Alan Beaman’s case now allowed to go to trial

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:42 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - He spent 13 years in jail for a murder he didn’t commit. Now a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court can help Rockford’s Alan Beaman get to the bottom of why the wrongful conviction happened.

The Illinois Supreme Court cleared the way for a trial for Beaman’s case against the Town of Normal and three former police detectives. The suit claims the defendants maliciously prosecuted Beaman for the 1993 murder of Beaman’s ex-girlfriend and Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller.

Beaman was convicted in 1995 and served 13 years of a 50-year prison sentence before the conviction was reversed in 2008. He received a certificate of innocence in 2013 and was later pardoned in 2015.

Beaman sent a statement to 23 News reacting to the ruling. It goes in full as follows:

“I’m grateful that The Court recognized the liability that must exist where police officers choose to violate due process. Policing is sometimes a thankless job and a necessary evil. But this is not a case where good cops are getting in trouble for just doing their jobs. This is a case where detectives made conscious decisions to hide evidence, manipulate data, and tolerate an unprofessional disregard for procedures that are designed to prevent the very injustice that occurred. In a free society, there must be a lawful path to a reckoning for this kind of conduct. I look forward to the next steps in my 28 year battle for accountability in this travesty of injustice. God willing, the awareness raised from this case over the years can overcome the prejudices that have encouraged corruption in our legal system. I pray this will bring about changes that prevent recurring tragedies and restore public trust in the rule of law.”

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