Murder conviction thrown out after two decades - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Murder conviction thrown out after two decades

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Daniel Taylor (center) Daniel Taylor (center)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After two decades behind bars, Daniel Taylor of Chicago is a free man tonight thanks to the help of Northwestern University's Center for Wrongful Convictions. Taylor was convicted of double murder despite evidence showing he was in police custody at the time of the killings.

On Saturday, Taylor was beaming with joy, surrounded by the love and support of his family.

"At this moment, I don't have the vocabulary that would give the full impact on how I feel… When I last got locked up the brick phones and beepers, those were the things that were in high demand so to see all that now, I had to learn how to work his phone and I'm still learning how to work his phone, it's amazing how far technology has come," said Taylor.

Taylor was wrongfully convicted in 1995 of killing two people in a north side apartment. He was sentenced to life in prison.

"I was a 19 year old with a second grade education so the total impact of it hadn't hit me yet until I got to prison, three weeks later, that they want me to wake up for the rest of my life to some bars and a steel toilet," said Taylor.

Taylor tells Fox 32's Tisha Lewis his confession was forced and maintains he was in police custody on an unrelated charge at the time of the murders.

"The part that gets frustrating is back in 2001, 2000 there was a witness that knew I was in jail with him and he told the state this and they claimed they never even talked to him or went to interview him or anything but paperwork popped up that showed that they had," said Taylor.

On Friday, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office dismissed the case after a comprehensive re-investigation by its Conviction Integrity Unit.

Taylor was released shortly thereafter.

"It's been a long fight, it's been a long road, a lot of tears, a lot of letters, a lot of visits, a lot of phone calls," said David Taylor, Daniel's brother.

Daniel Taylor was one of eight people convicted in the case. He's convinced one of his codefendants was also wrongfully convicted.

"His name is Deon Patrick and I would like for any news media to give him some attention, find out what's going on with him because it's sad to say but as long things are behind closed doors, you'll continually get shut down," said Taylor.

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced her office has initiated an integrity review of the convictions of Deon Patrick and Dennis Mixon who were also convicted of the murders with Taylor.

Taylor says he plans to attend Northwestern University and become a youth counselor for at risk children. He also says he will seek restitution.

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