My fiancée is currently serving a 40 year sentence for a murder he did not commit. I am afraid he is running out of time for representation because he just filed a writ of habeas corpus. His public defender told him that it was best that he did not testify and their was no guilty plea. He has alibi affidavits and recantation affidavits from 2 of the 3 witnesses who were pressured in to saying that my fiancée committed the crime and if they did not that they would then be charged. At the time of trial one witness went to my finance's public defender and told him that he wanted to recant his statement and he stayed for the whole trial and was never called to testify. We really need help. We have documentation proving his innocence but without proper representation and the funds to hire a lawyer my fiancée is stuck trying to do his own legal work and i am afraid he will not get far.
I am not aware of any pro bono attorneys on this site. Perhaps you can contact the Innocense Project, and see if they will take the case on.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
In addition to Robert's fine suggestion, check with the University of Chicago's "Exoneration Project".
Go easy on the gratuitous dumping on his lawyer at trial. They like to make their own determinations on that kind of stuff.
Pro bono criminal defense attorneys are called public defenders. Contact the office of the Appellatte Defender or the Innocence Project in Chicago.
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My colleagues are correct. Here are those links:
Northwestern : http://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/wrongfulconvictions/ Karen Daniel is the director.
U of C: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/clinics/exoneration Gayle Horn and Tara Thompson worked on one of my old cases there, and did a fabulous job.
I should point out that there may have been very good reasons why your pd elected not to have your fiance testify, not to use the witness who wanted to recant. Don't think that just because your fiance ultimately lost his trial that the strategic decisions were not well thought or not correct. Recantations are always double-edged swords. Everything in hindsight is 20-20. But it's never that clear during the heat of the battle.
One question: I assume it was a Will County case?
Best of luck to your fiance.
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