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Indiana judge expunges conviction of pardoned Chicago man

March 24, 2017

An Indiana judge has expunged the armed robbery conviction of a Chicago man recently pardoned after spending more than eight years in prison for a wrongful conviction.

Elkhart County Senior Judge Eugene Duffin granted the expungement Thursday to 46-year-old Keith Cooper, but didn't rule immediately on whether he would remove the record of the arrest itself.

Cooper was pardoned Feb. 9 by Gov. Eric Holcomb. His case gained national attention when then-Gov. Mike Pence declined to grant a pardon while campaigning for vice president last year.

Cooper was convicted for a 1996 robbery in Elkhart during which a teenager was shot. He was released from prison in 2006 after a co-defendant's conviction was overturned.

Expungement means the conviction won't appear on background checks for jobs and apartments.

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