Rob Warden, Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) at Northwestern Law, reports that this morning Peoria County Judge Stephen A. Kouri ordered DNA testing in the case of Johnnie Lee Savory. Savory was imprisoned from ages 14 to 44 and continued pursuit of proof of his innocence after his release on parole in 2006.
The CWC and co-counsel from Jenner & Block have sought DNA testing since 1998 but were opposed until today.
Judge Kouri wrote in his order that the DNA testing “has the potential to produce new, materially relevant evidence” in the case. “This is an opportunity the legal system…has to utilize today’s technologies to make sure justice was and /or is done,” he added.
Warden expressed confidence that the DNA testing “will establish Johnnie’s innocence beyond doubt.”
The effort to prove Savory’s innocence has required years and the work of many. Warden recognized the efforts of CWC lawyers Joshua Tepfer, Steven Drizin, and Laura Nirider; co-counsel attorneys from Jenner & Block; and attorneys from Sidley Austin and Baker & McKenzie for the amicus briefs.
Warden noted that the judge’s order is not appealable.