Chicago Heights in One of the Largest Individual Wrongful Conviction Settlements in State History

Rodell Sanders Wins $15 Million for 20+ Wrongful Years Behind Bars

A federal judge this morning approved one of the largest-ever individual wrongful convictions settlements in Illinois history. Rodell Sanders spent more than 20 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, for which there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime – the only evidence being manipulated testimony organized by a police department notorious for widespread corruption.

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.

Mr. 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. As a result of his wrongful imprisonment, he missed most of their childhood years. Apart from his wrongful conviction, he had no other criminal convictions.

A copy of his suit, Rodell Sanders v. City of Chicago Heights, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00221, can be found here.

Mr. Sanders is represented by Russell Ainsworth and Elliot Slosar of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms. Over the past decade, Loevy & Loevy has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country. Last November, Loevy & Loevy successfully obtained the release of the dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting death at the hands of Chicago police.

Rodell Sanders in 2014
Rodell Sanders in 2014

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If you or your property were impacted by the demolition of the smokestack at the former Crawford Coal Plant in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood in April 2020, you may be entitled to compensation from a class action settlement. You can learn more about the settlement and file a claim at www.littlevillagesmokestack.com. If you have questions, you may also contact the attorneys working on the settlement by calling (800) 244-0942.