Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

John Willis

First Name John
Last NameWillis
Year of Conviction1992
Year of Exoneration1999
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionIllinois
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeBlack
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • No Transcript
  • Not Disclosed
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

No transcript was obtained, but according to news reports, the analyst failed to disclose that sufficent generic material was present to conduct DNA testing at the time of trial.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Cross Racial Identification
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses2
Suggestive Procedures

No transcript

Highest level reachedState Post­ Conviction
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Motion for DNA Testing
  • State Court Newly Discovered Evidence Claim
  • State Law Evidence Claim
Citations to judicial opinions

People v. Willis, 284 Ill.App.3d 1125 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1996)
People v. Willis, 173 Ill.2d 545, 226 Ill.Dec. 138, (Ill. 1997.)