By Vanguard Staff
CHICAGO, IL – The California Innocence Project said Wednesday a Cook County judge this month vacated the wrongful murder conviction of Marilyn Mulero, whom they called “a victim of the notorious former Chicago Detective Reynaldo Guevara who has been linked to dozens of wrongful convictions.
Mulero, said CIP, “spent nearly three decades in prison for a 1992 murder she did not commit. She is now fully exonerated.”
“It has been such an honor to represent Marilyn and once again prove that our faulty criminal justice system sends innocent people to death row. We must end the death penalty,” said CIP co-founder Justin Brooks.
CIP noted, “Remarkably, 21-year-old Marilyn was innocent of the murder she was charged with and she was sentenced to death on a plea bargain based on advice given to her by an incompetent trial lawyer. The lawyer had no experience handling death penalty cases, did no investigation, and told her that a plea of guilty was her best option after three short meetings.”
CIP added their client’s “trial lawyer had advised her to plead guilty to murder without negotiating with the prosecution or with the court to avoid a death sentence. Because she had already pled guilty, the jury and the court had little choice but to sentence 21-year-old Marilyn to death based on her lawyer’s terrible advice.”
For decades, according to CIP, “attorneys and advocates for Guevara’s victims have made the case that homicides investigated by the disgraced former detective Guevara are tainted and that the State’s Attorney’s Office cannot defend them. Guevara, himself, won’t defend his investigations as he repeatedly asserts his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself when confronted with the allegations that he manipulated his investigations and framed the victims.”
Mulero is the first and only female victim of Guevara to be exonerated among over 30 Guevara-related homicide convictions overturned to date, according to CIP, adding Mulero is the 190th person in the USA to be exonerated after being sentenced to death and only the third woman on that list.