Schiff Secures Rare Evidentiary Hearing for Pro Bono Client in Post-Conviction Petition

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Schiff Secures Rare Evidentiary Hearing for Pro Bono Client in Post-Conviction Petition

News Release |

Schiff successfully secured an evidentiary hearing on a post-conviction petition filed on behalf of our pro bono client, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2014 and sentenced to a 55-year imprisonment. In granting the hearing to determine if our client’s conviction should be overturned, the court agreed that Schiff had made a substantial showing that our client’s constitutional rights had been violated.

Working in conjunction with the Northwestern University Center on Wrongful Convictions, Robert Middleton argued that our client received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because the appellate attorneys failed to appeal the trial judge’s decision to exclude the exculpatory testimony of a prison chaplain. The chaplain had heard another individual’s confession to the same murder our client was convicted for. The petition argued that the trial judge excluded all such testimony because he improperly applied Illinois clergy-penitent privilege.