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Alandis Craine

Other Cook County, Illinois exonerations with no crime
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On July 10, 2014, 29-year-old Alandis Craine was arrested in Chicago, Illinois and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm. Craine later said he was outside his grandmother’s home when he heard gunshots. He said he ran to get inside, but police arrested him before he could enter the residence. Police then searched the residence and recovered a firearm and marijuana, which Craine said did not belong to him and that he had no knowledge it was in the house.

Prior to trial, Craine’s defense attorney moved to suppress the gun and the marijuana, claiming that the search was illegal. The motion was denied. Craine went to trial in Cook County Circuit Court and chose to have his case decided by the judge without a jury.

During the trial, police officers testified that Craine admitted that the gun and marijuana was his. On December 1, 2016, Craine was convicted of aggravated unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of marijuana. He was sentenced to 26 months in boot camp.

In September 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in People v. Aguilar that the portion of the statute under which Craine 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, Craine filed a motion to vacate the gun possession conviction based on the Aguilar ruling. After the motion was granted, the conviction on the gun charge was vacated, and the case was dismissed.

Craine’s attorney, Sean Brown, filed a petition seeking a certificate of innocence on the gun charge. Craine filed a sworn affidavit saying that while he lived at his grandmother’s house, so did several other adults and that he had no knowledge of the presence of the gun or the marijuana.

In the affidavit, Craine also said, “Contrary to police testimony at trial, I did not tell police I sold cannabis; nor did I tell police that I carried a gun for protection; nor did I tell police that I was aware of any cannabis or any firearms in the residence.”

On May 19, 2021, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Erica Riddick granted Craine a certificate of innocence. Craine then filed a claim with the Illinois Court of Claims seeking compensation.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 11/30/2022
Last Updated: 11/30/2022
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2014
Convicted:2016
Exonerated:2021
Sentence:2 years and 2 months
Race/Ethnicity:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:29
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No