Monday, February 22, 2021

UIS Innocence Project gets pardon for client from Pritzker

The Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield announced that one of its clients, who was wrongfully convicted twice, has been pardoned by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Norman Propst, formerly of Chicago, was convicted of robbery in 1990 and of retail theft from a Borders bookstore in 1997.

“We are thrilled that the governor has granted clemency to Norman Propst for these wrongful convictions,” said John Hanlon, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project. “So many unjust convictions have occurred to innocent young Black men in Chicago. Unfortunately, Norman suffered for that reality. We are, however, so proud of the unselfish and successful way that he has devoted himself to his community since he left Chicago."

Propst pleaded guilty in the 1990 case to avoid a possible 15-year prison sentence as his mother's health was worsening. In 1997, he pleaded guilty also to avoid prolonging the court proceedings.

Hanlon said the false convictions on Propst's record have been a barrier to Propst moving forward in his life.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 19, 2021.