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You're Invited - Defenders of the Innocent Event on April 30

REGISTER NOW for a special celebration of IIP’S 15th anniversary at our 9th annual Defenders Event on April 30!

DNA Exoneree Kirk Bloodsworth will share how he fought for his life after being sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Meet IIP Exoneree Teshome Campbell, who was released January 29, 2016, after serving 18 years for a murder he did not commit. Photo: Teshome on the day of his release with former IIP staff attorney Erica Nichols Cook (on left) and IIP Chicago Legal Director Lauren Kaeseberg.

IIP will present Defender Awards to the Illinois Times, for its years of giving voice to the innocent, and to the law firm Perkins Coie, for its pro bono dedication to freeing Teshome Campbell.

(If you can’t join us on April 30, join the fight for the innocent by making a gift to IIP!)

Welcome New IIP Staff Attorney Lauren Myerscough-Mueller

We are thrilled to announce Lauren Myerscough-Mueller has joined our team of attorneys. Lauren will focus on “actual innocence” DNA cases involving guilty pleas and those of Latino inmates as part of IIP’s new Latino Innocence Initiative. Both efforts are funded by a Department of Justice Bloodsworth grant awarded to IIP in 2015.

Lauren is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law. She brings tremendous passion to the job, and critical defense experience in the private and public arenas. Join us in welcoming Lauren to the IIP team and back to her hometown of Springfield!

Case Update

Former IIP client wins DNA testing in appellate court – case exemplifies IIP/SIU Law School partnership

Andrew Grant’s case stands as an exemplary highlight of IIP’s collaboration with the SIU School of Law. In 2012, with the assistance of (then) SIU law students Abbey Fritz and Nathan Frisch, IIP filed a motion for DNA testing under the Bloodsworth federal grant for our (then) client Andrew, imprisoned since 2004. 

Abbey argued the motion in the Circuit Court of Peoria County, which the court subsequently denied. The Project appealed to the Illinois Appellate Court. On January 29, 2016, the Third District Court issued a published opinion reversing the Circuit Court’s judgment and ordered the requested DNA testing. 

Congrats to Abbey and Nathan for their diligent work on behalf of Andrew. And congratulations to victorious Attorney Susan Wilham, Office of the State Appellate Defender, 4th District Springfield, for her outstanding work toward this published opinion, which we anticipate will support other DNA testing motions.