Anthony Murray was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in Illinois in 1998.
In 2012 the Illinois Innocence Project presented new evidence that won him a third trial. In a surprise move, the county prosecutor approached Anthony with the “Alford Plea.” This seldom-used plea bargain would allow him to maintain his innocence and walk out of prison after more than 14 years. But there was a catch – Anthony would need to plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for his release. Though innocent, Anthony accepted the plea bargain because his mother and family needed him home.
Anthony completed two years’ probation in October 2014, a condition of his release. The 2012 conviction makes it appear he is guilty of committing a recent and egregious crime, leaving him with limited possibilities. A recently filed executive clemency petition on his behalf, if granted, a crime he did not commit will be removed from his record. Then, Anthony truly be free.