Meet the Exonerees

Thaddeus Jimenez

State: Illinois
Date of Birth: 1981
Incident Date: 02/13/1993
Age at Arrest: 13
Conviction Date: 1993
Age When Exonerated: 30
Exonerated Date: 05/01/2009
Time Served: 16
Conviction: Murder
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: Yes

Case Details

Accused at thirteen years old of a murder he did not commit, Thaddeus Jimenez is the youngest known person in the United States ever to be exonerated of a crime for which he was tried as an adult. Jimenez's conviction was based in part on the statement of Larry Tueffel, a fourteen-year-old boy who implicated TJ after police roused him in the middle of the night and interrogated him. Another eyewitness identified Jimenez as the shooter. Thirteen years later, attorneys working for the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth captured Tueffel's recantation on tape, and the other witness abjured as well. At the urging of the CWCY, the Cook County State’s Attorney re-investigated the case and concluded that Jimenez was innocent. Finally, at 30 years old, Jimenez was released on the same day that the real assailant was arrested.