They say that no man knows the number of his days and that death comes like a thief in the night. However, for the black men and women in Chicago, death can seem less like a faraway event and more like a day-to-day certainty.
Serrano says that freedom became an option not long after he was granted a hearing in 2007 on the new evidence of his innocence -- affidavits by the jailhouse snitch and the widow recanting their testimony.
10 Dead, More Than 40 Wounded in Most Violent Weekend of 2013.That's not in some war-torn other hemisphere with history and mores so complicated I can't hope to untangle them. That's a couple of miles from my house.
The anticipation was palpable on Monday as Judge Maura Slattery Boyle ascended to the bench. Two prisoners had waited 20 years for this moment: a showdown with the Chicago cop they claimed had framed them, and the jailhouse snitch he had allegedly recruited for the job.
For two decades, Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez have professed their innocence. Surprisingly, their fight for freedom has been bolstered by their former accusers.
Twenty years ago, Vargas thought she knew who murdered her husband, Rodrigo, as he was leaving for work. That's because a detective told her he'd solved the crime.
A 20-year fight for freedom by two Northwest Side Chicago men will culminate tomorrow in a hearing on allegations they were railroaded.
People need a break from consistently viewing violence all over the news and when we have good news to report, we as leaders should step in and push the envelope by advocating for continued coverage of the significant reductions in Chicago homicides.
Eric Caine was wary of man's best friend, but he took a job as a dog-walker because he needed the money. Besides, work was hard to come by for a 45-year-old just released from prison after 25 years -- even though he hadn't committed the crime.
The debate over how to stop the bloodshed in Chicago headed south this week as Illinois lawmakers are taking up a bill that would put more people with guns behind bars -- for longer.
I don't live life by statistics, nor do I navigate through life over selling my identity as some brand. However, my identity as a black man from the South Side of Chicago is a part of who I am.
Want to save lives, prevent lawsuits and restore the integrity of the justice system? Remember Dennis Williams, who lost his 20s, 30s and eventually his life because those in power stubbornly refused to admit their fallibility.
Our changes must go beyond simple gun control; they must be thoughtful, comprehensive and persistent. Controlling the proliferation of guns is important, but supporting educational and community programs are our best bet to break the cycle of violence.
If there is any way that violence can be curbed it has to start with reducing the number of non-violent offenders entering the prison system and becoming violent offenders due to the pressure of trying to keep up with the hard-core code of prison.
This issue isn't about helping those less fortunate then ourselves. The reality is we're losing people better than ourselves. It's time we accept that we are all equal and by helping our neighbors, we're helping ourselves.
If we are to evaluate our success as a nation based, at least in part, by our children's well-being, we ought to pay closer attention to what ails them emotionally, and to create a safe environment at home, at school and in the community they depend on to thrive.