Detectives with the Chicago Police Department, according to David Wright, forced him to confess to the shooting deaths of his two friends in 1994. Despite maintaining his innocence, he was imprisoned for nearly thirty years. According to CBS News, Cook County prosecutors dismissed the murder charges against him on Wednesday.
The charges were dropped after Wright was released last year after his conviction was overturned. Wright says that now that his charges have been dropped, he is focused on getting justice for wrongfully convicted people.
“It feels good, but at the same time, it’s questionable. For the last 30 years you’ve done implemented in two families’ minds that I did something that I didn’t,” Wright said on Wednesday. “So how do you change that now?”
Wright was convicted in the 1994 shooting deaths of two of his friends, Tyrone Rockett, 16, and Robert Smith, 26. One was killed while passing through a gangway, while the other was killed at the back of a building.
“Their families are going to walk around for the rest of their lives, thinking I killed their loved ones. How do you change that?” Wright said.
Wright was 17 when he was allegedly forced to sign the confession letter after a 14-hour interrogation that was described as abusive, his lawyer said. Three Chicago police detectives partook in the interrogation, CBS News reported.
“The only evidence that ever existed against Mr. Wright was the statements that they said that he gave as a juvenile,” Wright’s attorney, David Owens, said. “There was no eyewitness. There is no forensic evidence. There’s no bullet evidence. There’s no nothing like that. It’s just, ‘Oh yeah, this kid after 15 hours of interrogation said this,’ and that’s all it was. So once we showed that the cops lacked reliability, that was part of it.”
Now that Wright’s name has been cleared, Smith’s family said they want to know the person behind the double murder. “The overwhelming evidence was that he was guilty; and be that as it may, we all have to answer to a higher power. So, you know, I’m gonna leave it there,” Smith’s mother, Deborra Morgan, said.
“There’s no winners for any of the families involved,” Smith’s sister, Sabrina Morgan, added. “Where is the justice for my brother, her son? Where is the justice for Tyrone’s family? Where is it?”
According to Owens, the three Chicago police detectives involved in Wright’s case were accused of misconduct in several other cases. According to the attorney, 25 convictions related to the detectives have been overturned, and charges against them have also been dropped. They have since left the police force.