STATEMENT BY NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY JOURNALISM ALUMS WHO INVESTIGATED THE MURDER CONVICTION OF ANTHONY MCKINNEY
As Medill Innocence Project alums, we were heartbroken to learn that Anthony McKinney passed away in prison yesterday. Our investigation into his case uncovered compelling evidence of his innocence, including a videotaped confession by one of the actual killers, recantations by both of the State's purported eyewitnesses, television time logs of a famous championship fight that proved those witnesses could not have been at the murder scene and a sworn statement by a neighborhood resident who corroborated McKinney’s alibi.
Instead of acknowledging that the justice system had made a mistake, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez launched a campaign to discredit us by subpoenaing our grades and notes, and making false accusations about our work.
Alvarez's sideshow shifted focus from, and denied justice for, McKinney, who died after spending almost 35 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. We take solace in knowing that, unlike countless other prisoners, Anthony McKinney's steadfast claim of innocence was loudly heard in the court of public opinion.
While we mourn Anthony's death and lament the myriad ways the justice system failed him, we ask that you keep the McKinney family in your thoughts and prayers. The important work being done by innocence projects in Chicago and throughout the country will continue to ensure that miscarriages of justice like Anthony's are exposed and reversed.
Northwestern University Journalism Alumni
Laura Brown Cohen