CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. --A federal judge this morning approved one of the largest-ever individual wrongful conviction settlements in Illinois history.
Rodell Sanders spent more than 20 years behind bars for a 1995 murder conviction. He was later released from prison in 2014.
Chicago Heights Police Chief Sam Mangialardi and six other Chicago Heights officers were subsequently convicted of federal charges including civil rights violations, racketeering, witness tampering, bribery, extortion, and/or money laundering.
Sanders spoke Wednesday at an afternoon news conference in Chicago and was asked if the settlement helps make it right, he replied he lost time with his family and his children and he can never get that back. Sanders plans to continue working with Lovey & Lovey law firm as a paralegal so he can help others in similar situations.
Sanders, 51, is the father of two daughters. He was imprisoned when his oldest daughter was 13 years old, and his youngest daughter was yet to be born. Apart from his wrongful conviction, he had no other criminal convictions.
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