Charges against a Chicago man who was found guilty of homicide when he was 17 have been dropped. David Wright spent the following 28 years in jail after being charged with and found guilty of the 1994 murders of his 16-year-old companion Tyrone Rockett and 26-year-old Robert Smith.
Wright was recently cleared of murder allegations by Cook County authorities. Chicago police coerced Wright into confessing to the killings. Wright’s conviction was overturned after almost three decades in jail.
“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. So how do you change that now?” Wright said to CBS News.
Wright said that he would focus on reconstructing his life, connecting with family, and helping those serving prison time for offenses they didn’t commit. In 1994, Smith and Rockett were on Chicago’s South Parnell Avenue. One of the men walked through a pathway while the other man stood behind a building as they were murdered, according to CBS News. David Owens, Wright’s attorney, stated that Wright was 17 years old when he was interrogated for an “abusive” 14 hours by three Chicago detectives when he signed a confession.
“The only evidence that ever existed against Mr. Wright was the statements that they said that he gave as a juvenile,” 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.”
– Steve Sijenyi