People v. John Restivo - INNOCENT - Cleared by DNA after 20 Years

Theodore W. Robinson

Case Conclusion Date:January 1, 1985

Practice Area:Criminal Defense

Outcome:Convicted after trial, but DNA cleared him

Description:John Restivo was charged with Rape 1st and Murder 2nd along with two other men. They were innocent, but the police hid evidence and the DA convicted them with trumped up evidence and by coercing an Alibi witness to lie. After conviction, I remained on the case for 17 years appealing the case and getting DNA tests done for him. They eventually cleared him and his conviction was set aside and he was released. I never gave up on the case and never quit on the client. I pursued the case when nobody else would take it on. I brought Habeas Corpus Motions and Federal Writs seeking to get a DNA test done and defended the client through every onslaught of the District Attorney until three DNA tests confirmed his innocence. Even then, the DA refused to abandon his persecution of the men. One of them was eventually forced to go through another trial and win before the DA finally gave up and set them free. The entire case took almost twenty years, yet I never stopped working for my client.