Thursday, April 12, 2012

Innocence Project plans to go statewide

Before distributing a set of awards at his organization's annual reception, Larry Golden made a big announcement.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project plans to drop the regional identifying word in its title, signifying a plan to adopt a statewide focus.

"It's going to be an evolution," Golden, the project's executive director, said in an interview later. "I think the important thing is that it symbolizes our intention to move forward in a way that we've not been able to do before."

Based at the University of Illinois Springfield, the newly-renamed Illinois Innocence Project examines cases and works to free wrongfully-convicted inmates from prison. It hosted its fifth annual "Defenders of the Innocent Awards" reception Monday.

Last year, the project received 208 requests for assistance from inmates, Golden said, 74 of which came from northern Illinois. Over time, they gradually took on more upstate cases, including one that led to an exoneration in Kane County last month.

The Innocence Project was featured in an April 11, 2012, article in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Read the article online