Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Cortez Brown (aka Victor Safforld)





Death and later resentenced or commuted to Life

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Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Cortez Brown was wrongly convicted in 1992 of two gang-related murders in 1990 in Chicago. There was no physical, forensic or eyewitness evidence linking him to the murders, so the primary evidence was a confession he claimed was beaten out of him by three Chicago PD detectives who used their fists and a metal flashlight. Nineteen-year-old Victor Safforld signed a phony name -- Cortez Brown -- to the confession he signed to make the detectives stop. The detectives worked under Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. Indicted under the phony name of Cortez Brown -- Safforld was sentenced to 35 years in prison for one of the murders and to death for the other. In 2003 Illinois Governor George Ryan commutted the sentence of everyone on Death Row to life in prison. After evidence became available that Burge may have been involved in the torture of a defendant in many cases, which corroborated Brown's claims, Brown filed a motion for a new trial. On May 22, 2009 Cook County Judge Clayton Crane vacated Brown's convictions and sentences, citing the evidence against the detectives as "staggering," and "That evidence is damning." "

Conviction Caused By:

"Police misconduct by torturing a false confession out of "Cortez Brown.""

Innocence Proved By:

"On May 22, 2009 Cook County Judge Clayton Crane vacated Brown's convictions and sentences."

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Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Information Source 1:

"Burge Torture Victim Gets New Trial as Judge Voids Bogus Murder Conviction, The MacArthur Justice Center - Press Release, May 22, 2009"

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Information Source 2:

"17 years later, Brown's murder conviction overturned, BY Stefano Esposito (staff), Chicago Sun-Times, May 22, 2009"

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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