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
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.
Illinois 4th District Appellate Court again rules that Mr. Beaman cannot establish malicious prosecution.
Mr. Beaman petitions for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
The unanimous decision concluded that the court incorrectly held that officers can commence or continue a prosecution only by pressuring, influencing or misleading prosecutors.
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.
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.
The Court reversed its earlier decision and will consider Mr. Beaman’s lawsuit against the town and officers responsible for his wrongful conviction.
After the Illinois Supreme Court declines (11/22/2017) to hear the appeal, Mr. Beaman files a motion to reconsider.
Illinois 4th District Appellate court affirms lower court ruling.
Circuit court grants summary judgement ruling that Mr. Beaman cannot establish malicious prosecution claim.
7th Circuit affirms Mr. Beaman’s lawsuit.
Mr. Beaman is pardoned by Governor Pat Quinn.
Mr. Beaman files civil action in circuit court pleading the state law claims that the federal court dismissed without prejudice.
District court dismisses claims against prosecutors based on absolute immunity. Parties address to dismiss certain detectives. District court grants summary judgment to remaining defendants.
State of Illinois certifies Mr. Beaman’s innocence.
Mr. Beaman files 1983 federal lawsuit against detectives and prosecutors.
Alan Beaman is released from prison.
The Illinois Supreme Court reverses Appellate ruling, vacating the conviction and remanding the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.
Illinois 4th District Appellate Court affirms denial.
Illinois Circuit Court denies Beaman’s petition.
Mr. Beaman files petition for post-conviction relief, alleging Brady violations.
Conviction affirmed on appeal.
Alan Beaman found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.