Center on Wrongful Convictions


In his final days in office, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued pardons and commutations to the following four Center on Wrongful Convictions clients:

  • Anthony Dansberry, a developmentally disabled man who had been in prison since 1992, received a sentence commutation on January 12, 2015.

  • Johnnie Lee Savory, who served 30 years in prison for a double murder after his conviction as a teenager, received a pardon and expungement on January 12, 2015.

  • Alan Beaman, who served 13 years for a murder he did not commit that occurred while he was a college student, received a pardon based on innocence on January 9, 2015.

  • Robert Taylor, previously exonerated of a rape and murder for which he was convicted as a teenager, was pardoned for jumping bail in relation to that case on November 26, 2014.

Unfortunately, Randy Steidl and Anthony McKinney are still waiting for justice.

Media coverage: Dansberry and SavoryBeamanTaylor; Steidl

In Memoriam: Our Beloved Jane Raley

Jane Raley

It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of Co-Director Jane Raley, a member of our legal staff since 2000 and truly the heart of the Center on Wrongful Convictions.  She died peacefully at home on Christmas morning, surrounded by her loving family.

The cause of criminal justice has lost one of our greatest and most compassionate warriors.  Jane was an incredible lawyer, a tenacious advocate for her clients, a revered mentor of law students and young lawyers, and an exceptionally loving and caring person.  All who knew her will miss her beyond measure.  Many innocent men and women are free from their convictions due to Jane’s work, and many young lawyers are out doing good in the world—and understand the good that attorneys can accomplish—due to Jane’s magnificent example during her 14 years as a law professor at Northwestern University School of Law.

A sampling of online tributes to Jane:

There will be a memorial service for Jane at 2 p.m. on January 3 at the North Shore Unitarian Church, 2100 Half Day Road, in Deerfield, Illinois.  All are welcome.

Rest in peace, our dear Jane.

(In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her memory to the Jane Raley Memorial Fund at Northwestern University School of Law. Please contact for more information.)