Illinois: Man’s murder conviction annulled after over two decades behind bars

For the 15th time since 2012, Illinois freed a man whose conviction has been annulled. New DNA testing proved that the man, Mark Maxson, is innocent. Once his conviction was thrown out, Osborne Wade, a convicted killer, was charged with the crime.
Illustration Photo Credit: Dan Bannister/123RF/Channel 2 News

In 1992, 6-year-old Lindsey Murdock was found dead buried under trash and debris in an abandoned garage in Chicago. Mark Maxson was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison but after more than two decades behind bars, he became a free man after the conviction was annulled. 42-year-old Osborne Wade, a convicted killer, was charged with the murder.

Maxson, who is now 55 years old, is the 15th man in Illinois whose conviction has been annulled since 2012 after the cases were reinvestigated by the Conviction Integrity Unit, which is headed by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Maxson confessed during the trial but claimed that he was coerced. One of Maxson’s lawyers said that his client refused to sign his confession and demanded that it be written in his statement that he voluntarily provided hair and blood samples on numerous occasions in order to clear his name.

In 2013, the State of Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission determined that Maxson’s claim about him being coerced and tortured was credible. However, Maxson was not able to prove his innocence until the County State’s Attorney’s Office agreed to conduct new DNA testing on the evidence in 2015. The test showed that Murdock’s pants and shirt had Wade’s DNA all over them.

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