Exoneration Project Helps Innocent Chicago Heights Man Win $15 Million Wrongful Conviction Settlement

Exoneration Project Helps Innocent Chicago Heights Man Win $15 Million Wrongful Conviction Settlement
Arionne Nettles
Chicago Defender
October 4, 2016

The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School helped a wrongfully convicted man receive $15 million for his 20 years of imprisonment — one of the largest settlements of its kind in Illinois history.

Rodell Sanders, 51, spent more than 20 years of his 80-year sentence. He was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and robbery charges after being accused of ordering the shooting of 19-year-old Stacy Armstrong and 23-year-old Phillip Atkins in a 1993 incident. There was no physical or forensic evidence linking Sanders to the crimes, but two witnesses falsely identified Sanders.

Sanders and his attorneys said in their lawsuit that the misidentifications were the result of “manipulations and bribes by members of the city of Chicago Heights’ infamously corrupt police department.”