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August 7, 2013

Another remarkable exoneration

by Dan Rodriguez

From the Center on Wrongful Convictions:

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to report that a Peoria County judge  ordered DNA testing  this morning in the case of Johnnie Lee Savory, a CWC client who languished behind bars for more than two-thirds of his life—from age 14 to age 44—before he was released on parole in 2006.

We, together with co-counsel from Jenner & Block, have been trying to get the testing since 1998, but were thwarted at every turn until today.

In ordering the testing, Judge Stephen A. Kouri wrote that it “has the potential to produce new, materially relevant evidence” in the case, adding: “This is an opportunity the legal system . . . has to utilize today’s technologies to make sure justice was and/or is done.”

Judge Kouri’s order, which is not appealable, is attached.

If the DNA is testable, we are confident that it will establish Johnnie’s innocence beyond doubt.

The case was handled at our end by CWC lawyers Joshua Tepfer, Steven Drizin, and Laura Nirider.

We are most grateful for amicus briefs filed by Sidley Austin and Baker & McKenzie.


Rob Warden, Executive Director

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