Did Chicago’s Corrupt Justice System Just Release Two More Child Killers?
Some odd twists and turns lead to the release of a convicted child killer
Former inmates Jerome Johnson and George Anderson were once convicted for their role in the 1991 murders of two children in separate gang shootings on the South Side. On August 21, 1991, 11-year-old Jeremiah Miggins was struck by stray gunfire as he walked home from assisting a neighbor with yard work. Only two months earlier, 14-year-old Kathryn Myles had been gunned down from errant bullets in a gunfight between rival gang members.
The two men were supposed to spend the rest of their lives in prison, but through a bizarre, convoluted legal saga in which their criminal cases unfolded in various political and legal bodies, both men are now free, with the usual chorus of media lapdogs trying to peddle their release as some form of justice.
Johnson and Anderson earned their freedom in large part through a state-funded agency, the Illinois Torture Inquire and Relief Commission (TIRC). Created under the falsehood of addressing police corruption and allegations of torture, TIRC is actually a socialist dream come true, eliminating in one law the entire independence of the judicial system and placing criminal cases strictly under the control of the political machine that runs Chicago, Cook County, and state of Illinois.
Johnson and Anderson were never able to persuade a jury, appeals court or a judge in a post-conviction hearing of their innocence. Nonetheless, through the miracle of TIRC, a collection of unelected commissioners seated on a panel appointed by the governor, many of them with a long history of enmity toward the police and willingness to toss cases on the most arbitrary, vapid justifications, Johnson and Anderson saw their cases resurrected.
What was the main argument by TIRC for sending the Anderson and Johnson cases back into the courts? The argument that there is a so-called pattern of accusations against the detectives who investigated the child murders leading to the pair's convictions. A blatant falsehood, the commission did not address the overwhelming evidence revealed in the federal courts that this pattern theory is a sham.
In these federal cases, there is powerful evidence that many of the allegations against detectives may be fabricated, including claims that the convicted men were directing fellow gang members to solicit false witness statements. Evidence also exists that a biased media ignoring the evidence in the case was an effort to influence weak politicians. Similarly, neither the commission nor media acting on TIRC’s behalf address the fact that the detectives involved in these matters are placing themselves at great legal risk by testifying in each and every case in which they are accused. Testifying amid such legal hazards is hardly the action taken by supposed corrupt police officers.
TIRC and its media abettors ignored all this evidence in the federal courts as the cases were tossed back into the circuit court, where the detectives seemed to stand little chance of seeing justice.
But then something unforeseen happened: In a new trial, Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Hooks ruled not only that Anderson was guilty of the murders but also that the detectives were falsely accused. Hooks stated that the detectives were being unjustifiably maligned not just in the Anderson-Johnson cases, but in the entire media driven mythology of corruption that has been unleashed on the detectives.
Despite Hook’s decision, it was a short-lived victory for the detectives fighting heroically to resurrect their reputations. Hooks’ stunning ruling — a terrible black eye for TIRC and the salivating media activists once overjoyed at seeing the two offenders get out of prison — was dashed when a state appeals court overturned Hooks decision, claiming, what else, that the men’s claims were credible given “the voluminous evidence of past abuse.”
Apparently, appeals court judges, like the TIRC bureaucrats, do not get over to the federal courts much or do not have access to court documents there. If they did, they would see that the lack of credibility permeates far more the offenders’ claims than it does the investigating detectives.
Then, the case took another incredible turn: Last week, Jerome Johnson walked into court. In a plea deal with special prosecutors that will allow him to stay out of prison and avoid being reconvicted, Johnson admitted not only to his role in the murders, but also George Anderson’s part in the crime as well. Not surprisingly, Johnson’s statements went unreported by the Chicago media.
Many unanswered questions remain, none of which will likely be asked by the fawning activists with journalism degrees in Chicago. Will special prosecutors retry Anderson? How could they justify not doing so when the detectives are willing to testify and the co-offender admitted to his and Anderson’s role in the killings, an admission that bolsters the investigation? What good is TIRC with its immense power to overturn criminal cases in court through arbitrary rulings when even released inmates ultimately admit to the crimes? Don’t Johnson’s statements prove once again the criminal court system did its job, but the political TIRC utterly failed?
How can the police effectively protect the public, let alone themselves, with a kangaroo criminal justice system that has emerged in Chicago, especially through the creation of TIRC? How can the city afford to defend these cases that TIRC and other offenders are foisting on city attorneys when the so-called exonerated offenders file massive lawsuits against case detectives?
Tough, tough questions in the most crooked city.