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Illinois Innocense Project UIS
SAVE THE DATE – Defenders of the Innocent event – April 8, 2015

Mark your calendar now for the Illinois Innocence Project’s annual celebration, to be held at Erin’s Pavilion on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Two nationally known victims of a faulty criminal justice process, Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton, will be our featured speakers at a program that recognizes Illinois eyewitness identification reforms.

Jennifer was brutally raped at knifepoint when she was a college student. A flawed witness identification process caused her to unintentionally misidentify Ronald as her attacker. Though Ronald insisted on his innocence, he spent 11 years in prison … until DNA exonerated him.

So began Jennifer and Ronald’s lifelong journey toward redemption and, most remarkably, an unlikely and lasting friendship. They tell their story in their 2010 book, Picking Cotton (

Learn more about Jennifer and Ronald in this short video:

Stay tuned for more information about the 2015 Defenders of the Innocent event.


In January the Project will present executive clemency petitions to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board on behalf of Anthony Murray on Tuesday, January 13; and Teshome Campbell on Thursday, January 15. Anthony will speak on his own behalf.

The hearings will begin at 9:00 a.m. each day in the Author’s Room at the Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second Street, Springfield, Ill. Specific hearing times cannot be requested. If you would like to attend, please contact Project Volunteer Dennis Rumme at (217) 720-9246 or


We regret incorrectly spelling the last name of our newest staff member, Ronda Anders, in last month’s Bulletin. Ronda recently joined the Project as a part-time clerical assistant.


From all of us at the Illinois Innocence Project – including our clients and exonerees – thank you for your dedication to our work. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!