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Illinois Innocence Project

June 7th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Illinois Innocence Project, Rolling Meadows, exoneree, criminal justice system, criminal charges, Illinois crimeYou were innocent. You knew it all along and now you have your freedom. But what happens next?

There is a group operating out of Springfield, Illinois called the Illinois Innocence Project. They have been working since early 2001 to overturn wrongful criminal convictions in Illinois. At the start, their primary focus was exonerating inmates through legal avenues, and the group has had much success.

The most recent example of their success was the release of one man, Charles Palmer, who was set free the day before thanksgiving in 2016, after he had been forced to spend 18 years of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

A surprising yet inevitable new issue to address arose when the Illinois Innocence Project noticed that many times the people who were exonerated lacked educational, emotional, or familial support once they were released. 

Governor Bruce Rauner has advocated for a 25 percent reduction in the Illinois prison population within the next 10 years. The time frame in which the inmates reenter society is important because they have an opportunity to prepare themselves for release, get their affairs in order, and otherwise have a more temperate and gradual reintroduction to society.

Not every inmate released has that opportunity. Take for example, Charles Palmer, who had roughly two weeks’ notice that there was a possibility for his release, and did not find out until the day before his release that his freedom was probable. This presents a massive challenge to an exoneree who otherwise had no reason to anticipate his or her release. According to John Hanlon, the executive and legal director for IIP, “the average exoneree does not have any money, a job, or even any place to go. It’s a tremendous challenge.”

What to Do If You Are Charged with a Crime You Did Not Commit

If you are arrested or charged with a crime, then the very first step you should take is to contact a lawyer. Your lawyer will offer you advice on questions you should or should not answer. Immediately contacting a lawyer also gives your attorney time to note any important details surrounding your case—information which may help give you the best opportunity to fight the crimes for which you have been charged. 

The criminal justice system is a massive machine with numerous moving parts all moving against you. This is not the time to try and stand on your own two feet. You need an experienced and fearless Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to stand up with you and defend your rights. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. 

Source:

http://illinoistimes.com/article-18578-you%25E2%2580%2599re-a-free-man_-now-what.html

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