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Wrongfully Convicted Illinois Man Studied Law in Prison, Wins $15M Settlement

After spending 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, 51-year-old Chicago Heights, Illinois resident Rodell Sanders was awarded $15 million on Sept. 28 for his time spent behind bars.

Sanders — who is now a grandfather — was sentenced to 20 years for allegedly killing a man in a Dec. 1993 gang hit.

Sanders’ family raised $1,000 so that he could teach himself law.

Now, Sanders works in the law firm that helped him.


This brother educated himself (under all the pressure that comes with being incarcerated and being INNOCENT at the same time) towards getting released from what he should of not been into in the beginning. I’m so proud of him! I love to see this because “they” hate to know that this is the reality of who we are. We are a people who have always come out on top in adverse situations. I pray more continue to fight like he did. #Love it!

It’s this idea of, you hit your 30s, you did everything right– you went to college, you had the good grades, you worked really hard– and yet somehow life isn’t turning out the way you wanted it to turn out. And because the world is changing so quickly I think that’s something a lot of very well educated [thirtysomething] kids are going through. They’re turning around going, ‘I did it. I did the homework. I did the finals. I did the whole thing. I know the shit. Why am I not going where I need to go?’