NIU College of Law and Illinois Innocence Project
to Host Panel on Wrongful Conviction

On Wednesday, October 2nd from 12-1 p.m., the NIU College of Law and Innocence Project of Illinois will host a panel discussion featuring Bennie Starks.  Starks was wrongly convicted in Lake County, IL of a 1986 rape and battery that he did not commit. He spent the next 27 years fighting to clear his name, with 21 of those years spent in prison. 

DNA testing established his innocence in 2001, but Bennie remained in prison until 2006 and was not fully exonerated until 2013 when the newly-elected Lake County State’s Attorney took office and dismissed all of his charges.  Bennie spent over a decade fighting for his freedom after DNA proved his innocence.  How could this happen in our own backyard? 

Come meet Bennie, hear his story, and learn more about the causes of wrongful conviction.  The program will be held in the Riley Courtroom (#170) at the NIU College of Law (Swen Parson Hall).  Food and drinks will be provided.

The program is free and open to the public.  It is being sponsored by the NIU College of Law, Illinois Innocence Project, NIU Criminal Law Society, and the NIU Constitutional Law Society.


For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or