For more than 20 years a Chicago man served time for murdering a 6-year-old boy, but now DNA evidence has cleared him and he regained his freedom Tuesday.
Mark Maxson, 55, says he was coerced into confessing to the murder of the boy by detectives working under then notorious Chicago Police Cmdr. John Burge. Maxson said he told police that he had talked to the boy the night before he was murdered.
“I probably would’ve done anything to get out of that position,” Maxson said Tuesday.
Burge was sentenced in 2011 in a federal courthouse to 4 1/2 years on obstruction of justice and perjury charges.
Elliot Zinger, Maxson’s attorney, said there was always something wrong with the case.
“There was someone else’s blood on the child, there was someone else’s pubic hair on the child, that doesn’t happen by accident” Zinger said.
But even after all he’s been through Maxson says he still thinks it’s a person’s responsibility to report what they see to the authorities.
“I can’t change what happened,” he said. “But, my fight is, is to stop it from happening again.
Tuesday night, Maxson celebrated his first hours of freedom with dinner at Lawry’s The Prime Rib with Zinger and well-known former Chicago convict Wallace “Gator” Bradley, who said he’s convinced Maxson will successfully restart his live.
“No doubt in my mind, cause I’m going to be working with him,” Bradley say.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, which has been operating for 3 years, has vacated 15 wrongful convictions so far, police say.