After nearly two-and-a-half years of wrongful imprisonment in Cook County Jail,
first degree murder charges against falsely accused Marquise Willis are dismissed
with help from the victim’s family.
Posted on June 8, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: robyn@northsidetlc.com | 312-219-6544
Chicago, IL: In a tremendous victory, the Northside Transformative Law Center (NTLC) and Willis and Associates secured the
dismissal of murder charges against 22-year-old Marquise Willis. Mr. Willis spent over two years in Cook County Jail, falsely accused
of killing one of his closest friends.
"We welcome the States Attorneys decision to dismiss a case that should
never have been charged in the first place,” says NTLC Attorney Emmanuel
Andre. Looking at the evidence, we cannot understand why this case was ever
pursued. The victim’s family consistently told law enforcement and
investigators that Marquise was not the person responsible for the murder of
their loved one. Once Marquise was arrested and charges were approved, he
was treated as guilty until we could prove his innocence. Fortunately, with hard
work and the support of the victims family, we were able to do so.
NTLC hopes that the Chicago Police Department will assign new law
enforcement personnel to conduct an independent investigation in order to
explain the false arrest of Marquise Willis and help the victim’s family find
closure.
Marquise and his family seek a formal apology from the State’s Attorney’s
Office and the Chicago Police Department for the unsubstantiated arrest, prosecution and detention of Marquise Willis. Additionally,
there are extremely important lessons that decision makers in the criminal justice system should learn from this situation. This young
man was devastated after being locked up, away from his loved ones and deprived of his freedom, while falsely accused of murdering
his friend. Mr. Willis will never get back the time he spent in Cook County Jail, and his family will bear the consequences and scars of
this injustice throughout their lives.
We are grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly to see justice prevail in this case,” says Andre. At the same time, it is unfortunate
that our larger community failed to protect a young man from a broken system that claims far too many lives. There are lessons to be
learned, and substantive changes to our legal system are long overdue. As Marquise navigates the complicated transition back into
society, we ask that community service providers and small businesses join together to help Marquise, in the form of employment,
education, and health care, that he greatly needs.