Alprentiss Nash, who filed his own pro se motions requesting DNA testing in his 1997 murder conviction will be freed today after testing results excluded him and pointed to another man. The Cook County Conviction Integrity Unit, established by DA Anita Alvarez earlier year, also reviewed the evidence and concluded that they could no longer stand by the conviction. Nash is the first to be cleared and freed through the Unit, though it has over a hundred other cases to consider.
covered the case, focusing on Nash’s diligence in advocating for himself without a lawyer:
The legal brief Alprentiss Nash wrote in his prison cell was filled with misspellings, grammatical errors, even an ethnic slur.
But the convicted murderer still made a cogent point in the court filing: that he deserved DNA testing on a black ski mask worn by the killer and left behind at the murder scene. A Cook County judge rejected the request, but the Illinois Appellate Court, in a unanimous opinion, ordered the testing, marking a rare victory for an inmate essentially acting as his own lawyer. Now that rough-hewn petition, plus the timely assistance of a veteran attorney, will set Nash free.