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Attorneys Assist in Ronald Kitchen Exoneration

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July 13, 2009 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

CHICAGO --- On July 7, 2009, Ronald Kitchen, 43, who wrongfully confessed under extreme physical duress to a taking part in five murders in 1988, was exonerated by a Cook County Circuit Court judge and released from prison. He spent thirteen of his 21 years behind bars on death row.

During his legal quest for freedom, Kitchen was represented by Thomas F. Geraghty, director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic, at Northwestern University School of Law, and Carolyn E. Frazier of the Bluhm Legal Clinic and Mark Oates of Baker & McKenzie.

Of 224 men and women sentenced to death under the current Illinois death penalty law, which was enacted in 1977, 20 have now been exonerated and released—an error rate of nearly 9 percent.