Lawyers for Juan Rivera Say They'll Appeal Third Guilty Verdict

May 8, 2009

Lawyers for Juan Rivera say they will appeal his third conviction for the 1992 murder of an 11-year-old Waukegan girl. Jurors found Rivera guilty Friday on two counts of first-degree murder. Rob Warden is director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions. 

WARDEN: We are committed absolutely to Juan Rivera. We believe in his innocence and we are going to do everything we can to bring justice in this case.

Rivera was convicted at two earlier trials and sentenced to life in prison. The first conviction was overturned. After the second conviction, new DNA evidence came to light, and the judge ordered a new trial.

Rivera's lawyers argued in this latest trial that the DNA excluded him. But prosecutors noted Rivera had signed a confession. A call to the Lake County State's Attorney's office was not immediately returned.