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Eric Blackmon

Other Illinois Exonerations for Weapon Possession or Sale
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Blackmon,%20Eric.jpg
On January 12, 2001, Chicago police arrested 19-year-old Eric Blackmon on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.

On June 25, 2002, Blackmon was found guilty of the charge following a bench trial in Cook County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to 18 months on probation.

In 2004, Blackmon was convicted of a murder in Chicago and sentenced to 60 years in prison. He insisted he was innocent. Ultimately in 2014, attorneys in private practice in cooperation with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions began representing him and obtained his exoneration.

In 2018, his murder conviction was vacated, and Blackmon was released in March 2019. The case was dismissed in January 2019.

In September 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in People v. Aguilar that the portion of the gun possession statute under which Blackman had been convicted in 2002 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 June 2018, after he was released from prison, Blackmon’s lawyers filed a motion to vacate his gun possession conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. On June 11, 2018, the gun possession conviction was vacated and the charge was dismissed. On August 14, 2018, Blackmon was awarded a certificate of innocence in the gun case.

On January 6, 2019, the Illinois Court of Claims awarded Blackmon $10,000 in compensation for that wrongful conviction.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 4/8/2022
Last Updated: 4/8/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2001
Convicted:2002
Exonerated:2018
Sentence:Probation
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:19
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No