Freestanding Actual Innocence Claim
In People v. Washington, 171 Ill. 2d 475, 665 N.E.2d 1330, 216 Ill. Dec. 773 (1996), the supreme court set forth the constitutional issues at play in freestanding claims of innocence.
The court held that, as a matter of Illinois constitutional jurisprudence, a claim of newly discovered evidence showing a defendant to be actually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted is cognizable as a matter of due process. Washington, 171 Ill. 2d at 489, 665 N.E.2d at 1337.
The court went on to state that the standard of proof is "compelling evidence of actual innocence," which requires new, material, noncumulative evidence that "would probably change the result on retrial." Washington, 171 Ill. 2d at 489, 665 N.E.2d at 1337.