MC Townsend

MC Townsend, a native of Mississippi, was imprisoned for 37 years, from 1967 to 2004, after his conviction for a Chicago murder. He maintained his innocence. In 2003, the Center on Wrongful Convictions reviewed his case and determined that he was eligible for DNA testing under Illinois law and that post-conviction DNA testing could potentially prove his innocence. Sadly, despite an exhaustive search, the DNA evidence was not located and DNA testing never took place.

Townsend was originally sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison under Illinois’s former indeterminate sentencing scheme. In 2004, the Center on Wrongful Convictions assisted Townsend in applying for parole and included his innocence claim in the parole petition. The Illinois Prisoner Review Board paroled Townsend in 2004 and—again with the help of the Center on Wrongful Convictions—successfully terminated Townsend’s parole in 2007.