Andre Gonzales had to spend 12 years of his life in prison after being convicted for a murder he didn't commit. However, a 2015 Medill Justice Project investigation led by Northwestern University students helped overturn that conviction, and Gonzales is now a free man.

Gonzales, a Miami resident, was able to walk out of prison as a free man on October 16. He was convicted of second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery in 2015 related to a Miami nightclub shooting.

“I’m feeling outrageous right now,” Gonzales said, upon learning his conviction would be overturned. “I’m just so happy, thrilled.”

According to WLRN, Gonzales' brother Abdul-Jalil Qadir was the first to greet him in his newfound freed life. 


Gonzales' murder conviction was vacated in 2005. Arnold “Maniac” Clark's eyewitness account claiming Gonzales was not the murderer was a crucial component in the November 2017 evidentiary hearing. 

"We are pleased that the Medill Justice Project is able to shine a light on cases that merit additional consideration to ensure that justice is truly served,” Medill Interim Dean Charles Whitaker noted. “The Medill students who work myriad hours on these cases learn the tenets of investigative journalism, which they use throughout their careers. We remain committed to this very important work."

“Let’s not forget now that Medill is the most important thing that happened for me because Medill and the students did such an excellent investigation, and it really helped,” Gonzales said.

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