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Jury awards $7.5M to man cleared of Chicago murder decades later

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CHICAGO — A jury on Tuesday awarded $7.5 million to a man who was exonerated after spending nearly 30 years in prison for a murder in Chicago.

Daniel Andersen sued a group of current and former Chicago police officers, arguing that he was coerced into confessing to the slaying of Cathy Trunko in 1980.

His lawyers also said that DNA results years later eliminated a link to the 20-year-old victim, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"The entire criminal case was a lie," Jonathan Loevy said in his closing argument.

Andersen was released from prison in 2007 and subsequently received a certificate of innocence.

A lawyer for the officers, Timothy Scahill, argued that Trunko and Andersen had not been completely excluded from the knife blade, which was found a few blocks away.

Jurors at the 1982 trial "absolutely, 100% came to the right outcome," Scahill said.

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