HOWARD MORGAN IS INNOCENT...WE MUST CLEAR HIS NAME!!
We are asking that Governor Bruce Rauner show mercy in granting Mr. Howard Morgan a Pardon based on innocence, with authorization to Expunge. A pardon with authorization to expunge is the only remedy left to clear Mr. Morgan's name of all charges that have been unjustly inflicted upon him.
Howard Morgan, a former Chicago Police Officer and a 13 year Railroad Police Officer (at the time of this incident) for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, pulled over on his way home February 21, 2005, to let a police car by with flashing lights. To Mr. Morgan's surprise, the officers approached his vehicle with their guns drawn regarding an alleged traffic violation. Immediately, Mr. Morgan identified himself as a police officer.
Though identifying himself as a police officer, Officer Howard Morgan was forced from his vehicle and shot 28 times by four white police officers. Twenty-one of those shots were administered to the back parts of Officer Howard Morgan's body and seven to the front of his body. Officer Morgan also sustained lacerations to his left leg and right arm, and a burst eardrum.
As a result of the Feb. 21, 2005 incident, Officer Howard Morgan was unjustly charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. However, an independent eyewitness testified that Mr. Morgan never reached for nor fired his service weapon.
In 2007, a jury acquitted Officer Howard Morgan of the two counts of aggravated battery as well as the count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Upon being acquitted of the aggravated discharge of a firearm, Mr. Morgan's counsel moved to have all other charges dismissed on the grounds that Mr. Morgan had been found not guilty of firing the only weapon he was being accused of using in the incident. The aggravated discharge of a firearm laid the initial foundation for the remaining counts of attempted first degree murder. If Mr. Morgan was proven to be not guilty of firing his service weapon, how than could he have attempted to murder the four officers? However, Judge Clayton Crane, the presiding judge, denied Mr. Morgan's request to dismiss the remaining charges and ordered the trial to proceed. Unfortunately, the jury was unable to continue deliberating when two female jurors suddenly announced they were ill. Prior to the jurors announcement, Judge Crane for no known reason, decided to dismiss the alternate jurors despite Mr. Morgans request to keep the alternate jurors. Upon the two female jurors announcing their sudden illness, Officer Howard Morgan's counsel then requested that the trial continue with the remaining ten jurors which is permitted by state law. However, Judge Clayton Crane again, denied their request and declared a mistrial.
The double jeopardy law, as outlined in the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, restricts government, by collateral estoppel, from re-litigating against the same defense a fact necessarily found by the jury in a prior acquittal, as in Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436 (1970); even if the jury hung on other counts as in Yeager v. United States, 557 U.S. 110 (2009). Therefore, Howard Morgan should never have been tried a second time in 2012. Not withstanding that fact; even the evidence in the 2012 trial was insufficient to sustain a conviction. Therefore, the Court is compelled to enter a judgment of acquittal.
The destruction of evidence, withholding of evidence, and lack of evidence gathered did not allow Mr. Howard Morgan the due process of law afforded him under the U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment, and the State of Illinois Constitution, Article 1, Section 2; as he was not given a fair trial in 2007 or 2012.
Howard Morgan's van was crushed and destroyed without notice or cause before any forensic investigation could be done.
The State only produced 3 of the 28 bullets shot into and taken from Howard Morgan's body, whereby the rest of the 25 bullets could have shown whether or not the police officers who shot Mr. Morgan shot him with his own gun after taking it from him.
Howard Morgan was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired his service weapon on the morning in question.
The State never produced the actual bullet proof vest worn by one of the officers who claimed to have allegedly taken a shot directly into the vest on the morning in question. The State only produced a replica.
All of the above facts are a blatant obstruction of justice.
The 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against "double jeopardy."
The 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affords the right to a "speedy trial" by an "impartial jury." (being tried twice over a period of five years is not speedy.)
The 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against "cruel and unusual punishment."
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affords "due process of law."
All of the rights above, which are guaranteed Mr. Morgan by the U.S. Constitution have been violated.
On May 2, 2012, Howard Morgan was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison. He was placed at the Dixon Correctional Center in Dixon, IL, to serve the 40 year sentence.
In January 2014, Howard Morgan's case was heard before the Illinois Appellate Courts. The case went before a panel of 3 judges.
On February 21, 2014, the 3 judge panel upheld the lower courts decision, essentially denying the appeal.
On January 12, 2015, outgoing governor Pat Quinn commuted Howard Morgan's 40 year sentence. Mr. Howard Morgan was released from the Dixon Correctional Center on January 14, 2015. Though we are greatly appreciative in the step toward justice Governor Quinn took in releasing Howard Morgan from prison, Mr. Morgan's sentence being commuted does not clear his name and the conviction still remains on his record.
Mr. Howard Morgan is an innocent man and he deserves his name completely cleared. The only remedy to completely clear Mr. Morgan's name is to be granted a Pardon with authorization to Expunge.
Please sign this petition requesting Governor Bruce Rauner show mercy in granting Mr. Howard Morgan a Pardon based on innocence with authorization to Expunge all criminal charges relating to this matter. Please show your solidarity and help us clear Mr. Howard Morgans name. Let's unite as one voice and stand with us for justice!
For further information, and to join on to the Pardon Howard Morgan Campaign, go to:
Donations can be sent to :
Mrs. Rosalind Morgan
PO Box 601
Flossmoor, IL 60422
Make checks payable to : The Howard Morgan Defense Fund