Home page 10.23.19

Seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted


Mark your calendars now for our 13th Annual Defenders of the Innocent Event on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield!

Update: Marilyn Mulero Clemency Hearing

Last week, Chicago Legal Director Lauren Kaeseberg and attorneys from the California Innocence Project and Exoneration Project argued for the full pardon of Marilyn Mulero in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Marilyn was convicted of a 1992 double murder based on evidence fabricated by now-disgraced former Chicago Detectives Reynaldo Guevara and Ernest Halvorsen, who conducted a widespread and well-established practice of abuse. If granted clemency, Marilyn would be the 20th person and first female victim of Guevara and Halvorsen to be exonerated.

During a 20-hour interrogation, Marilyn was threatened with lethal injection, told her children would be taken from her and physically threatened. She was denied sleep and a lawyer, and eventually signed a statement “confessing” responsibility for one of the murders. The true perpetrator has now admitted responsibility for both murders.

Governor J. B. Pritzker will receive the Board’s clemency recommendation and make the final decision.

Student Volunteer Inspired to Help Fix Criminal Justice System

UIS Senior Tyler Brown of Quincy, IL, recently went on his first prison legal visit and finally got to meet an IIP client whose case he has been working on over the past year.

“It was incredible to meet him. He was nervous but sat calmly while the attorneys talked to him about every detail of his case. It was definitely a learning experience for me.”

Tyler was inspired to volunteer for IIP when he learned about prosecutorial misconduct in UIS’ Conviction of the Innocent class, taught by Project attorneys.

“I was shocked by how some prosecutors choose to use false testimony by ‘jailhouse snitches’ to make a case against an innocent person.”

Tyler will learn about another aspect of the criminal justice system by joining IIP’s policy team. He will track legislation emerging in the 2020 General Assembly that may threaten the prevention of wrongful convictions. After graduation in May, Tyler plans to take the LSAT with the goal of beginning law school in fall 2021.

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The Illinois Innocence Project provides legal services at no cost to the wrongfully convicted. On average, it takes 8-10 years and over $300,000 to free one innocent person from prison. It also requires a skilled team of litigators and investigators supported by UIS students, volunteers and staff.

Your financial support matters. Your donations directly impact our ability to correct miscarriages of justice, educate the public about wrongful convictions and reform our state’s criminal justice system. Please consider making a donation today to support our work (enter “IIP” into the Fund Name field).