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Help Free the Innocent


2016 Defenders of the Innocent Event

Saturday, April 30

Celebrating IIP’s 15th Anniversary
Featuring DNA Exoneree Kirk Bloodsworth and IIP’s 9th Exoneree Teshome Campbell

Teshome Campbell, 9th Exoneree, Freed After 18 Years

IIP client Teshome Campbell walked out of prison on January 29 after 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. With incredible family support, Teshome landed a full-time job 12 days later.

Thank you to the extraordinary Perkins Coie law firm, which represented Teshome pro bono in federal court, and to former IIP Staff Attorney Erica Nichols Cook, who worked on this case for several years and conducted important investigatory work, including location of a key witness.

Teshome visited IIP offices 7 days after his release, shown here with two of his attorneys, Jacqueline Bullard, Deputy Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender; and Erica Nichols Cook, IIP former staff attorney.

GoFundMe Call for Help for 1st Exoneree Who Lost All in Fire

Most exonerees have to rebuild their lives once after they are released. Keith Harris has to do it a second time after losing everything all over again. Just weeks ago a house fire took everything from Keith, including his identical twin brother and best friend, Kenny, who died in the fire.

Keith spent 22 years in prison as an innocent man. After his exoneration, Kenny had a stroke and Keith moved in to care for his brother. When flames engulfed their home, Keith ran back in but was unable to save Kenny, who was trapped.

This tragedy is the latest in a long line of injustices for Keith. Yet he remains one of the most faithful, loyal, loving and kind people we have ever known.  Keith is left with nothing, no clothing, no furniture, no appliances and all of his sentimental mementos and photographs are gone. If you can, please donate any amount to help rebuild his life and send the message: You are not alone, Keith. (yes the S is left off at the end).

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg Named Chicago Legal Director

We proudly announce Staff Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg has been named Legal Director for IIP’s Chicago office. Lauren obtained her law degree from Cardozo Law School in New York, where she also interned for the Innocence Project, and has been IIP’s staff attorney in Chicago since May 2013. Lauren had primary legal responsibility for both of our 2015 exonerations – Angel Gonzalez, in partnership with the New York-based Innocence Project, and Christopher Abernathy.

Here she is with our Exoneree Angel Gonzalez at NIU Law School, where she's an adjunct professor and coordinates the IIP Externship Program. Back row, from L: Chris Mishaan, NIU Law extern Brian Cunningham, NIU Law extern Daniel Thetford, and NIU Law extern Michael Hulvey.

We are incredibly fortunate to have Lauren working for us. She brings not only expertise from her work with the Innocence Project but also an undeniable passion for the innocent. Please join us in congratulating Lauren.