Monday, April 9, 2018

UIS Illinois Innocence Project Defenders of the Innocent event to feature attorney Jerry Buting from “Making a Murderer”

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Illinois Innocence Project will hold the 11th annual Defenders of the Innocent fundraising event featuring attorney Jerry Buting from the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” and author of “Illusion of Justice.” Buting will speak about the workings of an often flawed justice system, as seen from his view as co-counsel in the sensational Steven Avery case and other innocence cases.

WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 2018 (cocktail reception at 5 p.m., dinner & program at 6 p.m.)

WHERE: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy, Springfield, Illinois

DETAILS: The Illinois Innocence Project will also recognize client Bill Amor who was exonerated February 21, 2018, after spending 22 years in prison as an innocent man. Amor was wrongly convicted of arson-murder in 1997 based on faulty fire investigation and a purported confession to starting the fire in a way that experts testified is scientifically impossible. Since its founding in 2001, the Illinois Innocence Project has helped to free 11 wrongly convicted individuals.

The Project will present “Defender of the Innocent” awards at this year’s event to The Exoneration Project and to retired Carbondale Police Officer Lt. Paul Echols. The Exoneration Project, a pro bono legal clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, provided critical work toward the exoneration of Bill Amor, by leading the trial team, expending countless resources and giving support before and after Amor's exoneration. Echols exemplifies the ultimate quest for justice in his continuing effort to seek the posthumous exoneration of Grover Thompson, now 22 years after the innocent man died in prison.

On average, it takes 7-10 years to free an innocent person from prison, and hundreds of thousands of dollars per case. It also requires a skilled team of litigators and investigators supported by UIS students, volunteers and staff.

Registration for the Defenders of the Innocent event is required by Monday, April 23, 2018. Sponsorships are available. For more information or to purchase a seat, visit or call 217/206-6569.

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