Thursday, November 26, 2020

Celebrate Exonerees

The Illinois Innocence Project, based at University of Illinois Springfield, is celebrating that four of its clients who began 2020 in prison will be home for Thanksgiving. Collectively, they spent 111 years wrongfully incarcerated. 

The four clients include a woman who was released in response to a plea for an expedited clemency petition ruling from the governor, which the project had requested due to the pandemic. One man was released early after the project advocated that he be set free due to good time credits. The project's longest-serving client went home after being imprisoned for 40 years. He was granted compassionate release in June due to being at high risk for COVID-19 complications. The fourth client had been convicted of killing his child in 2007. The infant was born prematurely and the project said the death was due to health issues. The man's conviction and sentence were vacated.

This story appeared in the Illinois Times on November 25, 2020.