Chicago man back in jail after life sentence was commuted by Pritzker

A Chicago man who was freed from prison after 29 years is now back behind bars after a months-long alleged crime spree.

Gerald Reed's sentence was commuted last year by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

He was released from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for a double murder in 1990.

Reed's conviction was overturned by a Cook County judge, and his sentence was commuted after Reed and his lawyers argued that his confession was beaten out of him by Chicago police, led by the notorious Lt. Jon Burge. 

But over the last few months, Reed has been arrested and charged multiple times in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana for robbery, theft and other crimes.


Currently, Reed is in the Lake County, Indiana jail after allegedly robbing two women at gunpoint in a Walmart parking lot.

Criminal Defense Professor Richard Kling says it is not unheard of for people commuted for one crime to wind up back in jail for another. 

"It's hard to house somebody for 25 years in an institution, and say, ‘Now go out and become a good citizen,’ and not realize that there's gonna be a hold-over from when you were incarcerated for 20 years," said Kling. 

A special prosecutor handling the Burge-related cases for Cook County wants to re-try Reed for the 1990 double murder.

But for now, it looks as though he's stuck in an Indiana jail cell until that case is resolved.