James Kluppelberg, who was wrongfully convicted of arson that killed six people and sentenced to life in prison, was granted a certificate of innocence.
Kluppelberg was convicted and spent 24 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit only to be exonerated on May 30, 2012 after a Cook County Judge vacated his conviction. He was delighted to be released just in time to celebrate his 47th birthday as a free man.
An exoneration after proclaiming innocence since the inception of a case is ideal, but to walk around with a mistake on your record is hurtful not to mention a large reminder of the negligence of another.
Kluppelberg’s attorney opted for a certificate of innocence after his exoneration; however, the Cook County State Attorney’s Office fought the issuance of the certificate.
Now 14 months post exoneration, Kluppelberg has been issued his certificate by Judge Michael McHale and can finally put the past behind him and move on.
Congratulations James and we wish you luck in all of your future endeavors as a free man.