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Wrongfully Convicted Men Win Settlement, Associated Press, 2007

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Updated:2007-04-12 03:07:52

Wrongfully Convicted Men Win Settlement
CHICAGO (April 12) - Two men who spent more than 12 years in prison after being wrongfully
convicted in the rape and murder of a medical student will split an $8 million settlement from the
Larry Ollins and Omar Saunders were to each receive $4 million under a settlement approved
Wednesday by the City Council.
Alderman Ed Smith called the case a tragedy and said the money can't make up for the time the
men spent in prison. "Nothing pays like having your life intact without a blemish," he said.
Two other men who were also wrongfully convicted in the case previously received settlements. In
2003, the city settled with Calvin Ollins, Larry Ollins' cousin, for $1.5 million. In December, the
city approved a $900,000 settlement for Marcellius Bradford.
All four men were arrested in the slaying of Rush University medical student Lori Roscetti, 23,
who was abducted on Chicago's West Side, raped and beaten to death in October 1986.
In 1988, Saunders and Calvin and Larry Ollins were sentenced to life in prison; Bradford received
a reduced sentence for agreeing to testify against Larry Ollins.
All were exonerated by DNA tests in late 2001 and were pardoned the next year by then-Gov.
George Ryan.
Alderman Tom Allen was Saunders' defense attorney during his criminal trial. He said he recently
looked through the case file and saw that he had filed a motion asking for DNA testing to be
performed. The motion was denied.
"The criminal justice system did finally work," he said. "It was through DNA evidence that these
gentlemen finally got their lives back."
In 2004, Eddie Harris and Duane Roach pleaded guilty to raping and killing Roscetti. Officials
have said DNA testing confirmed the two men committed the crime.
Jenny Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's law department, said Saunders and Larry Ollins will
receive more money than their former co-defendants in part because the amount was recommended
by a federal mediator.
Also, she said, the two were only charged in Roscetti's slaying after they were implicated by
Bradford and Calvin Ollins in their confessions to Chicago police. Bradford and Calvin Ollins
have said their confessions were coerced.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of
The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
04/12/07 00:50 EDT

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