Wrongful Convictions

We understand that to be wrongfully convicted is to be kidnapped from your family and to have stolen from you something you can never get back: time. The wrongful conviction attorneys at Loevy + Loevy are here to help you find justice and accountability for this immense harm. No law firm in the country has won more wrongful conviction cases than Loevy + Loevy.

Experienced Wrongful Conviction Attorneys

Recent studies estimate that between 4-6% of people incarcerated in the United States are actually innocent. At Loevy + Loevy, we understand the gravity of these circumstances. Wrongful accusations can make it feel like the world has turned its back on you, but our compassionate attorneys are here to pursue justice on your behalf. With unparalleled experience litigating wrongful conviction cases, we work relentlessly to secure justice, accountability, and compensation for you.

Loevy + Loevy has won more than $1 billion for our clients. Our attorneys have repeatedly secured record-setting wrongful conviction verdicts and settlements across the country. Our work has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Post, Boston Globe, Detroit Free Press, and many more. 

In 2022, we secured a $33 million verdict for client Frederick Weichel, one of the highest in New England history. In 2023, we secured a public apology and a $28 million wrongful conviction settlement — one of the highest in US history — for our Kentucky client William Virgil, an innocent man who spent 28 years in prison. We also won a $27 million jury verdict for our client Adam Gray, who was wrongfully incarcerated 24 years. 

Loevy + Loevy has won more verdicts and settlements for innocent exonerees than any other law firm in the country:

  • Gillispie v. Miami Township – $45 million (trial)
  • Harden v. Dixmoor – $40 million (settlement for five plaintiffs)
  • Weichel v. Town of Braintree – $33 million (trial)
  • Virgil v. City of Newport – $28 million (settlement)
  • Gray v. City of Chicago – $27 million (trial)
  • Jimenez v. City of Chicago – $25 million (trial)
  • Hood & Washington v. City of Chicago – $25 million
  • Fields v. City of Chicago – $22 million (trial)
  • Johnson v. Guevara – $21 million (trial)
  • Rivera v. Lake County – $20 million (settlement)
  • Jackson v. City of Cleveland – $18 million (settlement)
  • Rivera v. City of Chicago – $17 million (trial)
  • White v. McKinley – $14 million (trial)
  • Ayers v. City of Cleveland – $13.2 million (trial)
  • Rosario v. City of Lowell, et al. – $13 million (settlement)
  • Logan v. Burge – $10.25 million (settlement)
  • Caine v. City of Chicago – $10 million (settlement)
  • Dominguez v. Hendley – $9 million (trial)
  • Cooper v. City of Elkhart – $7.5 million (settlement)

In fact, of the top wrongful conviction jury verdicts in U.S. history, Loevy + Loevy has won nearly half of them. Of all jury verdicts awarded to individuals wrongly incarcerated for multiple years, only a small number have ever broken the barrier of $1 million per year of wrongful imprisonment. Our firm has won many of these cases.

At Loevy + Loevy, we understand that after exoneration, it can be difficult to adjust to life outside of prison. This transition is tough, and takes time. We team up with firm partners like Road 2 Reentry to ensure that our formerly incarcerated clients have guidance, support, and wraparound resources they need as they begin to rebuild their life as a free person. 

Loevy + Loevy puts our clients at the center of our work. The people we represent become more than just our clients: they are friends and family. We make sure that our clients are cared for, especially because of how personal, emotional, and traumatic these cases can be for clients and their families, given how much of their lives they’ve lost fighting for freedom. Our wrongful conviction attorneys work closely with our clients to achieve the results that are most important to them.

Each of our wrongful conviction clients receives all of Loevy + Loevy’s resources and energy. Our attorneys often spend thousands of hours on these cases. Without exception, each wrongful conviction case that ultimately goes to trial will be handled by a team led by one of Loevy + Loevy’s award-winning lawyers.

Loevy + Loevy has extensive experience litigating wrongful conviction cases and specialized knowledge of the wide array of legal doctrines and litigation opportunities in those cases. Sadly, we often see cases where attorneys without expertise in wrongful conviction fail to understand the immunities and other legal challenges, making allegations and arguments that lead to deserving clients having their cases dismissed, recovering zero compensation. Loevy + Loevy knows all the pitfalls. And we invest substantial resources into every case because we know that’s what it takes to win—expert witnesses, investigations, depositions and numerous other essential expenses that our firm pays for, so our clients don’t have to.

Our Impact

In and outside of the courtroom, Loevy + Loevy fights to secure accountability for wrongful convictions across the US. We’ve uncovered widespread practices of police and prosecutorial misconduct in cities like Chicago, Elkhart, and Boston, changed the law to make it easier for exonerees to secure their Certificate of Innocence (COI), and obtained public apologies for wrongful conviction clients. 

In 2007, Loevy + Loevy founded the Exoneration Project (EP), an organization dedicated to restoring justice by fighting to free innocent people from behind bars. Since its founding, the Exoneration Project has freed more than 200 clients who were wrongfully incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Loevy + Loevy fully funds and helps staff the Exoneration Project: our contributions make the EP’s free legal services possible.

The Exoneration Project, with the support of Loevy + Loevy, has led and facilitated a series of mass exonerations, something that had never before happened in the history of Chicago. Since 2016, over 230 drug convictions tied to a disgraced former Chicago police sergeant and his corrupt tactical team have been dismissed. Roughly 175 individuals have been certified innocent in those cases. Subsequently, in August 2022, after decades of litigation, the Exoneration Project led the first mass exoneration in homicide cases in the history of the United States. On that day, seven murder convictions tied to corrupt police detective Reynaldo Guevara were dismissed. Nevertheless, most of the victims of these police scandals continue to seek accountability and acknowledgement from the City of Chicago. Read about their pending lawsuits here.

In 2018, Loevy + Loevy attorneys, together with civil rights attorneys at the People’s Law Office, successfully litigated Jackie Wilson’s exoneration after more than 36 years of wrongful incarceration.  Two years later, after obtaining the dismissal of charges with prejudice at the conclusion of a two-week retrial, and later, a Certificate of Innocence for Mr. Wilson, Loevy + Loevy attorneys successfully petitioned for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute members of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for misconduct that contributed to Mr. Wilson’s wrongful conviction.  On March 8, 2023, the Special Prosecutor announced a 14-count indictment against two former Cook County State’s Attorneys who were involved in Mr. Wilson’s wrongful conviction case.

After 17 years of wrongful imprisonment, Charles Palmer was exonerated of a crime based on DNA evidence. He filed a petition for a certificate of innocence, but the State opposed it, arguing that the DNA did not prove that Palmer was innocent of being an accomplice to the crime—a theory that the State had never raised during the underlying criminal proceedings and for which there was no evidence. The trial court denied Mr. Palmer’s certificate of innocence on this new theory. Mr. Palmer appealed this issue all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court and won. The Illinois Supreme Court held that the State cannot oppose certificates of innocence on theories that were not presented in the underlying proceedings. The opinion is available here.

Causes of Wrongful Convictions

Wrongful convictions are the product of a broken, racist criminal justice system. Innocent Black Americans are seven times more likely than white Americans to be falsely convicted of serious crimes. Though Black people comprise only 13.6% of the American population, they account for a staggering 53% of the 3,200 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations.

Each wrongful conviction is as tragic as the next. Read more about the common causes of wrongful convictions and how they can be prevented:

Want to learn more? The Ohio Innocence Project produced a series of videos called “The Impact of Human Factors on Criminal Investigations” examining dynamics that lead to wrongful convictions.

Recent Wins

Take Action Today

To discuss your case with an experienced civil rights attorney, contact our firm today for a free consultation. 

Our Impact

Loevy + Loevy has won more multi-million dollar verdicts than perhaps any other law firm in the country over the past decade. Our willingness to take hard cases to trial, and win them, has yielded a nationally recognized reputation for success in the courtroom.

Read the latest public reporting and press releases about Loevy + Loevy’s clients, our public interest litigation, and our civil rights impact.

Our compassionate, award-winning attorneys work relentlessly to ensure our clients are supported, empowered, and victorious.

Scroll to Top