Illinois Innocence Project

Seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted

Job Opening

Legal Studies Departmnent

The Legal Studies Department here at University of Illinois Springfield is searching for qualified candidates for a Clinical Instructor position. Illinois Innocence Project often works with the Legal Studies Department, even sharing Staff Attorney Gwen Jordan who serves as the Chair of the Department as well as Associate Professor! Several IIP staff members are also adjunct professors in the Legal Studies Department. It is an excellent Department with stellar professors and staff across the board.

Please share with those who may be interested in applying!


NAACP Decatur Branch honors IIP with

Joe Slaw Civil Rights Award

The NAACP Decatur Branch honored the Illinois Innocence Project for their continuing work to obtain freedom for the wrongfully convicted in Illinois. For the first time in awarding this honor, the Branch reached out beyond the Decatur community by not recognizing an individual but an organization for their efforts in support of civil rights.

NAACP Decatur Branch
IIP Executive Director, John Hanlon, with Charles and Deborah Palmer accepting the Joe Slaw Civil Rights Award. Charles, a Decatur resident, is IIP’s most recent exoneree.

[Read Details Here]

10th Annual Defenders of the Innocent Event

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Video courtesy of Network Knowledge WSEC Springfield, Illinois

A record crowd turned out for the Illinois Innocence Project’s annual Defenders of the Innocent event. This year’s featured speakers were Yusef and Sharonne Salaam. Yusef was wrongfully convicted as a member of the Central Park Five”, a notorious case that captured the nation’s attention in 1989. He and four others spent thirteen or more years in prison. The real perpetrator confessed and the New York courts vacated their convictions in 2002. Yusef spoke passionately on how the justice system fails the wrongfully convicted. His mother, Sharonne, gave an emotionally charged address on the effect of wrongful convictions on families. Yusef and Sharonne charged the audience to support the efforts of the Illinois Innocence Project and all innocence projects nation wide.

IIP June Bulletin Is Available

Released But Not Free

Congratulations IIP 2017 Graduates

[Online edition available here]


10th Exoneration – November 24, 2016

Charles Palmer

The Illinois Innocence Project (IIP) is very pleased to announce that our client Charles Palmer was exonerated and freed on Wednesday November 23, 2016, after 18 years of incarceration for a murder that DNA proved he did not commit. The case involved the 1998 murder of a man in Decatur IL. The victim had expired with an unknown person’s tissue under his fingernails, and another person’s hair in his hand, both of which went untested prior to trial…

His story continues….


En Espanol 2016 ButtonVea nuestra información de contacto en español.


Building Awareness of Wrongful Convictions

Professor Gwen Jordan
Professor Gwen Jordan addresses officer recruits at the Police Training Institute at UIUC

At the invitation of the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, the Illinois Innocence Project has presented programs to officer recruits. Over two years in the planning, these optional sessions have been well received and attended by a majority of the cadets. [More about the Initiative]


Most exonerees spend years in prison only to return to society without any resources. Some justice systems have laws that allow for compensation and resources for wrongful convictions. Others require exonerees to file complicated claims in a long, drawn out process that takes years. All exonerees deserve fair compensation, services like education and job training, and an apology from the state.

Illinois Innocence Project, Executive Director, John Hanlon was interviewed on NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS about exoneree compensation and the problems faced by recent IIP exoneree, Angel Gonzalez.


Exploring the Innocence Movement

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

GwenJordan_003Here’s your chance to learn about the Innocence Movement and wrongful convictions. UIS sponsors a FREE Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), taught by our own staff attorney and Legal Studies professor, Gwen Jordan! It features interviews with exonerees, innocence attorneys, student interns, and community volunteers. The course is self-paced and open to anyone. Enroll in the course today

Find more details on the course