“Despite her frustrations with the industry, Davis estimates that she spends as much as $600 of her monthly budget on staying in touch with her husband through things like phone calls, visits and care packages. “It eats up the money, but you don’t want your loved ones to go without,” Davis said.
She has two recommendations for other families who want to send care packages to incarcerated loved ones: “Have a budget and a lot of patience.””
“It’s a remarkable effort by the state’s attorney’s office to recognize the significance of this horrendous injustice and to do their part to start correcting it,” Tepfer said. “But there are still more than 400 convictions (by Watts’ team) that are unaccounted for … it’s no doubt the tip of the iceberg.”
It typically went like this: Fiorito would stop drivers, usually in the Lakeview area, on suspicion of driving drunk. He would then—though not always—conduct a sobriety test on the driver. Regardless of how they performed, Fiorito would record them as failing and charge them with a DUI, often making up details about their drunk driving. The accused, eager to avoid a DUI on their record, would enter a plea bargain and plead guilty to lesser charges.
Fiorito’s actions had the additional ignominy of being tinged with homophobia. Because he worked in Chicago’s “Boystown” neighborhood, a large share of Fiorito’s victims were in the LGBT community, and many accused him of using homophobic slurs while arresting them.
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