Seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted

Seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted

11th Annual Defenders of the Innocent Event

Saturday, April 28, 2018

5:00pm Hors d’oeuvre and Cocktail Reception
6:00pm Dinner and Program

Steven Avery. An outcast caught in the criminal justice system. Exonerated after 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Convicted of murder four years later by the same county. Sentenced to life. What went wrong? This year’s event features a speaker with first hand knowledge of what happened.

5:00pm Hors d’oeuvre and Cocktail Reception
6:00pm Dinner and Program

$125 individual reserved seat

Sponsorships available

The March IIP  Bulletin Is Available


Join Us To Welcome Home Bill Amor

Bill Amor was exonerated February 21, 2018, after spending 22 years in prison as an innocent man.

Honor the 2018 Defender of the Innocent Awardees

  •  The Exoneration Project, a pro bono legal clinic at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Lt. Paul Echols (retired), of the City of Carbondale, Illinois


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