RANDY STEIDL TO SPEAK AT UIS – SUPPORTERS WELCOME
Exoneree Randy Steidl will give a public presentation to Larry Golden’s class, “Conviction of the Innocent,” on Tuesday, November 4, at 6:00 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center, Room 3F. Seating is limited. Please contact Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Mr. Steidl was the co-defendant, along with Illinois Innocence Project exoneree Herb Whitlock, in the infamous 1986 Paris, Ill., murder of Dyke and Karen Rhoads. He now speaks across the country against the death penalty and wrongful convictions for a national organization called Witness to Innocence. According to that organization, “Randy spent 17 years in Illinois prisons, including 12 on death row, before his exoneration in 2004. … An Illinois State Police investigation in 2000 found that local police had severely botched their investigation and that the case was riddled with political corruption that led all the way to the Illinois Governor’s office.”
For more information on Randy and the case:
Charles Palmer (Decatur) – additional evidence approved for DNA testing
Earlier this month the circuit court granted, over the prosecution’s objection, the Illinois Innocence Project’s motion for further DNA testing. During the first round of DNA testing in this case, a foreign DNA profile was obtained from the deceased’s fingernail scrapings. Further testing concluded that this foreign profile was NOT that of Mr. Palmer. With that information in available, the court has now ordered testing on additional evidence found in the deceased’s hands. This is the third consecutive case in which IIP’s testing motion has been allowed over the state’s objection.
The Illinois Innocence Project has nine cases “in the lab” currently undergoing DNA testing. Twelve additional cases are in various stages of seeking testing. In two of these cases, IIP has obtained agreement to conduct DNA testing and court orders are being drafted. IIP has filed motions for testing in two additional cases and is optimistic that another eight cases hold potential for agreement to test.
This fall the Project has an unprecedented number of students and volunteers working in our office. Here we recognize two returning students.
Andrea Carlson, a senior from Plainfield, Ill., is double majoring in Legal Studies and Political Science. She is President of the UIS chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and Captain of the Mock Trial Team. She also is active in the Pre-Law Society and Model United Nations, and last year served as the Co-Head Delegate of Model Illinois Government. Andrea became interested in the Illinois Innocence Project after taking UIS’ “Conviction of the Innocent” class taught by IIP Executive Director and Legal Director John Hanlon. The class sparked her interest in wrongful conviction cases and improving the legal system. In addition to case work, Andrea is assisting the Project with research and innocence-related policy development. She hopes to attend law school and become an advocate for individual liberties.
Michelle Tuma, a senior from Elgin, Ill., is double majoring in Legal Studies and Political Science. She is the Head Delegate of Model Illinois Government and a member of the UIS College Democrats and the Pre-Law Society, where she first heard of the innocence movement. Michelle began volunteering with the Illinois Innocence Project after taking UIS’ “Conviction of the Innocent” class with IIP Founding Director and Emeritus Professor Larry Golden. In her junior year she completed her Applied Study Term with the Project and this year is assisting with research and case work. Michelle plans to attend law school after graduating spring 2015.