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SIU Law Students Achieve Freedom For Innocent Man


After serving 14 years for a murder he did not commit, Anthony Murray, 40, of Chicago gained his freedom Tuesday. The Illinois Innocence Project, including students and faculty at SIU School of Law, helped make this possible.

Murray was convicted of first-degree murder 14 years ago for his alleged involvement in the death of Seneca Jones in Centralia, Ill. 

With the help of the Illinois Innocence Project, an in-depth investigation yielded new evidence of Murray’s innocence. “Given new evidence of Anthony’s innocence, it is clear that Anthony was not even at the scene of the murder,” said Larry Golden, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project.

Many students and staff from UIS, the Southern Illinois University Law School, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Law, worked on Murray’s case under the supervision of Illinois Innocence Project Legal Director John Hanlon who led the effort to gain Murray’s release.

This is the second time this year that the Illinois Innocence Project has freed an innocent person for a crime they did not commit. The Project continues to work on 25 additional cases. It recently changed its name from the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project to the Illinois Innocence Project to reflect the fact that it is now accepting cases throughout Illinois in collaboration with the three Illinois public law schools at Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Southern Illinois University.

Read more about this fascinating case here and here.