Lake County to Examine Claims of Innocence


Lake County’s newly elected State’s Attorney has formed a review panel to examine claims of innocence. Mike Nerheim was sworn in December 3 and has already assembled a group of attorneys, retired judges and legal professionals from outside Lake County government who will serve on the Case Review Panel. The

Chicago Tribune


The Lake County State’s Attorney’s office, under former leader Michael Waller, recently came under fire for a series of cases involving wrongful convictions. Nerheim has said the new panel will not only review cases in which a defendant’s guilt is called into question, it also will work to determine the causes of wrongful convictions and recommend policies for future investigations and prosecutions.

Innocence Project client

Bennie Starks

, who spent nearly 20 years behind bars for a rape he did not commit and has still not been fully cleared, is one of four cases in which former State’s Attorney Michael Waller insisted on guilt even after DNA proved innocence.


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