Lawyers for Madison Hobley say the former Illinois death row inmate is moving ahead to collect $6.5 million in a legal settlement with the city of Chicago.

Hobley served 13 years in prison for a 1987 arson fire that killed seven people, including his wife and infant son. He was pardoned by former Illinois Gov. George Ryan in 2003.

The city of Chicago paid Hobley $1 million last year after he filed a wrongful-conviction suit. An additional $6.5 million was withheld pending the outcome of a new federal investigation into the arson, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

The Austin City Council in 2003 settled lawsuits for more than 14 million dollars in the cases of two men wrongfully convicted in Austin. In Dallas, there have been 20 exonerations in recent years of people wrongfully convicted.

If Texas city councils do not start considering the broken death penalty system a matter for local governments, then more and more local taxpayers in Texas will have to foot the bill for these type of lawsuits.

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