also as a public acknowledgment of the grave injustice they suffered. It is a significant step towards accountability and reform in a system often criticized for how it handled such cases. 

The Marquette Park Four’s exoneration in 2017 was a significant victory for justice, but it also highlighted the deep-seated issues within our criminal justice system. This settlement is a step towards rectifying the wrongs done to these men, but it also serves as a stark reminder of the work that still needs to be done.  

While the record-breaking settlement cannot give them back the years they lost, it is a testament to their resilience. It is also a call to action for all of us to work towards a more just and equitable society. Attorneys like Michael Oppenheimer and others provide the legal support crucial to overcome these injustices. If you want to meet with the team at Oppenheimer Firm about your own civil rights violation, contact us online or call 312-757-2232today.