"Innocence Project" Students Made Illegal Recordings: Prosecutors

Copy of conversation allegedly included in material Medill students turned over to authorities

Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 PM CDT
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Professor Subpoenaed Over Student's Investigation

Northwestern University journalism students made illegal secret recordings of witnesses as they investigated an alleged wrongful conviction, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.

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Professor Subpoenaed Over Student's Investigation

Cook County State's Attorney's Office wants students grades, e-mails and syllabi surrounding investigation of Anthony McKinney

Professor Subpoenaed Over Student's Investigation

Cook County State's Attorney's Office wants students grades, e-mails and syllabi surrounding investigation of Anthony McKinney
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Northwestern University journalism students made illegal secret recordings of witnesses as they investigated an alleged wrongful conviction, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday.

A copy of one of the conversations was included in the notes and internal correspondence subpoenaed and turned over earlier this year.  Assistant State's Attorney Celeste Stack said in court Wednesday the students used eavesdropping devices and wore hidden recorders.

It's illegal in Illinois to record someone without their knowledge or consent, unless there's a court order.

The material is related to the Medill Innocence Project and its attempts to exonerate Anthony McKinney in a three-decades-old murder case.

Stacks said prosecutors don't expect to file criminal charges because the statute of limitations expired.

Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said the school didn't know about "any activities that may have violated state laws" and doesn't condone them.

Last month, a partner in a Chicago law firm withdrew from representing Northwestern University professor David Protess in the battle with Cook County prosecutors. 

Protess has since hired two new attorneys to conduct a review of the Innocence Project, the Chicago Tribune reported.
 

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