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Word Count: 1,998
In the waning hours of September 21 1998 it appeared that there was no hope for Anthony Porter It seemed that all the legal avenues for a reprieve on his death sentence had been exhausted Granted his legal counsels throughout his attempts at a new trial or a new ruling on his present case were ill prepared at best This however did not seem to cut much slack with the Illinois Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court Both had dismissed his direct appeals and his petition for certiorari although both courts had several Justices who vehemently opposed the ruling With fifty hours to go until his scheduled execution it seemed to most that a stay of execution would be highly unlikely A savior did appear though in the form of an IQ test score In a recent test that Porter had taken he scored an unimpressive fifty-one A score that low gave his pro-bono attorney all the ammunition he needed and with the help of several other volunteers submitted a last-minute petition for a stay of execution to determine if he was mentally competent to be executed It was at this time that a Northwestern journalism professor by the name of David Protess and some of his students became interested in the case They did not know how much time they had with which to work but decided it was worth a shot Within the span of five months and with the help a private investigator by the name of Paul Ciolino the journalism students gathered key affidavits and exculpatory evidence that proved Anthony Porter could not have committed the crimes for which he was to be executed Not only that but they actually found the man who did commit the crimes got him to confess on videotape and turned it in to the police Within two days Anthony Porter was released from prison on his own recognizance and was exonerated of all
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