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Exonerated Inmate Can Collect Settlement

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 6, 2009 10:10PM

2009_01_06_hobley.jpg Madison Hobley, who once sat on death row, is now allowed to collect $6.5 million stemming from a wrongful-conviction lawsuit he won against the city. Hobley was originally convicted of setting the 1987 fire that killed seven people, including his wife and son. He served 13 years in prison before Gov. George Ryan pardoned him in 2003. An extra layer of intrigue to the situation comes from the fact that Hobley's main defense was that former Police Commander Jon Burge tortured Hobley into confessing.

Hobley was originally awarded $1 million from the city last year for the wrongful-conviction, but the remaining $6.5 million was held until officials could conclude a new investigation as to whether or not Hobley set the fire. The deadline for an indictment came and went this Saturday with no charges, clearing Hobley to collect the money, but prosecutors have not officially stated whether or not the new investigation is closed. Said his attorney, Jon Loevy, "Mr. Hobley is innocent, and we were absolutely confident there would be no indictment. We are pleased prosecutors have apparently recognized that." Hobley now lives out of state.

Image of Madison Hobley by Jennifer Linzer via Northwestern Law School's Center on Wrongful Convictions page on the Hobley case