Illinois Innocence Project

Seeking justice for the wrongfully convicted

Upcoming Event

15th Anniversary Celebration with Special Guest Kirk Bloodsworth

Screen Shot KNB

En Español – Vea nuestra información de contacto en español.

IIP Receives Federal DNA Testing Grant

Durbin U.S. Senator Richard Durbin recently announced the Illinois Innocence Project with the support of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, has been awarded a $753,958 grant from the Department of Justice.
The grant will allow IIP to expand its work in two underserved areas:

1) Guilty plea cases – pursue DNA testing of evidence in cases where individuals plead guilty to a crime even though they were innocent; and
2) Latino cases – pursue DNA testing of evidence in cases where Latino inmates may be innocent. Find more information about the DNA grant…

By the Numbers

  • 2,037 requests for help since 2001
  • 300+ requests for help in 2015
  • 26 active cases
  • 10 cases with DNA evidence in testing
  • 537 backlogged cases waiting review
  • 9 releases

*As of January 2016

8th Exoneration
March 9, 2015

Angel Gonzalez was exonerated after over 21 years in prison


For 21 years Angel fought to prove his innocence, after a 1994 conviction put him in prison for a 55-year sentence. He was convicted based on eyewitness identification and a coerced confession, yet no evidence linked him to the crime. Finally, DNA tests just two weeks ago conclusively proved he was not one of the two rapists in the case.

On March 10, Angel Gonzalez walked out of Dixon a free and fully exonerated man.

Angel’s exoneration and release, in collaboration with the Innocence Project, are extraordinary achievements for the Illinois Innocence Project, closely following our client Christopher Abernathy’s exoneration.

7th Exoneration
February 11, 2015

Christopher Abernathy exonerated after almost 30 years in prison

FIRST STEP OUT Christopher Abernathy was only 17 in 1984 when 15-year-old Kristina Hickey, a high school student and girl he knew, was brutally assaulted and murdered in Park Forest, Ill. (Cook County). The crime shocked and terrified residents of this small suburban community south of Chicago, and went unsolved for more than a year.

The Illinois Innocence Project, advocating for the importance of the DNA results and other new evidence not presented at trial, obtained agreement from the State’s Attorney’s Office to vacate and dismiss all charges against Christopher and immediately release him from prison.

UIS launches a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Staff Attorney and Legal Studies Professor Gwen Jordan Exploring the Innocence Movement

Here’s your chance to learn about the Innocence Movement and wrongful convictions. UIS is launching a FREE Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), taught by our own staff attorney and Legal Studies professor, Gwen Jordan! This six-week course begins February 2, 2015 and is open to anyone. Enroll in the course today

Find more details on the course