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Bobby Ezell

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
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On December 24, 2000, Chicago police arrested 17-year-old Bobby Ezell and charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On March 9, 2001, Ezell 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 Ezell 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, attorney Joel Flaxman filed a motion to vacate Ezell’s gun possession conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. By that time, Ezell was serving a 53-year prison sentence after being convicted of a 2002 murder in Chicago. On October 8, 2020, the motion to vacate Ezell’s weapon possession conviction was vacated, and the charge was dismissed.

Flaxman filed a motion for a certificate of innocence. On November 23, 2020, Chief Cook County Criminal Court Judge Leroy Martin Jr. granted the motion.

Ezell subsequently filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims seeking compensation. In May 2021, Ezell was awarded $18,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/8/2022
Last Updated: 8/5/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2000
Convicted:2001
Exonerated:2020
Sentence:Probation
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:17
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No