All who have followed the accomplished work of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern Law are saddened by the loss of the Center’s Co-Director, Jane Raley, 57. Surrounded by her loving family, Raley died peacefully at her home on Christmas Day after battling cancer.
Raley had been a member of the legal staff of the Center on Wrongful Convictions since 2000. An exceptional lawyer and teacher, Raley was instrumental in the cases of eleven inmates who were eventually released, according to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune (here).
Raley became co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions with Karen Daniel in September of this year. Daniel called Raley “…truly the heart of the CWC…one of our greatest and most compassionate warriors….an incredible lawyer, a tenacious advocate for her clients, a revered mentor of law students and young lawyers, and an incredibly loving and caring person.”
The Tribune article quotes Daniel, speaking about Raley’s uphill battles on behalf of those often forgotten: “Even if the odds were long, she never gave up. She worked for years and years and she won cases that I don’t think anyone else would have won.”
Among them was the case of Juan Rivera, who was released from prison after serving nearly 20 years for a 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Waukegan, Illinois. Raley worked on the Rivera case for more than a decade before the Illinois Appellate Court reversed his conviction.
Colleague Joshua Tepfer of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, wrote (here) that Raley was an incredible mentor, who will always epitomize for him “client-centered lawyering.”
A memorial service for Jane Raley will be held at 2 p.m. on January 3, 2015, at the North Shore Unitarian Church, 2100 Half Day Road, in Deerfield, Illinois.
Donations in memory of Jane Raley may be made payable to Northwestern University School of Law (note “Jane Raley Memorial Fund” in the subject line), Office of Alumni Relations and Development, Northwestern University School of Law, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Or, to make a memorial gift online, visit http://giving.northwestern.edu/nu/cwc.