A federal jury today awarded $21 million to a Chicago man who spent eleven years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

Some are calling it the largest award in Chicago history for a wrongful conviction lawsuit.

Juan Johnson, a reputed Spanish Cobras leader, was convicted in 1991 of beating a man to death and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He spent 11 ½ years behind bars.

The Illinois appellate court reversed the conviction in 2002 based on new evidence that showed a Detective Reynaldo Guevara had coerced witnesses to implicate Johnson, according to published reports. A jury acquitted Johnson in 2004.

Johnson sued a former Chicago police officer, along with the city, alleging he was framed for the 1989 murder.

Guevara, now retired, was ordered to pay $15,000 in damages.

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