The Illinois State University Innocence Project

Dawn Beichner, Illinois State University
John McHale, Illinois State University

The context of wrongful conviction in Illinois is one that has received a tremendous amount of media attention. In the wake of discovering that 13 death row inmates had been wrongfully convicted and exonerated, Former Republic Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois, commuted the sentences of 167 inmates, and pardoned four others. This paper provides insight into the development of the ISU Innocence Project, a multi-disciplinary student organization that investigates allegations of wrongful conviction. This paper details our experiences in the Innocence Project, as well as the obstacles we have confronted in our pursuit for justice. Other topics in the paper include: methods for case selection, investigation procedures, investigative outcomes, and collaboration with other Innocence Projects.

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Updated 05/20/2006