WHY WE ARE
Investigating Innocence was formed in Jan. of 2013, by private investigator Bill Clutter, who serves as its Director of Investigations. Clutter began working on wrongful convictions in 1988, part of the defense team that helped free Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez from death row in the infamous Nicarico case that occurred near Chicago. A rare case, prosecutors and police were later indicted for withholding evidence known as the DuPage 7. On the heels of that case, Clutter began the post-conviction investigation for death row inmate Randy Steidl, which uncovered new evidence that led to Steidl’s release from prison in 2004. Steidl has become a national voice advocating the abolition of the death penalty. He now works for a national organization comprised of former death row inmates called Witness to Innocence.
The Nicarico case became the catalyst in Illinois for a national movement that led to the creation of the Innocence Network , an affiliation of nearly 70 organizations today (mostly based at law schools) that are dedicated to providing pro bono legal representation to indigent inmates.
Clutter started the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois at Springfield inspired by Barry Scheck’s speech in Nov. of 1998, at the National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty that was organized by Rob Warden and Larry Marshall at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.
It was Clutter’s work on the Indiana case of David Camm that inspired him to create a new national organization of private investigators supported by criminal defense attorneys that focuses on developing fact investigation that attorneys need to prove claims of actual innocence.
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