Illinois 2016 (1)




Illinois 2016 (1)

Between 2002 and 2009, dozens of people were falsely arrested and then wrongfully convicted, mostly for drug crimes that were said to have happened in or near the Ida B. Wells public-housing project in Chicago. To date, 186 of these defendants have had their convictions vacated and charges dismissed. They were all victims of a squad of police officers led by Sgt. Ronald Watts, who oversaw drug-policing activities in the neighborhood.

  • State:
  • Number of Defendants: 186
  • Number of Defendants in Individual Registry: 185
  • Crimes:
  • Drug possession/sale Weapon offenses
  • Earliest conviction:
  • Most Recent Conviction:
  • First Exoneration: 2016
  • Most Recent Exoneration: 2023
  • Total Known Compensation: $7.1 million (as of 12/13/2023)