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Bryan Estrada

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
On May 3, 2002, a Cook County grand jury indicted 18-year-old Bryan Estrada on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On November 22, 2002, Estrada pled guilty to the charge in Cook County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to one year on probation.

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

By that time, Estrada had been convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2009 in Cook County and sentenced to 80 years in prison. In 2019, Estrada filed a motion to vacate his aggravated unlawful use of a firearm conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. On December 6, 2019, the motion was granted, the conviction was vacated, and the charge was dismissed.

Estrada then filed a motion for a certificate of innocence. On November 19, 2020, Cook County Criminal Court Chief Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. granted the motion.

Estrada filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims for compensation. On December 8, 2021, he was awarded $20,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/8/2022
Last Updated: 4/8/2022
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2002
Age at the date of reported crime:18
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No