Exonerated Chicago man works to help free the innocent


Dana Holland served 10 years in Illinois prison for a rape and an armed robbery he didn’t commit before DNA testing proved his innocence and led to his exoneration in 2003.  Today, Holland works to raise awareness of problems in the criminal justice system in order to ensure that other people in Illinois don’t suffer the horror of a wrongful conviction. His attorney at the Center on Wrongful Convictions in Chicago, Karen Daniel, said she recommended that he speak to audiences about his case.

"Dana is a wonderful speaker and very personable,” Daniel says. “He has a very positive message, and I felt he had a lot to give."

For example, Daniel says, on the Easter after he was freed from prison, Holland went back there to spend time with, counsel and comfort the inmates still behind bars. “He’s really great in the role of a mentor,” Daniel says.

Holland has been free for five years, but he is still working with Daniel to expunge his criminal record.

"After everything I’ve been through, it’s not always easy,” Holland says. “But it’s all been worth it. There’s no place like home."

Read the full story here

. (Windy Citizen, 05/21/08)

Daniel and her colleagues at the Center on Wrongful Convictions got more good news today when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the conviction of their client, Alan Beaman, who has served 13 years in prison for a downstate Illinois murder he has always said he didn’t commit.

Read more about Beaman’s case here


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