2017 Wrongful Conviction Day
In recognition of Wrongful Conviction Day the Illinois Innocence Project placed flags on the campus quad. Each flag represented an individual freed from a wrongful conviction. Blue flags represented those released from Illinois prisons. “There are 2,096 flags there, and that’s a very interesting number because just last week, when we bought those flags that was the number. Now it’s over 2,100 and that’s just in a few days. Each one of those flags represents a person who has been wrongfully convicted but exonerated in the United States” said John Hanlon, Executive and Legal Director of the Illinois Innocence Project.
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10th Annual Defenders of the Innocent Event
Saturday, April 29, 2017
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
10th Exoneration – November 24, 2016
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…
POLICE TRAINING INITIATIVE
Building Awareness of Wrongful Convictions
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]
COMPENSATION + COMPASSION
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)
Here’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