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Lake County Prosecutors Won't Retry Rivera In Girl's '92 Slaying; He Is Out Of Prison

Publication Date: 
January 06, 2012
Chicago Tribune
Dan Hinkel, Ruth Fuller and Lisa Black

A statement by Professor & Director of the Mills Legal Clinic, Larry Marshall, on an appellate court's decision to reverse the conviction of his client, Juan Rivera, is used in this Chicago Tribune article by Dan Hinkel, Ruth Fuller and Lisa Black.

Ending nearly 20 years in custody, Juan Rivera walked out of prison today hours after authorities said they will not challenge an appellate court’s reversal of his murder conviction in the 1992 slaying of 11-year-old babysitter Holly Staker.

“I have decided that I will not ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review the appellate court’s decision reversing Mr. Rivera’s guilty verdict,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Waller wrote in a 2-page news release. “Therefore, the prosecution of Mr. Rivera comes to a conclusion today.”


Rivera’s lead attorney, Stanford law professor Lawrence Marshall, responded to Waller’s decision with a written statement: “We are pleased that Mr. Waller has accepted the appellate court’s decision reversing Mr. Rivera’s conviction. Obviously, we have issues with Mr. Waller’s office for pursuing the case over the years after DNA excluded Mr. Rivera as the source of semen recovered from the victim, but Mr. Waller could have further extended the process with an appeal, thus delaying Mr. Rivera’s release from prison.