The Chicago Sun-Times reports, "Darby Tillis, who fought wrongful convictions after he was freed, dies at 71," by Thomas Frisbie.
Darby Tillis, one of the first men to be freed from Illinois’ Death Row, died Sunday morning at Rush Hospital of what is thought to have been an aneurysm. He was 71.
Mark A. Clements, a board member of the Campaign to End to Death Penalty, said Mr. Tillis was a respected and strong advocate for ending the death penalty and wrongful convictions and “will be greatly missed.”
Mr. Tillis and co-defendant Perry Cobb went to trial five times for the early morning 1977 murder of Melvin Kanter and Charles Guccione at an Uptown restaurant. The first two trials ended in hung juries. Mr. Tillis and Cobb were sentenced to death after the third trial, but in 1983 the verdict was reversed on appeal. The fourth trial also ended in a hung jury.
The two men were acquitted at the fifth trial in 1987 after Michael Falconer, a Lake County prosecutor, came forward after reading an article about the case by Rob Warden in the Chicago Lawyer. Falconer said the state’s chief witness against Mr. Tillis and Cobb had confided to him that the crime actually was committed by another man, her boyfriend.
Related posts are in the in memoriam category index.