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Trevonti Carson

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession and Sale
On November 4, 2012, 25-year-old Trevonti Carson was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On December 4, 2012, Carson pled guilty in Cook County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to one year in prison. He was released on May 2, 2013.

In September 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in People v. Aguilar that the portion of the statute under which Carson 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.

Just a few weeks later, on November 13, 2013, a shooting on the south side of Chicago left one man dead and another severely wounded. In 2014, Carson was convicted of the murder and also attempted murder and sentenced to 76 years in prison.

In 2020, Carson, acting without a lawyer, filed a motion to vacate his unrelated 2012 gun possession conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. On October 29, 2020, the motion was granted, Carson’s gun conviction was vacated, and the charge was dismissed.

Carson then filed a motion for a certificate of innocence. On December 10, 2020, the motion was granted. Carson filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims seeking compensation and in May 2021, he was awarded $28,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/2/2022
Last Updated: 8/1/2022
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2012
Sentence:1 year
Age at the date of reported crime:25
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No