Wrongly Convicted Database Record

Go to Database Search Page

Go to  Database Index Page

John Willis

Years Imprisoned:



Sexual Assault and Robbery


100 years

Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


Location of Trial:




Summary of Case:

John Willis was wrongly convicted of a series of rapes after the Chicago Crime Lab and the Cook County Prosecutors office concealed for many years that test results showed Willis' blood type was different than that of the attacker. Handwritten notes of a Chicago's police crime laboratory analyst who conducted blood tests on semen recovered from a rape victim that excluded Willis as the source, were concealed from Willis' lawyers prior to his trial. Pardoned by IL Gov George Ryan in 1999. Filed lawsuits against the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the State of Illinois. In March 2004, Cook County and Chicago both settled for $1.5 million, for a total settlement of $3 million. He settled for $100,000 from the State of Illinois. Willis also was awarded $125,035.97 from the Illinois Court of Claims.

Conviction Caused By:

Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct by concealing exculpatory tests showed the attacker had a different blood type than Wills

Innocence Proved By:

Blood Test and DNA

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

$3 million total. $1.5 million for Cook County, IL, and $1.5 million from the city of Chicago.

Was Perpetrator Found?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:


Information Source 1:

Ex-Inmate Exonerated of Rapes Tries To Get His Life In Order, Maurice Possley (staff writer), Chicago Tribune, June 29, 2000, p. 4

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

Innocence Project database

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

City Pays $1.5 mil for Wrongful Conviction; County adds $1.5 mil More, by Chinta Strausberg (staff), Chicago Defender, March 9, 2004, p. 3

Information Location 3:

Information Source 4:

Information Location 4:

Information Source 5:

Information Location 5:


Book About Case:

Book Information:

Book About Case (2):

Book Information (2):

Movie About Case:

Comments About Case:

Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org