2 men wrongly imprisoned as teens have convictions vacated

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two men who were sent to prison as teenagers for murders they did not commit had their convictions vacated on Monday.

The two cases are different, but lawyers for both men said the convictions stemmed from two different notorious, bad Chicago cops.

Anthony Jakes' case is tied to former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge, Robert Bouto's is linked to CPD Det. Reynaldo Guevara.

On Monday, both Jakes and Bouto, strangers from different sides of Chicago, celebrated with their families.

"I'm glad to be free and get all this behind us, now I can move forward, I don't have to check convicted felon on my resume no more," said Jakes, who had just turned 15 when he was charged with murder in 1991.

Jakes was beaten into signing a false confession by Burge proteges.

Bouto was 17 when he was framed for a 1993 murder by Guevera.

"I lost everything. I lost my youth, my teens, 20s, 30s. I lost time with my grandmother. I lost a lot. I lost memories," Bouto said.

While Bouto credits his family for not letting him give up his fight for innocence, the 42-year-old's legal road is not over. His conviction was vacated on Monday, but prosecutors stopped short of dropping the charges.

"Because he has served all of his time, even if he was convicted again, he can't serve additional time, so, I expect charges will be dismissed," said Russell Ainsworth, of The Exoneration Project.

Attorneys said it's time to criminally investigate all the detectives who they say were more interested in closing cases than seeking justice.

Meantime, Jakes is anxious to let go of the past and move on.

"I don't know, I might go to Disney World," Jakes joked.

Legally, the next step for Jakes is to seek a Certificate of Innocence, which is a judicial declaration to clear his name and record.

Bouto is scheduled to be back in court in May, when he hopes charges will be dropped. After that happens, he will be allowed to also seek a Certificate of Innocence

Both men are expected to file civil lawsuits.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.