Terrible Wrongs – Other Cases

Courageous efforts by the good folks at Northwestern Law

Posted by yourrights1984 on May 3, 2008

I looked at Alan Beaman’s case….the (at least) dubious murder conviction in Bloomington….and was directed to the Northwestern site ….the Center on Wrongful Convictions. They have done tons of good work over the years, and they are now available on our blogroll. Check them out. You’ll be impressed.

Beaman appeal heads to high court

Posted by yourrights1984 on May 3, 2008

Here is a copy of Edith Brady-Lunny’s article on Beaman’s Supreme Court case….looks like there were prime suspects that Bloomington police did not vigorously pursue. I thought that this conviction was weak when I
followed it back in 1993.

Bloomington Pentagraph    By Edith Brady-Lunny

SPRINGFIELD — “The jury that convicted Alan Beaman of murdering an Illinois State University student 13 years ago did not hear crucial evidence that could have eliminated him as a suspect, Beaman’s defense lawyer argued Tuesday to the Illinois Supreme Court Beaman, now 35, is serving a 50-year prison sentence for the 1993 murder of Jennifer Lockmiller, a 22-year-old student from Decatur.The courtroom was packed with family and supporters of Beaman, who lived in Rockford and attended Illinois Wesleyan University.

Defense attorney Karen Daniel opened her remarks by telling justices “it’s plain as day that Alan Beaman is an
innocent man. ”Beaman had inadequate legal representation during his trial, Daniel argued, that did not follow up on testimony from the state that Beaman had the opportunity and motive to strangle and stab
his former girlfriend. The jury also was not told about a potential suspect identified by police as John Doe, said Daniel.

Where was Beaman on day of murder?

Beaman’s activities on the day of the murder were once again an issue. A bank receipt places Beaman in Rockford at 10:11 a.m. the day Lockmiller was killed. Two telephone calls placed from Beaman’s home to a church where Beaman attended also point to the improbability of the state’s theory, said Daniel. Prosecutors believe Beaman drove to Normal, committed the murders, and returned home before his mother came back from a shopping trip.

Daniel, who is with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, said Beaman’s original defense team was not aggressive in challenging the state evidence. The information “was all available — all he had to do was ask the questions,” Daniel said.

Beaman conviction overturned: Other suspect was kept secret

Posted by yourrights1984 on May 28, 2008

The Supreme Court overturned Alan Beaman’s 1993 murder conviction, ruling that the trial judge’s decision not to allow testimony on a second suspect ( a more recent boyfriend…with a violent history) violated due
process.  He is referred to as John Doe. See Rockford Register Star.

Congratulations, Alan Beaman! We wish you the best!

Posted by parchangelo on February 2, 2009

It has taken a lot of pressure for McLean county officials to drop an unjustified prosecution they should have dismissed long ago. There is no way to compensate Alan Beaman for thirteen years now gone from his
life. Alan Beaman may have support from family and friends, but he has a long struggle ahead to regain his local reputation and community standing.  His attorneys  point out the difficulty he will also face attempting to obtain any small monetary compensation from the state. (excerpt from Rockford Register-Star article below).

Beaman won’t be retried in 1993 slaying

By Geri Nikolai
Posted Jan 29, 2009 @ 01:05 PM
Last update Jan 30, 2009 @ 06:28 AM

A Rockford man who spent more than a decade in prison for a murder conviction overturned by the state Supreme Court last year can finally breathe easy.

Alan Beaman, found guilty in 1995 of murdering his ex-girlfriend, no longer faces a retrial. Today, a McLean County court agreed to a motion by the state’s attorney’s office to dismiss charges against Beaman.

That means Beaman, 36, is free of the case, said one of his attorneys, Karen Daniel, of the Center on Wrongful
Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.

“As far as we’re concerned, for him, this is done,” Daniel said. “We hope he can relax and move on, to the extent
that someone who’s been through what he’s been through can do that. He has no convictions and no charges.”

“This has been a long time coming,” Beaman told the Register Star in a phone interview. “We were figuring they would eventually get around to doing it, but it’s nice that it happened today.”

Beaman said he will continue to work as a handyman and has toyed with the idea of returning to school, where he
studied theater scenery and lighting, or looking for a job in that field.

“It’s nice to be able to enjoy this moment,” he said. “I’m not going to go chasing after anything else yet.

The best parts of freedom are the little things, like being able to take a walk, play with a pet or travel if he
chooses, Beaman said. Many people in Rockford have welcomed him back, he said, although there are some exceptions he doesn’t want to talk about.

Apology sought Beaman said he hasn’t yet given much thought to trying to get money for the years he was wrongfully imprisoned.

“It’s the kind of thing you need to sit down and think about and talk about before you decide,” he said. “I do think
they should apologize, though.”

There was no apology today, just a press release from the McLean County state’s attorney office that murder
charges were dismissed.

“The investigation into the death of Miss (Jennifer) Lockmiller will continue … All options for future
prosecutions remain available,” the press release said.

Read rest of article and coverage at <href=”www.rrstar.com/homepage/x1796478786/Prosecutors-drop-Beamans-murder-charges”>

At least we don’t live in Texas

Posted by scornn on June 27, 2008

here is a good 20/20 story about two cases from the same judge one is in jail for life one is free.
make sure you watch it till the end.


  1. hazel church says:

    One more story of an mans life robbed from him at the expense of justice.



  2. Here’s another story of a man who has spent over HALF his life in prison for…lending his car. Yes, you read that correctly. Paul Modrowski allegedly lent his car to a man who allegedly planned to murder someone. Both were arrested. Only the man who allegedly lent his car was convicted, and sentenced to natural life without parole under Illinois Accountability Law. The other man was acquitted by a separate jury in a dual jury trial (becoming more common nowdays).

    The evidence of lending his car? ONE policeman testified that after a 33 hour interrogation, 18-year-old Paul Modrowski “confessed” to lending his car.

    The prosecutor told the jury the Law of Accountability “was like the Three Musketeers: All for one, and one for all. The actions of one are the actions of all.” Without any evidence that Paul Modrowski was even at the scene of the crime, the jury was told to convict him of murder. And the jury did as told.

    19 years later, Paul Modrowski is still living in a cage at Stateville, a maximum-security prison in Illinois. Did I mention that he was born disabled? He is autistic but blessed with high intelligence.

    To keep his sanity, friends recommended that he keep a journal. His writings are posted on a blog of his life “On the Inside.” You can read it at:

    By the way, he did not lend his car to anyone that day. His trial lawyer decided not to allow his alibi witnesses to testify because “The state didn’t prove it’s case, and in this country you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. We do not have to put on a defense.”


  3. Helen Jones says:

    I am so glad to read these cases I know that it isn’t a Black or White issues with this corrupted system, instead it is a competency concern. I have been saying for a while now, the real more serious criminals are the ones with badges and guns, and that is not to say ALL law enforcers are criminals, but RPD & Winnebago Sheriff Department have enough on their team where it makes it bad for the whole.


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