Criminal Law Society Panel

The NIU College of Law Criminal Law Society will be hosting a panel discussion on April 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM in the Francis X. Riley Courtroom, Swen Parson Hall. The event will discuss the case of Juan Rivera, who spent nearly 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.

Mr. Rivera was convicted in 3 separate jury trials, but with the aid of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, his conviction was overturned in December 2011 by the Second District Appellate Court based on crime scene evidence and DNA recovered that did not match Mr. Rivera. In January 2012, Mr. Rivera was released from prison. The appellate court opinion can be found on Westlaw at 2011 IL App (2d) 091060 (password required) and more information, including a video of his release, can be found on the Chicago Sun-Times website.

Panelists for the event will include:

  • Justice Susan F. Hutchinson, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District 
  • Stacey Mandell ('96), Senior Law Clerk to Hon. Susan F. Hutchinson
  • Jane Raley, Senior Staff Attorney, Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University 
  • Juan A. Rivera, Jr.

This event is free and open to the public.  A reception in the Thurgood Marshall Gallery will follow the event.