Center on Wrongful Convictions

Thirty-six innocent men and women in Illinois were exonerated due to efforts of the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC). Prior to the Center's founding in 1998, members of its staff were instrumental in 14 additional exonerations - including that of Gary Dotson, who in 1989 became the first person in the world to be exonerated by DNA. More...


New Trial for CWC Client Jamie Lee Peterson

Jamie Lee Peterson

On August 14, 2014, Kalkaska County (Michigan) Circuit Judge Janet M. Allen granted a new trial to Jamie Lee Peterson, who is jointly represented by the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the Center on Wrongful Convictions. Peterson had been convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of 69-year-old Geraldine Montgomery based solely on his problematic confession. DNA testing has shown that semen stains on the victim's clothing and in her body came from a man named Jason Ryan, who has been arrested for the crime. No physical evidence connects Peterson to the crime. Rejecting the prosecution's arguments that the new evidence would not have impacted the verdict, Judge Allen granted a new trial in a 23-page written opinion. More details will be forthcoming.

Chicago Sun-Times Urges Governor Quinn to Grant

Innocence Pardon to CWC Client Randy Steidl

Randy Steidl awaiting vote on legislation to abolish the death penalty in Illinois

New CWC Film:  Daniel Taylor's First Year of Freedom

$40 Million Settlement for Dixmoor Five

James Harden, Jonathan Barr, Robert Taylor, Robert Veal and Shainnie Sharp

Christopher Coleman

Peoria County drops all charges against CWC client Christopher Coleman