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Darius Brown

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
On August 28, 2000, 19-year-old Darius Brown was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On September 26, 2000, Brown pled guilty to the charge in Cook County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to 14 months on probation. In 2001, his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to four months in boot camp.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 Brown 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, Brown, represented by attorney Joel Flaxman, filed a motion to vacate the conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. The motion to vacate the gun conviction was granted and the charge was dismissed on February 5, 2021. On July 9, 2021, Presiding Cook County Circuit Court Judge Erica Reddick granted Brown a certificate of innocence, clearing the way for him to seek compensation from the Illinois Court of Claims. In October 2021, Brown was awarded $28,000 in compensation.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/21/2022
Last Updated: 8/1/2022
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2000
Sentence:4 months
Age at the date of reported crime:19
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No