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Ishameal Parks

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
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Nineteen-year-old Ishameal Parks spent New Year’s Eve in 2009 in the Cook County Jail after he was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On January 20, 2012, Parks pled guilty in Cook County Circuit Court and was sentenced to four months in boot camp.

In September 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in People v. Aguilar that the portion of the statute under which Parks 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 2020, Parks, represented by Joel Flaxman, filed a motion to vacate the conviction based on the People v. Aguilar ruling. After the motion was granted on September 14, 2020, Parks’s conviction on the gun charge was vacated, and the case was dismissed. By that time, Parks was serving a 10-year prison sentence after he was convicted of aggravated battery in 2014.

Flaxman then sought a certificate of innocence for Parks. On November 19, 2020, the motion was granted. Flaxman filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims seeking compensation. However, the court of claims denied the claim because the sentence on the gun conviction was served concurrently with another sentence in an unrelated case.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/29/2022
Last Updated: 8/1/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2009
Convicted:2012
Exonerated:2020
Sentence:4 months
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:19
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No