Illinois Innocence Project exonerates Naperville man

William ‘Bill’ Amor was released from prison last year on May 30, 2017, after serving 22 years of a 45-year prison sentence and exonerated in a retrial last month thanks to the work of the Illinois Innocence Project (IIP).
Amor was convicted of aggravated arson and the murder of his mother-in-law in 1997. On September 10, 1995, after Amor and his wife left their apartment, a fire started that led to the death of Marianne Miceli, Amor’s mother-in-law. Investigators at the time found the circumstances questionable because of the nature of the fire and lack of clear signs of accidental ignition.
The case against Amor was centered around science that has since been proven false and a ‘confession,’ that was obtained after Amor was imprisoned for two weeks, served divorce papers at the police station, and was interrogated for fifteen hours without sleep or food. Amor said that he had spilled vodka on newspapers and accidentally dropped a lit cigarette on them. The prosecution argued that Amor started the fire for the insurance money. Amor disputed the confession, which has since been proven false, and experts have since testified that it would have been impossible for the fire to start under the conditions the confession describes.
In the face of this evidence, DuPage Judge Liam Brennan vacated the conviction last April and ordered a retrial, which the prosecution decided to proceed with. Following a seven-day bench trial last month, Judge Brennan found Amor not guilty of all charges.
“I have fought to clear my name for the last 22 years and I am so grateful that I was able to have my day in court for the truth to be heard,” Amor said in a statement by the IIP.
The IIP took on Amor’s case in 2012 and presented the evidence vindicating Amor in December 2016