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Locke Bowman
Locke E. Bowman joined the MacArthur Justice Center in 1992 and has handled a wide variety of civil and criminal litigation. His work focuses on cases involving police misconduct, compensation of the wrongfully convicted, rights of the media in the criminal justice system, and firearms control. He previously served as law clerk to Judge Hubert L. Will of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and was an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt. He was also an assistant corporation counsel in the City of Chicago Law Department and a criminal defense lawyer at Silets & Martin before joining the center. Based on votes from fellow attorneys, Chicago Magazine named Bowman an Illinois “Super Lawyer” in 2005 and 2006 for his work in constitutional law and civil rights.

Entries by Locke Bowman

Police Discipline Agency Won't Tackle the Tough Cases

(1) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 2:51 PM

The Chicago City Council established the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) with high expectations that IPRA would help reverse a culture of citizen abuse and officer impunity in the Chicago Police Department. As we approach the seventh anniversary of IPRA's creation, it's apparent the agency has flopped.

Calls to revamp...

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67 Wrongful Convictions, Zero Accountability at Chicago Police Department

(8) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 4:14 PM

The City's top lawyer, Chicago Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, sounded giddy after the Chicago Police failed to riot in opposition to NATO protesters last month. Talking within earshot of a group of civil rights attorneys in the federal courthouse the day after the diplomats left town, Patton announced that the...

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Gov. Quinn's Proposal to Close Tamms Supermax Prison Got It Right

(5) Comments | Posted March 13, 2012 | 4:28 PM

My friend and client Darrell Cannon experienced firsthand the regime of solitary confinement at the Tamms Correctional Center, the so-called supermax prison buried in the ground in a remote corner of southern Illinois. Darrell was one of the 50 first Illinois prisoners transferred to...

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Chicago Ought to Change the Standard Ending to That Old Wrongful Conviction Story

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2011 | 5:43 PM

A short driveway leads from California Avenue to Division 5 of the Cook County Jail. It is the point of entry for hundreds who daily visit friends or family members confined behind the razor wire. It is a point of departure too. Each day dozens of men pass through the...

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Demanding Justice for the Still-Imprisoned Burge Victims

(7) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 1:24 PM

Chicago's political establishment must shudder each time Jon Burge garners another headline. This past week was a bad one for politicians who would like to forget that Burge ever commanded an elite unit of Chicago Police detectives; that beneath the cops' cop veneer, Burge was a sadistic racist who systematically...

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Airport Security: For What It's Worth

(3) Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 3:25 PM

Since 9/11, the United States government has flexed its security muscle at the gate concourse in every domestic airport, where passage through a security check point reminds everyone of the might of Homeland Security.

Tens of thousands of us bear this ritual in silence every day. We empty...

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Mass Incarceration Undoes California (And the Rest of Us Too)

(12) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 2:21 PM

The United States has the highest per capita rate of incarceration in the world -- higher than Rwanda, more than three times the rate in Iran and nearly five times the rate in Great Britain. The Sentencing Project writes:

More than 60% of the people in prison...
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A Time for Change or More of the Same at the Chicago Police Department?

(4) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 6:24 PM

Chicago's Emanuel Era was ushered in last week and among those in attendance on the Great Day was Chicago Police Superintendent-in-waiting Garry McCarthy.

For anyone interested in the reform of the police department, there was a glum feeling in the air. McCarthy's tenure as superintendent is likely...

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More Sobriety Please: Bin Laden's Death No Cause for Dancing in the Streets

(6) Comments | Posted May 10, 2011 | 11:13 AM

Speaking last Friday to cheering soldiers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, President Obama declared that the past week "has been a reminder of what we're about as a people." It was a remark the president intended as homage to American grit, determination and persistence. Nearly ten years had passed,...

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The Dark Side of the Daley Legacy: Enabler of Torture

(2) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 1:21 PM

As the clock ticks down on Richard M. Daley's 22-year tenure as mayor of Chicago, the airwaves and print media have been full of retrospectives -- most of them positive, some highly laudatory. The story on the front page of last Sunday's Tribune was typical: "As other Rust...

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Update: Soldier Involved in Wikileaks Case Moved to More Humane Prison

(8) Comments | Posted April 22, 2011 | 12:57 PM

Earlier this week, I wrote about Private Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking State Department files to Wikileaks, and his ongoing mistreatment at the maximum security brig in Quantico, Virginia.

Just yesterday, Department of Defense Counsel Jeh Johnson announced that...

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Prisoner Abuse in Wikileaks Case Puts Our Standards on Trial

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2011 | 10:23 AM

For a couple of news cycles last month, there was a public debate of sorts about the treatment of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of embarrassing the government by leaking State Department files to Wikileaks.

Manning, it will be remembered, is...

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Chicago Police Miss the Message about the Cost of Wrongful Convictions

(5) Comments | Posted April 12, 2011 | 4:41 PM

When he takes over as mayor next month, Rahm Emanuel is expected to appoint a new superintendent of police, and he will likely also install someone new as corporation counsel, the head of the city's law department. He would do well to insist that these two talk with each other.

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A Supreme Miscalculation: High Court Should Revisit Prosecutorial Immunity

(5) Comments | Posted April 5, 2011 | 11:43 AM

John Thompson has lived through more ups and downs than most of us will. In April 1985, he was convicted of an armed robbery he did not commit and sentenced to 49 and one half years in prison. The next month, he was tried and convicted of a...

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Demonstrators and Their Lawyers Protect Our Right to Peaceful Protest

(3) Comments | Posted March 29, 2011 | 3:11 PM

It has been a season of demonstrations. In the midst of economic upheaval, natural and human-engineered disasters, and war, we have been reminded again, with recent evidence from Egypt and Tunisia, of the awesome power of the people assembled in peaceable, public protest against tyranny and oppression. Only a cold...

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Fearing Truth: Why Do Prosecutors Fight Against Post-Conviction DNA Tests?

(77) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 6:00 PM

In the tortured logic of Henry Skinner's 16-year battle to show he didn't commit the brutal triple murder that landed him on the Texas Death Row, Monday, March 7, 2011, was a good day--sort of.

Since his 1995 conviction and death sentence, Skinner has been asking for a...

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The Price of Injustice: Wrongfully Convicted Deserve Full Compensation

(4) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 1:04 PM

The State of Illinois owes a debt to the innocent men and women who have been convicted in our justice system of crimes they didn't commit and then been forced to serve years -- sometimes decades -- of wrongful imprisonment.

It isn't easy to quantify this debt. Imprisonment, particularly in...

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Will Mayor Emanuel Commit to Reforming the Chicago Police?

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2011 | 2:21 PM

Poor Jody Weis. Rates of murder and violent crime have fallen like a stone in the three years since Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed him Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. He's been innovative, unorthodox, and he seems to have gotten results as a crime fighter. Yet...

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City's Head Still in the Sand on Burge Torture Scandal

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2011 | 1:38 PM

Last month Jon Burge, the disgraced former Chicago Police Commander whose men tortured scores of African American suspects into confessing during a reign of terror that spanned nearly two decades (from the 1970s through the early 1990s), was finally sentenced to four and a half years in prison...

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