Certificate of innocence denied for Alstory Simon, freed last year from Jax prison

By Gary Scott on June 19, 2015 at 12:44pm

A certificate of innocence has been denied by a Cook County Judge for a Chicago man freed from the Jacksonville Correctional Center last year.

Alstory Simon’s murder conviction was overturned in October. He confessed in 1999 to shooting two people to death at a South Side park in Chicago in 1982.

There were serious questions about whether he was coerced into doing so. The man who had originally been convicted, Anthony Porter, was spared the death penalty and released from custody, even though witnesses say they saw him pull the trigger.

According to the Associated Press, Circuit Judge Thomas Byrne denied the certificate, saying Simon’s own actions led to a finding of his guilt, including the confession, pleading guilty and a public apology. Byrne reportedly said Simon met the burden of proof that he did not commit the murders.

The AP also reports the judge said Simon lied to the court and engaged in a “measure of creative deception” through his apology during his sentencing hearing.

Simon has sued Northwestern University and a former journalism professor there alleging conspiracy to frame him.