Marlon Pendleton

Marlon Pendleton in 2006. (Photo: Jennifer Linzer)

Marlon Pendleton in 2006. (Photo: Jennifer Linzer)

DNA Exonerates Marlon Pendleton

Marlon Pendleton was convicted in 1993 of a sexual assault that occurred in Chicago the previous year. His conviction rested entirely on identification testimony from the victim. He was exonerated and released from prison on November 30, 2006, after DNA testing established his innocence.

Pendleton repeatedly requested DNA testing before trial, but Pamela Fish, a Chicago Police Department forensic analyst, falsely claimed that the amount of semen recovered from the victim was too small to yield a result. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stanley Sacks ordered retesting in 2006 after initial objections from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Pendleton received a pardon based on innocence from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on October 30, 2008.