Charges Dismissed Against Mother Wrongfully Convicted In Strangling Death Of 4-Year-Old Son

June 19, 2013  |  


Source: Fox Chicago

From BlackVoices 

A Chicago mother who spent nearly eight years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of her young son’s strangling death is finally — and completely — a free woman.

On Monday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a written statement her office would not retry 31-year-old Nicole Harris, saying it could not meet its burden of proof in the case, the Tribune reports. “We do not believe that it would be in the interest of justice to proceed on this matter.” Since being released from prison in February, Harris still wasn’t technically free, telling CBS Chicago she was “in limbo, not knowing what is going to happen. I was scared.”Harris’ four-year-old son Jaquari Dancy was found in his room with a fitted bedsheet cord around his neck in 2005 and Harris was charged after she says she gave a forced confession following a 27-hour interrogation by police which was not videotaped.

“A lot of people may not understand it,” Harris told Fox Chicago of her false confession. “I did not understand false confessions either, at one point. It was just a thing of, how do you say that you did something that you did not do? I never understood that until it happened to me.” After her arrest Harris reached out to the Northwestern University Center on Wrongful Convictions which then turned to a Chicago law firm for help. Attorneys with mega firm Jenner & Block say a key to Harris’ victory was that the judge barred crucial witness testimony from her older son Diante who they allege saw the younger brother strangle himself.

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  • Kenedy

    Police departments know how to coerce people into giving false confessions (West Memphis Three), so it wouldn’t surprise me

  • FromUR2UB

    I genuinely believe that people are able to do the wrong thing as long as they can convince themselves they are doing the right thing, or doing it for the right reasons. But there are times when the only way people can accomplish that is by knowingly contorting the truth. How detectives and prosecutors sleep at night when they ignore and block evidence that suggests a person’s innocence, is beyond me. I suppose that some people’s concsience has to be activated by law, and if detectives and prosecutors were held legally accountable for railroading people, forcing confessions and framing them, they would consider their actions more carefully. In this case, it sounds as though the child’s death was an unfortunate accident. But when a crime has been committed, the public needs to rethink its demands that the police get “somebody” instead of insisting that they get the “right somebody”.

    • dddooonnnttt

      I honestly think they have hard wired their brains to dismiss the truth. I met a lawyer who told me he was a civil rights lawyer. I googled him and found out he defended pedophiles and rapists. Which, I guess on a major technicality, they too have ‘civil rights’ but he gets them off for serious crimes when they should be in federal prison. I don’t think he was able to sleep at night because he had serious drinking problems.

      • FromUR2UB

        I should have included court appointed attorneys who don’t put much effort into those cases. Not enough money and usually not a high profile case that will bring them fame. I’ve also wondered how attorneys defend people whom they likely know committed some heinous crimes, but I guess they have to as part of their professional oath. Yuck.

  • Kitten Roulaine

    What type of fitted bed sheet has a cord ?, hence the name “fitted” it should have elastic mine do; I’ve never seen a corded sheet…that in itself is questionable and seemingly dangerous, especially for a small child or a wild sleeping adult.

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  • Trisha_B

    A 4 year old strangled himself? Did he trip & fall & the cord tightened around his neck? it don’t sound right to me…