On this day in 2013, the Seventh Circuit took the unusual step of ordering pro bono client Nicole Harris released on bond from prison, setting the stage for what ultimately became a successful effort by the firm and Northwestern University Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic Center on Wrongful Convictions to exonerate her. "I just feel overwhelmed with joy," she told reporters covering the high-profile case. Ms. Harris had been convicted in 2005 of murdering her 4-year-old son and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The firm and the CWC became involved after trial, appealing the case through state and federal courts and losing at each turn until October 2012, when the Seventh Circuit held that the trial judge had excluded the testimony of Ms. Harris’ surviving son, 5 years old at the time, that he had seen his younger sibling strangle himself with the elastic from a bed sheet when their mother was not in the room. With her conviction reversed, the team asked the Seventh Circuit to order Mrs. Harris released on bond pending further proceedings. “We are grateful to have achieved this result for Ms. Harris,” said Bob Stauffer, who led the firm’s team. “It is very unusual for a federal appellate court to find it necessary to order a state prisoner released pending further proceedings; that the Seventh Circuit did so here suggests that it believes not only that her conviction was unconstitutional, but that it agrees with us that Ms. Harris is actually innocent.” On June 17, Ms. Harris’ freedom was secured when the state announced it would not retry her. Other members of the firm’s team included current attorneys Matt Hellman, Kara Kapp, Andrew Kennedy and Elin Park.
Firm Represents Chicago, Milwaukee Railroad Shareholders in Bankruptcy Former Associate John Paul Stevens Sworn in as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Firm's Pro Bono Client Is Released after Serving 19 Years
1914-1924 1925-1934 1945-1954 1965-1974 1975-1984 1985-1994 1995-2004 2005-present A Jenner A Vail A Valukas ACTL Affirmative Action Airlines Alumni American Academy of Pediatrics Antitrust Appellate Practice Archibald Asia-Pacific Asylum ATT B Byman B Ennis B Graham B Obama B Von Hoene Ballistics Bankruptcy Bishop BitTorrent C Kamin C Sklarsky Candy Casino Centennial Center on Wrongful Convictions Chicago Chicago Pacific Chief Justice Warren Comstock Act Conspiracy 7 Contract Buyers League Corporate CRST D Bradford D DeBruin D Murray D Savner D Verrilli Death Penalty Democratic National Convention Diversity Dowaliby E Johnston EEOC Equal Time Examiner Exelon Exoneration F Thompson First Amendment Food Lion Ford Heights Four G Leighton General Dynamics Grokster Hall of Fame Harassment Hoover HUAC Illinois Supreme Court Internet ISBA isoHunt J Gill J Hall J P Stevens J Rivera J Solovy J Tucker Johnston Julius Hoffman K Palazzolo Kennedy L Harrison Lehman LGBT LGBT Civil Rights Los Angeles M Hellman MCI MGM movie studios New York Newman newsletter NextWave Nicole Harris Northwest Operation Greylord P Smith P Tone P Tucker Patronage Pinnacle Polio Poppenhusen Pro Bono Pro Bono Hot List R Bridges R J Daley R Levy R Nixon R Richmond R Stauffer Railroad Reversal S Insull S Levy seat-belt law Stamler Stern Supreme Court T Mascherin T Sullivan Trustee US Attorney US Supreme Court UV Industries Vaccine Ventas Video Games Warren Commission Watergate Wiggins v Smith Witherspoon Women
Connect With Us