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Innocence Project University of Illinois Springfield

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SB 2995

Under current law, Illinois bars those who have pled guilty from being eligible for post-conviction DNA testing. This is true even though guilty pleas were entered by roughly 10% of the 312 individuals exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing.

To address the deficiency in Illinois law, the Innocence Project, together with the Illinois Innocence Project, is advocating for the passage of SB 2995, sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul, which would allow those who have pled guilty to access DNA testing.

Illinois was the second state in the nation to pass a law granting access to post-conviction DNA testing. Today, however, it is one of only five that continue to bar individuals who pled guilty from accessing this important technology. This is true even though guilty pleas were entered by roughly 10% of the 312 cases of individuals who were later exonerated through post-conviction DNA testing.

Research has shown that innocent individuals plead guilty or confess to crimes they did not commit for a variety of reasons. The suspect may experience real or perceived intimidation by law enforcement, for example, or the suspect may be of compromised reasoning ability due to exhaustion, stress, hunger, substance use, or limited education. Others may fear that failure to confess and plead guilty will yield a harsher punishment.

To address the deficiency in Illinois law, the Innocence Project, together with the Illinois Innocence Project, is advocating for the passage of SB 2995, sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul, which would allow those who have pled guilty to access DNA testing. This bill will be heard in Criminal Law Committee tomorrow, February 26 at 9am. Your senator needs to hear from you.

Please click the image below to visit Illinois Senate Website to sign a witness slip in SUPPORT of SB 2995. THANK YOU!

2014 IL SB 2995.

SB2995