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Marlon Boyce

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
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On March 11, 2006, 18-year-old Marlon Boyce was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm. At the time, he was on probation for a prior conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle.

On April 7, 2006, Boyce pled guilty in Cook County Circuit Court to the gun charge. He also pled guilty to violating his three-year probation sentence in the stolen vehicle case based on the gun conviction. Boyce was sentenced to three years in prison on the gun conviction, the three-year probation was terminated, and he received three years on the stolen vehicle charge. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently.

In September 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in People v. Aguilar that the portion of the statute under which Boyce had been convicted was unconstitutional. The statute said that a person committed the offense of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon when a person “carries on or about his person or in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person except when on his land or in his abode or fixed place of business any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm and the firearm is uncased, loaded and immediately accessible.”

The court held that this portion of the statute violated the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

In March 2020, Boyce, represented by Joel Flaxman, filed a motion to vacate the conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon based on the Aguilar ruling. After the motion was granted on July 20, 2020, Boyce’s conviction on the gun charge was vacated, and the case was dismissed. By that time, Boyce was serving a 46-year prison sentence after he was convicted of a 2011 murder in Chicago.

Flaxman then filed a motion for a certificate of innocence. On October 2, 2020, the motion was granted. Flaxman filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims seeking compensation for Boyce. In January 2021, the court of claims denied the claim. The court said that because the sentence on the gun conviction was served concurrently with the sentence on the stolen vehicle conviction, Boyce was not entitled to compensation.

Flaxman appealed that ruling, noting that the sentence on the stolen vehicle conviction was only imposed because of the gun conviction. During a hearing before the commission in July 2021, Flaxman argued, “What that means is that the cause of that [stolen vehicle] sentence was the unconstitutional conviction that Mr. Boyce later received a certificate of innocence on.”

The commission took the appeal under advisement. In July 2022, the denial of compensation was uheld.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/28/2022
Last Updated: 8/1/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2006
Convicted:2006
Exonerated:2020
Sentence:3 years
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:18
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No