Jerry Miller Files Suit Against City Of Chicago And Retired Police Officers

Jerry Miller has filed a federal court civil rights lawsuit against the City of Chicago and several retired Chicago Police Officers. Miller was arrested in 1981 and charged with raping a woman at a parking garage at 506 N. Rush Street in Chicago. Two parking lot attendants identified Miller from a police lineup as the person attempting to drive the rape victim's car out of the parking structure while the victim was locked in the trunk. Miller was convicted at his criminal trial and spent 26 years in prison. In July 2006 the Cook County State's Attorney's Office agreed to post-conviction DNA testing that showed that Miller was not the contributor of a DNA profile found on the victim's clothing. Miller has now filed suit against the City of Chicago and several now-retired Chicago Police Officers. Miller alleges, among other things, that the Officers told the two parking lot attendants to pick Miller out of a police lineup. The factual basis for this allegation is unknown at this time and the two parking lot attendants are deceased. The case has been assigned to District Court Judge Suzanne Conlon. Miller is represented by John Stainthorp at the Peoples Law Office. The Police Officer Defendants are represented by Andrew M. Hale and Avi Kamionski from Andrew M. Hale & Associates.

City Of Chicago Files Response To Michael Evans' Appeal

The City of Chicago and ten former Chicago police officers have filed their response to Michael Evans' Seventh Circuit appeal. In August 2006, a federal court jury found in favor of the City of Chicago and the police officer defendants, rejecting Evans' claim that he had been framed for the rape and murder of Lisa Cabassa back in 1976. Evans spent 27 years in prison before being released in 2003 when DNA found on a rectal swab did not match Evans. An eyewitness, Judith Januszewski, testified that she saw Evans and his friend Paul Terry abducting Lisa Cabassa on the evening she disappeared. In their appellate brief, the defendants argued that the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing testimony by police officers who fully complied with discovery. The defendants also argued that Evans' failure to ask the district court for additional time to conduct discovery waived any claim of prejudice. For example, the defendants' brief states "Tellingly, the primary relief Evans seeks is a remand to 'provide Plaintiff a reasonable opportunity to take fact and expert discovery. Evans never sought this relief from the district court, although the officers suggested it. Evans wanted to go to trial as quickly as possible. Evans apparently now regrets this strategy, but his gamesmanship should not be rewarded with relief he never sought below. Indeed, because Evans never asked the district court for more time for discovery, this argument is waived." (Defendants' brief at p. 38). Defendants are represented on appeal by Benna Ruth  Solomon (Deputy Corporation Counsel), Myriam Zreczny Kasper (Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel), and Jane Elinor Notz (Assistant Corporation Counsel). Evans is represented on appeal by Jon Loevy, of Loevy & Loevy, who was also Evans' lead trial counsel. At trial, the defendants were represented by Andrew Hale, Eileen Rosen and John Rock from Rock Fusco, LLC.

Jerry Miller, Released From Prison After 26 Years, Has Convicton Expunged

Jerry Miller, who was released from prison in March 2006, after being incarcerated for 26 years, recently had his conviction expunged due to DNA testing that showed he did not rape a 44 year old woman back in 1981 on the roof of a parking garage at 506 N. Rush Street in Chicago. Miller became a suspect when police officers thought he looked like a sketch of the attacker. Miller was brought in for a lineup and identified by two parking lot attendants. At trial, the victim testified that Miller looked like her attacker. Miller denied any role in the crime. After a trial, the jury found Miller guilty of rape, robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. Judge Thomas Maloney sentenced him to 45 years in prison. Miller's case was reviewed by the Innocence Project in New York, which triggered the DNA testing of the victim's slip. After Miller was excluded by DNA tests, the unknown DNA profile was submitted to the FBI's convicted offender database and a match was found. Miller was represented by assistant public defender William Wolf and Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld from the Innocence Project.

Kenneth Pfoser And John Onstwedder Testify In Brown's Chicken Case

Yesterday, DNA expert Kenneth Pfoser testified that DNA found on a partially eaten chicken dinner matched that of Juan Luna, who is on trial for murder in the Brown's chicken case. Pfoser works at the Northeastern Illinois Crime Lab. Also yesterday, John Onstwedder, a fingerprint expert, testified that Juan Luna's palm print matched a partial print found on a napkin recovered at the crime scene. Judge Vincent Gaughan is presiding over the trial.

Cecila Doyle Testifies In Brown's Chicken Case

Illinois State Police crime lab scientist Cecilia Doyle testified recently in the Brown's chicken murder case. Doyle testified that a DNA profile found on chicken bones came from at least one man. Doyle testified that she tested five swabs and got a mixture of DNA profiles and there was more than one contributor from the sample. Doyle also testified that the five swabs were eventually lost. The trial against Juan Luna is continuing in Cook County Circuit Court.

Steven Avery Becomes The First Person In The United States Exonerated By DNA Evidence To Be Charged - And Now Convicted - Of Homicide

After deliberating for 4 days, a jury of six men and six women found Steven Avery guilty of the Halloween murder of free lance photographer Teresa Halbach. The jury soundly rejected the defense's claim that the police planted evidence (Avery's blood) to frame him for the crime. Avery has been in the spotlight since 2003, when he was released from prison based on DNA testing after serving 18 years for a 1985 sexual assault. Avery becomes the first person in the United States exonerated by DNA evidence to be subsequently charged - and now convicted - of murder. Avery will be sentenced later this week and is expected to face life in prison.

DNA Expert Sherry Culhane Testifies In Steven Avery Trial

Sherry Culhane, a forensic scientist in the DNA section of the Wisconsin State Crime Lab testified and defended her results that show Steven Avery as the origin of blood and DNA found in Teresa Halbach's sport utility  vehicle in 2005. Avery's attorneys argued that since Culhane's own DNA was found in a negative control sample (that is supposed to be devoid of any DNA), the tests should have been deemed inconclusive and new testing should have taken place. That can't be done, however, because the entire DNA sample was consumed during the initial testing.

Federal Jury Awards $9 Million To Waukegan Man

On Tuesday, October 17, 2006, a jury awarded Waukegan resident Alejandro Dominguez $9 million in damages in his civil rights lawsuit. Dominguez had sued the city of Waukegan and former Waukegan Police Lieutenant Paul Hendley.  Dominguez, now 33 years old, was convicted of rape in 1990 when he was 16 years old. He spent four years in prison. Dominguez later conducted DNA testing which showed that his DNA did not match DNA from the crime scene. In 2002, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich granted Dominguez an innocence pardon. Dominguez claimed that Hendley caused the rape victim to falsely identify Dominguez. Toward the end of the two-week trial, the court granted Waukegan's motion for a directed finding and the case proceeded solely against Hendley. The case was tried in the Northern District of Illinois before the Honorable Milton I. Shadur. Dominguez was represented by Jon Loevy from Loevy & Loevy. The defendants were represented by Waukegan attorney Mike Noonan.