Judge vacates double-murder conviction of a Chicago man; cites evidence supporting innocence

Aug 29, 2023, 5:15 PM | Updated: 5:42 pm

A judge on Tuesday vacated the double-murder conviction of a Chicago man who has spent the last 34 years in prison for the shooting deaths of two 14-year-old boys.

Francisco Benitez, 52, maintained his innocence in a motion for post-conviction relief, saying he had an alibi for the April 28, 1989, slayings of Prudencio Cruz and William Sanchez and that he was being framed by Chicago police detectives.

Cook County Judge Sophia Atcherson made the ruling, citing evidence supporting Benitez’s innocence presented during a hearing earlier this year. She released Benitez on a personal recognizance bond with electronic monitoring.

However, Benitez still faces murder charges because prosecutors haven’t dropped the case.

“This has been a very, very long road, and I’m glad my son is coming home,” his mother, Betty Benitez, said.

“This is not normal,” said Joshua Tepfer, one of Benitez’s attorneys from the Exoneration Project, of the volume of overturned convictions in Cook County. “It’s an epidemic. It’s a human rights violation.”

United States News

Associated Press

Several gun bills inspired by mass shooting are headed for final passage in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A series of gun safety bills introduced after the deadliest shooting in Maine history appears to be headed toward final passage as the state Legislature races to wrap up its session this week. The House followed the Senate on Monday in approving the governor’s omnibus gun safety bill that strengthens the […]

30 minutes ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

9 hours ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Abu Ghraib detainee shares emotional testimony during trial against Virginia military contractor

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former detainee at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison described to jurors Monday the type of abuse that is reminiscent of the scandal that erupted there 20 years ago: beatings, being stripped naked and threatened with dogs, stress positions meant to induce exhaustion and pain. The testimony from Salah Al-Ejaili, a […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge orders psych evaluation for Illinois man charged in 4 killings

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A judge on Monday ordered a psychiatric evaluation for a northern Illinois man charged with killing four people and injuring seven others by stabbing, beating and driving over them. Winnebago County Judge Debra Schafer ordered the evaluation for Christian Soto when the 22-year-old man appeared in court by video link for […]

11 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Judge vacates double-murder conviction of a Chicago man; cites evidence supporting innocence