The Watch

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Federal Officials Tired Of Being Out Foxxed?

Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx has released another convicted killer.

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Foxx’s office declined to retry Ricardo Rodriguez for the 1995 murder of a homeless man. Rodriguez’s lawyer is Tara Thompson, from the law firm Loevy & Loevy. Rodriguez is the eighth person to be let out of prison by Foxx’s administration, several of whom are represented by Loevy & Loevy.

Foxx’s decisions are troubling and suspicious.

Here is why.

Foxx’s willingness to release many of these convicted killers contradicts the conclusions of her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, who supported convictions in Guevara cases.

But immediately after taking office, Foxx began throwing in the towel on Guevara cases, paving the way for law firms like Loevy & Loevy to file multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the city based on allegations of police misconduct.

Foxx seemed to go out of her way to help wrongful conviction attorneys build cases against Guevara, even forcing Guevara to testify in these cases by placing him in what his attorney called “a perjury trap.” Her administration granted Guevara immunity, removing Guevara’s right to remain silent. He was compelled to testify, and a judge declared that Guevara was lying, even though a previous prosecutor supported Guevara.

At the same time, Foxx has refused to address the more compelling evidence of corruption in the wrongful conviction movement itself, with evidence that several exonerations over the last two decades are false and rife with misconduct by the attorneys and activists who championed them.

Here is a disturbing pattern that is shaping up in the Foxx administration: Foxx gathers political and campaign finance support from wrongful conviction law firms, then immediately begins freeing prisoners represented by these same law firms or their allies.

One Loevy & Loevy case is particularly troubling.

Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes were set free several months ago after prosecutors under Foxx decided not to retry them. The men had won a new trial after their attorneys claimed they were coerced into confessing to the 1998 murders of Jacinta and Mariano Soto, who were repeatedly stabbed in their own apartment.

But even as prosecutors released Solache and Reyes, they admitted that they thought both men were guilty.  

From the Chicago Tribune:

First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said prosecutors still strongly believe Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes are guilty of the 1998 fatal stabbing of a couple in their Bucktown neighborhood home. . . .

If Sussman suspected that they were guilty, why didn’t he retry them?

It gets worse. At the time of the murders, the men were in the United States illegally. Solache and Reyes were reportedly whisked away by federal immigration officials before they could be released.

Loevy & Loevy has reportedly been engaged in fighting to allow them to remain in the country or to return to it.  

 But there are signs that federal authorities aren’t wholly buying into the theory that Solache and Reyes don’t pose a threat to the public. Immigration officials seem to be fighting to keep them out of the country.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

 A man released from prison in December after serving nearly 20 years for a double-murder, only to land in an immigration detention facility, went free on bond Friday. . . . Solache posted $7,500 bond and left the downtown Chicago Immigration Court building around noon. Reyes, who has agreed to voluntarily return to Mexico, still is in custody; ICE attorneys have said they intend to appeal his request to leave voluntarily, instead favoring a forced removal that would make it more difficult for Reyes to return to the United States legally someday. . . .

 Also from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Solache may go free on $7,500 bond as soon as Friday, said Jessey Neves, spokeswoman for the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University. Immigration officials also appealed Reyes’ request to voluntarily return to Mexico as soon as next week, said Vân B. Huynh, the immigration lawyer handling his case.

Solache no longer has family in the U.S., and intends to return voluntarily to Mexico after settling his affairs in the U.S., Daniel said. Neither man had yet attempted to use their long incarceration or the allegations of police abuse to qualify for a “U Visa,” which is legal resident status offered to immigrants who are crime victims.

In response, the Fraternal Order of Police has reached out to federal officials to keep them apprised of the case and take actions to prevent the men from remaining in the country. A few weeks ago, FOP President Kevin Graham traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with President Trump and a group of federal officials to discuss the issue of sanctuary cities.

Now federal officials seem to be fighting to keep Ricardo out as well. From the Chicago Tribune:

But instead of walking out of prison a free man Wednesday, Rodriguez was taken into custody by federal immigration authorities, adding a new and tragic twist to his story.

(Tragic twist? Could the Tribune's bias be more apparent?)

Before he was sent to prison for a 1995 murder, Rodriguez was a lawful permanent resident. His status was revoked when he was convicted, his attorneys said. Now he faces the possibility of being deported despite being freed.

Rodriguez was brought to America as a child and his family is all here, according to his sister, Maria Rodriguez-Lopez. She said the family has “a really big fear” that Rodriguez will be removed from the country.

The Solache and Reyes cases, as well as the Rodriquez case, seem to tap deeply into the concern expressed by the Trump administration about dangerous immigration policies.

Federal officials may be tired of getting out Foxxed.