Although Anthony Murray walked out of prison on Oct. 31 a free man after 14 years, gaining his freedom required admitting to a murder he says he didn’t commit.
“It’s been a long road,” the 41-year-old Chicago resident said in a Marion County courtroom in Salem during a hearing the day before his release. “I’m not guilty of the charges. I want this to go on the record.”
Murray’s case is the fifth in which the Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield, helped free a prisoner whom they believe to be actually innocent. But this case is different from most others the project handles. It wasn’t some new piece of evidence that set Murray free; it was his exasperated willingness to strike a deal that marks him as a killer.
John Hanlon, legal director for IIP, says Murray’s case highlights problems in the criminal justice system that can produce wrongful convictions, and no one is fully satisfied with the outcome.
The case was featured by the Illinois Times on November 8, 2012.
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