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Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:21 am

Editor's note 5/5/16

One after one they came to the Springfield stage as their names were called, 20 who had spent long years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Altogether this group of exonerees from around the country had served more than 400 years in prison before courts determined they had been wrongfully convicted. The group photo, showing both the joy of freedom and the shame of a flawed justice system, was the climax of the Illinois Innocence Project’s annual banquet April 30 at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel. The event, celebrating IIP’s 15th anniversary, drew a record crowd of 423, demonstrating growing interest in the project’s work, which involves both freeing the innocent and reforming the justice system to avoid more wrongful convictions. Illinois Times was honored to receive the Defender of the Innocent Award for its coverage of the issue over the years. –Fletcher Farrar, editor and publisher

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