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Chicago Chooses Prosecutor Candidate After Foxx Bows Out

Cook County is known as the nation's "wrongful conviction capital," bearing the legacy of corrupt Chicago police ringleaders like Jon Burge and Ronald Watts, who coerced hundreds of false confessions that led to mass exonerations in the years since their abuses were exposed, reports Bolts Magazine. Elected in 2016, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx centered on addressing wrongful convictions in her tenure, revamping the office's Conviction Integrity Unit that examines evidence to question convictions. During Foxx's tenure, prosecutors overturned 250 convictions, three times more than her predecessor's office.

Foxx announced that she would not seek a third term in light of controversies surrounding the unit, with defense attorneys accusing it of withholding evidence that would exonerate defendants for a decade. The Democratic primary election for a new Cook County state attorney is on Tuesday, with several candidates vying for the chance to lead the nation's second largest prosecutor's office. Clayton Harris III promises to build on Foxx's reforms, while Eileen O’Neill Burke is critical of the reforms and has been embroiled in a controversy about her own role in a wrongful conviction of a Black boy in 1994 when she was a judge. The winner of the primary will face off against Bob Fioretti, a hardline conservative.


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