Charles Palmer served 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit, and on November 23, he was freed thanks in part to law students with the Illinois Innocence Project, which had been advocating for Palmer since 2011.
The case involved the 1998 murder of a man in Decatur, IL. The victim had expired with an unknown person’s tissue under his fingernails, and another person’s hair in his hand, both of which went untested prior to trial. DNA testing of these items was litigated successfully by the Illinois Innocence Project, over the State’s objection, and was later found to not be a match of Palmer.
On November 23, in court, the prosecution announced that they had decided to dismiss and vacate the entire case, and that Charles Palmer should be released immediately.
This case exemplified true teamwork by the Illinois Innocence Project. Twelve students from the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Illinois Springfield, along with numerous IIP staffers and volunteers, worked on this case over the years.
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