Thirty year-old Corethian Bell of Hyde Park, Illinois, discovered his mother’s murdered body on July 14, 2000.  He quickly reported his finding to police, and he was brought into police custody immediately thereafter for questioning.  He was detained for 50 hours, without being charged with a crime.  During this time police issued him a lie detector test and deliberately misinfored him that he had failed.  Nevertheless, Bell maintained his innocence.  But, after both physical and verbal abuse by police officers, he gave a detailed confession, admitting to the murder of his mother.  The confession was videotaped, while the interrogation was not. 

After spending 17 months in prison, authorities exonerated Bell, for they found blood and semen at the scene of the crime that matched serial sex offender Deshawn Boyd of Chicago.  Boyd pleaded guilty to the murder of Corethian’s mother.  Upon Bell’s exoneration, he filed a lawsuit against the city in which he contends he only issued a confession for a crime he did not commit because he wished to cease the inhumane treatment he received during his interrogation.  It must have been pretty bad, to admit killing his own mother.  The settlement was reached just before the jury selection process was to begin in Cook County Circuit Court. 

Naturally, the Law Department spokeswoman for the city of Chicago, one Jennifer Hoyle, contested that during Bell’s detainment, no wrongdoings transpired.  Of course not, because officers of the law are always law abiding, right?  Before any payments are made the City Council must approve.

Somewhat prompted by Bell’s case, state lawmakers passed a law last year that requires police to videotape interrogations in all murder investigations, instead of just merely the confessions. 

Bell’s attorney, Locke Bowman, felt the settlement was righteous.  He stated, “This is an amount that has to be seen as an acknowledgment of the magnitude of the wrongdoing and the need to do justice for Mr. Bell.”  He is certainly correct.  Why city officials disagree with such a statement is simply mind-boggling. 

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