A two-year investigation spearheaded by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and chaired by a former federal prosecutor has concluded, but a Cook County judge ruled this week that it will be kept secret.  For decades, scores of people accused Detective Reynaldo Guevara, now retired, of falsifying evidence, beating people, and framing the innocent to close cases.  The investigatory committee reviewed Guevara’s conduct in 40 murder cases to search for signs of wrongful conviction.

Portions of the reports, which are currently sealed, were revealed by a BuzzFeed News investigation.  At a hearing on Tuesday, city attorneys argued that the report should be kept from the public.  Judge James Linn agreed ruling that the findings are legal communications and thus privileged.  Most of the reports are written between investigators and the city of Chicago.  The decision to keep most of the findings secret is controversial and a huge setback to many defendants seeking exoneration.

Judge Linn said he examined the reports and found they did not find pattern and practice” of misconduct.  “I don’t find anything helpful.”

In one rather heated exchange, attorneys Russell Ainsworth and Jennifer Bonjean, both of whom represent defendants seeking to overturn their convictions, argued their clients had a right to review all matters in their case especially if the lead investigator is accused of misconduct.

“You’re not getting the reports,” Judge Linn replied.

Judge Linn unsealed only the portions of the reports that have been given to the State Attorney’s Office.  In those documents, investigators concluded that 4 men – Roberto Almodovar, Robert Buoto, Jose Montanez, and Armando Serrano – are most likely innocent of the murders for which they have spent at least 20 years (and counting) in prison for.

At one point during the hearing, Judge Linn threatened to hold Bonjean in contempt because he felt as though she was “rude”.


  1. jody cochran says:

    Shame on that judge who has sworn to “uphold” the law not conceal criminal behavior in officers ! They are no better than anyone else in the USA and deserve to be punished like anyone else for taking the lives of innocent people away.


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