People of Illinois v. Christopher Raygoza

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People of Illinois v. Christopher Raygoza, 474 F.3d 958 (7th Cir. 2007)

At the time he engaged Mr. Goodman’s services, Mr. Raygoza stood convicted of one count of first degree murder in connection with at gang-related shooting on the southwest side of Chicago. Raygoza was serving a sentence of 45 years.  Mr. Goodman took the case to federal court where he raised the constitutional claim that Raygoza’s trial counsel was constitutionally deficient for failing to investigate his client’s alibi defense and failure to effectively cross-examine a key prosecution witness who changed her story on the eve of trial at the urging of the State.  In a rare and important opinion, the federal appellate court agreed that Raygoza had been deprived of his constitutional right to an effective attorney.  The Court reversed Raygoza’s convictions and ordered his release from prison unless the State should decide to retry him within 120 days.

Read the Chicago Tribune article about the case »

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