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wclut1@uis.edu


 

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Attorneys aid UIS Innocence Project in representing defendants in Slover murder case

December 13, 2006

SPRINGFIELD -- Springfield attorneys Peter Wise and Pete Cavanagh have volunteered to provide pro bono representation in a Macon County murder case at the request of the three defendants and the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

On December 12, Wise and Cavanaugh filed a motion on behalf of Michael Slover Jr. and his parents, Michael Slover Sr. and Jeanette Slover, asking that an unidentified fingerprint found at a scene related to the 1996 murder of the younger Slover's ex-wife, Karyn, be submitted to the FBI's Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

The Slovers were convicted of Karyn's murder in 2002 and each was sentenced to 65 years in prison. 

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Downstate Illinois Innocence Project

Wise and Cavanagh are representing the Slovers in their efforts to have the fingerprint tested under a state statute that allows for post-conviction testing of DNA and fingerprint evidence in order to prove a claim of actual innocence. Bill Clutter, director of investigations for the Innocence Project, said, "We would like to identify who this print belongs to. The evidence strongly indicates that it was left by the person who disposed of Karyn Slover's body.  It was never identified by police."

The motion also says that the Innocence Project has identified new evidence – including hair, fibers, and an eyewitness account – that would have created reasonable doubt had it been presented at trial.

UIS' Downstate Illinois Innocence Project is housed within the Institute for Legal and Policy Studies. Under its auspices, students in Legal Studies and other degree programs provide research and investigative assistance to attorneys who are helping individuals who have been arrested, tried, found guilty, and imprisoned for crimes that the Project believes they did not commit.

For more information, contact Clutter at 899-4353.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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