Then, in 2008, the conviction and 50-year prison sentence were overturned by a unanimous Illinois State Supreme Court on the ground that the prosecution withheld information regarding a second suspect and a time-line (related to the estimated time of death and phone calls made in Rockford). Beaman's lawyers argued that the evidence may have helped his defense. Beaman was released from prison and eight months later, all charges against him were dropped.
The 14 member Board will now review his application and make a recommendation regarding clemency. Quinn's support could also mean an official declaration, or "certificate" of innocence, and $170,000 in restitution. The "certificate" might bring relief to Beaman, who surely knows a State's Attorney has said that the charged were not dropped because of a belief that he was "innocent" and that:
"The investigation into the death of Miss Lockmiller will continue in an effort to bring her killer to justice, and the public is reminded that there is no statute of limitations as to the crime of murder. All options for future prosecutions remain available."Meanwhile, Beaman is suing five current and former police officers (Tim Freesmeyer, Rob Hospelhorn, Dave Warner, Frank Zayas and John Brown) and two former prosecutors (Charles Reynard and James Souk, who are now both judges) for his wrongful conviction. Lawyers argue some of the men are actually immune from such litigation because no court has declared Beaman innocent. See story here, here and here.