Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Rock For Innocence: Rocked to Success at First Annual Fundraiser

Thursday, October 25, 2012, marked Life After Innocence’s first annual Rock for Innocence, a concert with an underlying message: wrongful convictions are still very much a problem and have devastating, lasting consequences.

Featured at the concert was The Exoneree Band, also known simply as Exoneree, a diverse mix of musicians who have served a combined 87 years in prison for crimes that they did not commit. These men were in attendance at the last two Innocence Network Conferences, weekend-long retreats at which exonerated individuals and innocence professionals come from all over the world to support one another. The conference hosted concerts for exonerated musicians. The men banded together, divvying up instruments so they could share in their love of music.

Everything that happened next was pure destiny. The band picked up a producer, a name, and their first gig at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and later at the Rocky Mountain Innocence Project in Utah.

After seeing the success of the band and its client Antoine Day, a drummer and singer, Life After Innocence was determined to get The Exoneree Band to Chicago.

More than one hundred were in attendance. “The message was so moving. It has inspired me to go out and do something about this problem,” said Joy Johns, a second-year law student at Loyola.

As if the wrongful conviction-inspired tunes were not enough to move the audience, every exoneree in the venue took the stage that night to be recognized for the injustices they have faced in their lifetimes. A resounding applause filled the room as the now-free individuals marched to the stage.

The concert also featured a raffle fundraiser, supported by gracious donations of sporting event tickets, artwork, school apparel, and much more. All proceeds of the raffle as well as all generous donations will go toward continuing to change the lives of those adversely affected by wrongful convictions.

The countdown to the second annual concert has begun. To find out how you can help, send us an email at lifeafterinnocence@luc.edu.