The Dixmoor 5 are five African-American men who, as teenagers in Dixmoor, Illinois, were falsely convicted of the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews. At the time of arrest, the defendants, Robert Taylor, Jonathan Barr, James Harden, Robert Lee Veal and Shainne Sharp were all between the ages of 14 and 16.
During high pressure interviews, three of them gave false confessions leading to convictions for all five. The teens alleged that they were coerced into confessing, claiming they were physically abused and threatened during their interrogations. One of the boys who confessed had an IQ of 56 and developmental disabilities. Two pleaded guilty and testified against the others in exchange for shorter sentences. Both men have since recanted their testimony. Each received at least 80 years in prison.
In 2011, DNA tests connected semen on Cateresa to another man, Willie Randolph, a felon who had recently been released on parole. Randolph, a convicted sex offender, was later charged on September 1, 2016, for the rape and murder of Cateresa Matthews. A suit filed by the men alleges police withheld exculpatory evidence, including the DNA, from their defense teams. Their convictions were vacated November 3, 2011, and those remaining incarcerated were released.
In 2014, they reached a wrongful conviction settlement with the state of Illinois for $40 million, the largest wrongful conviction settlement in state history.
- List of wrongful convictions in the United States
- Innocence Project
- Innocent prisoner's dilemma
- Miscarriage of justice
- Overturned convictions in the United States
- "'Dixmoor 5′ Sue Over Wrongful Rape, Murder Convictions". CBS Chicago. October 17, 2012.
- "Background on Dixmoor and Englewood cases". Innocence Project. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Mills, Steve (June 25, 2014). "$40M for five wrongly convicted of Dixmoor rape, murder". Chicago Tribune.
- Janssen, Kim (October 17, 2012). "Dixmoor Five, wrongly convicted of murder, sue police". Chicago Sun Times.
- Steve Mills and Andrew Grimm, Convictions vacated in '91 rape, slaying of Dixmoor girl, Chicago Tribune, 2011-11-03. Accessed online 2012-11-18.