November 11, 2002

Jenner & Block pro bono clients Henry and Juan Johnson, brothers who have spent the past 10 years in prison, have finally been freed on bond.

In May, an Illinois appellate court issued an opinion vacating the murder convictions against the Johnson brothers after the court found that new eyewitness evidence gathered after their 1991 trial likely would have changed its outcome.

Nevertheless, after the Appellate Court’s decision, the brothers’ release motions filed with the Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court were denied without explanation. As a result, the brothers remained in jail for months, even though they no longer stood convicted of a crime.

On Nov. 8, Cook County Circuit Court Associate Judge Dennis J. Porter granted Jenner & Block’s motion to set bond for their clients at $50,000 each. Friends and family members raised the necessary 10% and posted that money to arrange for their freedom. However, a new trial will be necessary, unless the prosecutors dismiss the charges.

Jenner & Block Partner Robert R. Stauffer and Associate Darren H. Lubetzky handled the second appeal, and Associate Robert J. Blazejowski helped prepare the Firm’s motion to set bond.