Center for State Policy and Leadership
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Illinois Innocence Project Wins Release of Wrongfully Convicted Decatur Man Imprisoned for 18 Years
November 23, 2016
A Decatur man walked free from the Macon County Courthouse today thanks to the efforts of the Illinois Innocence Project. Newly discovered DNA evidence proves that Charles Palmer did not commit the 1998 murder of William Helmbacher.
On November 16, a Macon County judge overturned Palmer’s conviction and life sentence for first-degree murder and awarded him a new trial. The Macon County State’s Attorney declined to retry the case on November 23, and Palmer returned to the world a free man.
The Center hosted the 14th Annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures October 20, 2016, on the theme, “Lincoln and Reconstruction.” More information can be found on the Lincoln Legacy Lecture site.