The Illinois Innocence Project is getting almost $250,000, a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Groups such as this one and a similar one at Northwestern University have gotten a lot of publicity – why is it up to this sort of group to right the wrongs?

“After an individual is convicted, the whole system shifts so that now the presumption is the individual is guilty,” Golden says. After a perfunctory appeal that typically examines the mechanics of the trial and not the evidence itself, “people in prison who may have been wrongfully convicted are left without any resources from the state.”


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Don't count on DNA, either. “Over 90 percent cannot be solved with DNA. So, despite the public image of CSI and other programs … (the work) involves a lot of hard work (and) investigation.”

The work does not go swiftly; in eight years, the Illinois Innocence Project claims four exonerations, two releases, and five active cases.

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