Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

LAI Newsletter

Amanda Knox to speak at fall luncheon

Life After Innocence (LAI) will host its annual luncheon on Thursday, December 3. Funds raised from ticket sales to the luncheon will assist exonerees in need and support the work of LAI, which advocates for innocent people adversely affected by the criminal justice system, helping them reenter society and enabling them to reclaim their rights as citizens. Loyola is pleased to welcome Amanda Knox as its special guest speaker this year.  Knox was recently exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court after a lengthy legal battle that drew international attention. She is active in the innocence movement and will join LAI to discuss her experiences and work advocating on behalf of others wrongfully convicted. Full Story

HIGHLIGHTS

Life After Innocence Passes Higher Education Legislation
Life After Innocence continues its work on legislation. The passage of Senate Bill 223 was a huge win for the clinic, as it ensures that all Illinois exonerees are entitled to free higher education in state-run schools. The bill also allows those same individuals to obtain a GED with state funding. This bill will ease the transition that exonerees face when re-entering society, sometimes after spending decades in prison. Full Story

What the Illinois budget crisis means for compensations
As the Illinois budget crisis continues, the wrongfully convicted pay the price. Despite being owed hundreds of thousands of dollars for their wrongful convictions, Illinois exonerees must await a resolution to the state’s budget crisis. The state will delay making payments to exonerees until the appropriations bill is passed.  Having spent years in prison for crimes they did not commit, exonerees count on these funds to help them start their lives over. Full Story  

Author Laura Caldwell’s latest collaboration
Anatomy of Innocence, Laura Caldwell’s new book due out next year, tells the incredible true stories of over a dozen unique individuals, innocent men and women convicted of serious crimes who were cast aside by society, branded as criminals, but eventually, miraculously exonerated. Each “exoneree” will be paired with a talented, highly-recognized thriller or mystery author, and the two will work closely to present a chapter of the exoneree's tale.  The sum is a representative story, where similar threads are woven through each experience, where facets shine from the same hard, but brilliant stone. Anatomy of Innocence is illustrative of all exonerees, tracing their journey, step-by-step from accusation to freedom and beyond. Full Story

Jarrett Adams featured on Today Show and MSNBC

 Exoneree, Loyola law alumnus, and adjunct professor Jarrett Adams (JD ’15) was featured on the NBC's Today Show and MSNBC this fall. The news segment tells the extraordinary story of Jarrett’s perseverance and resilience.  Full Story

Life After Innocence strikes again
LAI hosted a bowling event on Sunday, October 18, to engage with exonerees. LAI welcomed several new members of Innocence Projects as well as some LAI alums. Full Story

Helping exoneree Angel Gonzalez find a home
With funds provided by the Innocence Project, LAI provided assistance to Angel Gonzalez in his apartment search this summer. Gonzalez spent over 20 years after a misidentification and a false confession. DNA testing exonerated him by revealing two distinct male DNA profiles, both of which excluded him. Student clinician Carly Chocron used funds to purchase a bed for Angel and advertised for furniture.  Donations from LAI supporters included two couches, a dresser, and a media stand. Full Story

Financial planning 101

 Oliver Kupe, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor, led a session on financial planning this fall for members of the clinic and exonerees.  Kupe has been working with exoneree Jonathan Barr, to help him achieve his financial goals.  His presentation discussed the importance of financial planning and taking control of finances through budgeting. Full Story