Seven more men who had drugs planted on them by a rogue band of Chicago police officers will see their convictions overturned Friday, according to the State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.
The decision will be cemented on Friday, when prosecutors are expected to request the court to vacate the convictions, according to a statement from the state’s attorney’s office. The new vacated convictions will mark 45 individuals exonerated in 57 Watts-related cases.
Nine other defendants have been exonerated in cases unrelated to Watts since Foxx took office, bringing the total number of people whose convictions were vacated under her administration up to 54, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed were indicted on federal charges in 2012 after one of their targets turned out to be an FBI informant. About a year ago, 15 officers serving under him were demoted to desk duty.
Over a month ago, 18 more men saw their bogus cases dropped from a similar announcement from Foxx’s office. The brisk reversals come a year after convictions were tossed last November, in the first mass exoneration of 15 men who were caught in Watts’ web of planted drugs, falsified reports and false witness testimonies.
The longest sentences of Watt’s targets stretched to almost a decade in prison before they were overturned. Now, the 15 men exonerated last November are suing the city for its alleged complicity in the police department’s “code of silence.”