Alan Beaman (Photo: Jennifer Linzer)
Case Dropped Against
CWC Client Alan Beaman
Alan Beaman, 36, a client of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, was cleared of wrongdoing on January 29, 2009, when the McLean County State's Attorney's Office dismissed charges against him arising from the murder of Jennifer Lockmiller on August 25, 1993.
Beaman was convicted of Lockmiller's murder in 1995 and sentenced to 50 years in prison despite the lack of any direct evidence of his guilt, and his direct appeal was denied. During the course of lengthy post-conviction proceedings, Beaman's Center attorneys developed evidence showing that the prosecution had failed to disclose evidence regarding another suspect in the case and had misled the jury with regard to critical timeline facts. Although the circuit and appellate courts continued to uphold the conviction, the Illniois Supreme Court unanimously reversed Beaman's conviction on May 22, 2008, finding that the trial prosecutor had violated Beaman's constitutional rights. The high court characterized the State's case against Beaman as "tenuous" and found it probable that the jury would have acquitted him had it known about the other suspect.
At that point, the McLean County State's Attorney's office had the option of retrying Beaman or dismissing the case against him. Eight months after the high court's decision, all charges against Beaman were dropped.
Law Bulletin (pdf)