FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Date: January 30, 2003

        Contact: Nancy Ford, 206-6358


Reporter to speak on the Nicarico case at UIS

SPRINGFIELD Thomas Frisbie, Chicago Sun Times reporter and co-author of Victims of Justice, will speak on “The Prosecution Complex: A Critical Look at the Nicarico Case” beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, February 3, in classroom 3B, located on the third floor of the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

A reception with the author will precede the presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the PAC Atrium, adjacent to the classroom. The reception and the presentation are free and open to the public.

Victims of Justice is the story of the prosecution of Stephen Buckley, Alejandro Hernandez, and Rolando Cruz, who were wrongly convicted of the murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in Naperville, Illinois, and of the investigation of the real killer, Brian Dugan, by Illinois State Police Investigator Ed Cisowski, who became an unlikely hero in the efforts to free the three men.

The book draws on personal interviews, law enforcement records, court documents, and published news accounts to carefully reconstruct the story. Best-selling author Scott Turow, himself an attorney, described the book as “the first comprehensive account of the most extraordinary case I know.”

            In his address, Frisbie will explain his theory of the Prosecution Complex -- a mind-set that leads prosecutors, police officers, and judges to pursue convictions at all costs. Frisbie will be joined by attorneys who worked on the case and by one of the criminal investigators, Bill Clutter, who will provide specific examples of what they encountered.


Cruz and Hernandez were sentenced to death in 1985. After their original convictions were overturned, at Cruz’s third trial in 1995 a police officer admitted that he lied under oath as to a “dream vision” statement Cruz was said to have given. After hearing the prosecution’s evidence, the trial judge directed a verdict of not guilty and ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the conduct of the prosecutors and police. DuPage County prosecutors later dropped charges against Hernandez as well.

            This reception and presentation are sponsored by the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project in the Center for Legal Studies at UIS. The Innocence Project conducts research and investigative activities in cases where there is a strong likelihood that the person convicted of a crime is actually innocent. The project involves UIS students who are taking a class on Actual Innocence as a part of their course of study.

            For more information, contact Nancy Ford, professor of Legal Studies and Public Affairs, at 206-6358.