Getting released from prison is but the first step on a long path for wrongfully convicted men and women. Full justice and compensation require our clients to prove their innocence again and again.

When Jacques Rivera proved his innocence and finally was released from prison in 2011, a spokesman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said that they “could not go forward in good faith” with a new trial. But when it came to Jacques’s certificate of innocence, the State of Illinois took a different view. Speaking with WBEZ’s Alison Flowers, Jacques explains, “They would never accept the fact that I was innocent. They would have never admitted to that fact. So they fought it. So without the certificate of innocence, I wouldn’t be able to move on. It would still be on my record, first of all. I wouldn’t be compensated for it, to get my life back on track.”

Read more on Jacques’s path to justice and his civil lawsuit in this feature length story by Chicago Public Radio’s Alison Flowers, part of the station’s new Exoneree Diaries series.

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