Wrongful Convictions

Filed - April 11, 2014

Beaman v. Normal (Illinois Supreme Court)

Alan Beaman spent over a decade in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 1993 murder of his ex-girlfriend. At the time of the crime, Mr. Beaman was 130 miles away.

The Illinois Supreme Court threw out Mr. Beaman’s conviction, ruling that the McLean County State’s Attorney had failed to disclose evidence regarding another suspect in the case. Mr. Beaman later received a Certificate of Innocence and a pardon.

The MacArthur Justice Center represents Mr. Beaman in his lawsuit against the City of Normal and the three former Normal police officers who orchestrated the wrongful conviction.

[L]iability for malicious prosecution ‘calls for a commonsense assessment’ of those persons who played a significant role in the criminal case. This significant role assessment necessarily includes those persons whose participation in the criminal case was so ‘active and positive’ to ‘amount to advice and co-operation’ or those persons who ‘improperly exerted pressure on the prosecutor, knowingly provided misinformation to him or her, concealed exculpatory evidence, or otherwise engaged in wrongful or bad-faith conduct instrumental in the initiation of the prosecution

Case Developments

  • Back at the Illinois Supreme Court — 

    The MacArthur Justice Center’s David Shapiro argued for the second time before the Illinois Supreme Court to fight again for justice for Alan Beaman who was wrongfully convicted for murder.

    January 13, 2021
  • Illinois Supreme Court Allows Petition for Leave to Appeal — 

    The Supreme Court allowed the Petition for Leave to Appeal.

    May 27, 2020
  • Back at the Illinois Supreme Court — 

    Alan Beaman returns to the Supreme Court to ask for leave to pursue a jury trial. In reversing the appellate court in the last round of the case, the Supreme Court held that officers can be liable for malicious prosecution when their bad faith misconduct causes a wrongful conviction. Mr. Beaman argues that the appellate court has subsequently disregarded this finding, as well as ignoring evidence of false testimony and concealment of evidence.



    February 25, 2020
  • Appellate Court Rules — 

    Illinois 4th District Appellate Court again rules that Mr. Beaman cannot establish malicious prosecution.

    December 17, 2019
  • Beaman Asks Supreme Court — 

    Mr. Beaman petitions for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

    February 25, 2019
  • Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Appellate Ruling — 

    The unanimous decision concluded that the court incorrectly held that officers can commence or continue a prosecution only by pressuring, influencing or misleading prosecutors.



    February 7, 2019
  • Former Prosecutors Back Beaman — 

    Twelve former prosecutors, including former Governor Jim Thompson, former Illinois Attorney General Tyrone Fahner and former State Police Director Jeremy Margolias submit amicus brief supporting Mr. Beaman’s right to sue for monetary damages.



    January 17, 2018
  • Innocence Network Files Amicus Brief — 

    A world-wide network of 67 organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal/investigative services for victims of wrongful convictions submits a brief in support of Mr. Beaman’s lawsuit.



    January 16, 2018
  • Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Its Decision — 

    The Court reversed its earlier decision and will consider Mr. Beaman’s lawsuit against the town and officers responsible for his wrongful conviction.

    December 8, 2017
  • Motion to Reconsider — 

    After the Illinois Supreme Court declines (11/22/2017) to hear the appeal, Mr. Beaman files a motion to reconsider.

    December 7, 2017
  • Decision Upheld — 

    Illinois 4th District Appellate court affirms lower court ruling.

    August 4, 2017
  • Summary Judgment — 

    Circuit court grants summary judgement ruling that Mr. Beaman cannot establish malicious prosecution claim.

    June 22, 2016
  • Civil suit moves forward — 

    7th Circuit affirms Mr. Beaman’s lawsuit.

    January 13, 2015
  • Pardoned by Goveror — 

    Mr. Beaman is pardoned by Governor Pat Quinn.

    January 9, 2015
  • Civil lawsuit filed — 

    Mr. Beaman files civil action in circuit court pleading the state law claims that the federal court dismissed without prejudice.

    April 11, 2014
  • Lawsuit dismissed — 

    District court dismisses claims against prosecutors based on absolute immunity. Parties address to dismiss certain detectives. District court grants summary judgment to remaining defendants.

    January 2, 2014
  • Certificate of Innocence — 

    State of Illinois certifies Mr. Beaman’s innocence.

    April 29, 2013
  • Beaman files federal lawsuit — 

    Mr. Beaman files 1983 federal lawsuit against detectives and prosecutors.

    January 26, 2010
  • Freedom — 

    Alan Beaman is released from prison.

    June 26, 2008
  • Conviction Vacated — 

    The Illinois Supreme Court reverses Appellate ruling, vacating the conviction and remanding the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.

    May 22, 2008
  • Appellate Affirms Denial — 

    Illinois 4th District Appellate Court affirms denial.

    November 3, 2006
  • Petition Denied — 

    Illinois Circuit Court denies Beaman’s petition.

    June 15, 2005
  • Post-conviction Relief — 

    Mr. Beaman files petition for post-conviction relief, alleging Brady violations.

    April 2, 1997
  • Conviction Affirmed  — 

    Conviction affirmed on appeal.

    May 23, 1996
  • Wrongful Conviction — 

    Alan Beaman found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

    April 1, 1995