Anthony Porter and Alstory Simon: Do not believe the narrative

Anthony Porter and Alstory Simon: Do not believe the narrative
Chicago Tribune photo.

“Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” (Sir William Blackstone/18th Century jurist)

Since the release of Alstory Simon for two murders he did not commit, Chicago’s news media is still claiming Anthony Porter is innocent.

The new narrative is: Anthony Porter was railroaded. He was released when Alstory Simon confessed. Alstory Simon was railroaded. No one knows who murdered Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green, so don’t ask.

For some twisted strange reason, Chicago’s news media has a deep emotional investment in Anthony Porter.

Anthony Porter is not innocent. Anthony Porter murdered Green and Hillard. It was proven at trial. It was proven at his wrongful conviction lawsuit against the city. There is proof in hundreds of pages of public documents and subsequent investigations.

There is no proof Anthony Porter is innocent. His conviction was vacated due to a false confession obtained through disreputable means. There is proof of his guilt.


Anita Alvarez. (Chicago Tribune)

Anita Alvarez questioned the integrity of David Protess investigations. Protess, his students, and private investigator conducted a shoddy, unethical, and incomplete investigation.

Six eye witnesses gave statements to police and testified at trial they saw Anthony Porter murder Green and Hillard, firing the gun with his left hand. Not one of those witnesses was interviewed by Protess team.

Those same witnesses testified in Porter’s wrongful conviction trial the exact same way. They saw Porter commit the murder firing a gun with his left hand. The judge ruled against Porter. The ruling, over forty pages long, states Porter was not wrongly convicted of murder.

When that bombshell dropped, some in the media tarred and feathered the attorney defending the city.

Why all this emotional investment? Why can’t the news media admit they got it so wrong?

Like most of us, the news media hates to get things wrong and then be forced to admit it. No one likes egg on their face. The other reason is politics.

No one wants to criticize former State’s Attorney, Dick Devine, for his hasty decision to ask the courts to vacate Anthony Porter’s conviction. There was no reason to do this. The case against Porter was solid.

David Protess, discredited and disgraced by Northwestern University, is still a hero in journalism circles. He is too big to fail or fall. The news media will not pull him down from the pedestal they built and put him on. He still has friends in high media places.

Protess has been eerily silent. Not one peep since Alstory Simon was released. Not one word defending himself against the assault on his integrity or ethics.

Northwestern University is one of Chicago’s 800 pound powerful gorillas. The Medill School of Journalism, where Protess taught, is one of the elite journalism schools in the country. The law school, which hosts the Center on Wrongful Convictions, is elite. Many Chicago journalists, editors, attorneys, politicians, and judges graduated from those schools. Some teach at Medill and the law school.

Some of Protess former students, who supposedly investigated the Porter case work for respectable news organizations. Northwestern’s reputation would forever be stained if the narrative changed. That is not going to happen.

Northwestern let David Protess run amok. They supported him and the work of his students. They backed him until he was caught in a scandal involving another so-called wrongfully convicted man, Anthony McKinney. McKinney was convicted of a brutal murder. Protess and his team tried to get his conviction overturned. In the end Protess left Northwestern under a cloud. McKinney died in prison.

Chicago’s legal community does not want this stain on their reputation. Lawyers on both sides of this case were just as involved as David Protess in perverting justice.

There is something more at stake. Innocence Projects and the law firm business model built around them. If Protess goes down it would deal a severe blow to this industry. Courts, prosecutors, or even law enforcement may start scrutinizing their methodology. Innocence Projects and the lawyers who feed off of them do not want and cannot afford that kind of scrutiny.

The official Chicago news media narrative will continue to be two innocent men were railroaded and the real murderer of Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green was never caught. That is what they want and expect people to believe.

Everyone involved wants this sordid event shoved under the rug. They want to move on.

The murder of Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard is a perversion of Blackstone’s commentary. A guilty man escaped justice. An innocent man suffered injustice. Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard received no justice.

Marilyn Green and Jerry Hillard are forgotten. They do not matter.

They did not matter to David Protess, Northwestern University, Chicago’s news media, the legal community, or the politicians.

Green and Hillard are dead. No one speaks for the dead.

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