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Convicted Man To Get Rolando Cruz Lawyer

Publication Date: 
June 24, 2009
Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Author: 
Ruth Fuller

Professor Lawrence Marshall is reported by the Chicago Tribune to be joining the legal team that will appeal Juan Rivera's murder conviction:

Lawrence Marshall, who played a key role in reversing the murder conviction in the high-profile Rolando Cruz case in DuPage County, will now lead the legal team that plans to appeal the conviction of Juan Rivera in Lake County, one of Rivera's attorneys said.

Rivera, 36, was convicted on May 9 for the third time in the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker in Waukegan, despite DNA evidence that showed semen found in Staker's body was not Rivera's.

Rivera, of Waukegan, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in a Lake County Court, and Marshall is expected to be present, defense attorney Jeffrey Urdangen said.

Marshall is a professor at Stanford Law School. He co-founded and served as legal director for the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law. He organized the National Conference on Wrongful Conviction and the Death Penalty in 1998, and former Gov. George Ryan credited Marshall with having been a major force behind Ryan's decision to commute the sentences of all those on Illinois' death row.

Cruz, of Aurora, was twice convicted of the rape and murder of Jeanine Nicarico in DuPage County, but he was acquitted in 1995 at his third trial, which he was granted by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1994 after DNA testing excluded him as the girl's rapist.