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Petitioning Lake County State's Attorney Michael G Nerheim

Justice for Melissa Calusinski

In 2009 a young woman working at an Illinois daycare was coerced into confessing to murdering a 16 month old.  Her case was recently aired on 48 hours.  The court documents and interrogation can be found online.  I don't personally know her, but felt enraged after the case was presented.  She was interrogated for 9 hours and after out loud dening any wrong doing 79 times, she confessed.  During the interrogation she was lead by police, bullied, sworn at, and denied use of the bathroom.  Melissa has a low verbal IQ which means it is hard for her to express herself.  It also affects her interpretation of what others say.  In this case law enforcement preyed on that. Her confession had many discrepancies including her claiming there was another caregiver just feet away when she tossed the child on the ground.  That women denies seeing anything like that.  Her confession changes several times, before she ultimately recants.  Besides the confession the only other evidence in the case is the coroner's report stating the child had a skull fracture that had occured that day.  Based on that alone Melissa Calusinski was convicted of first degree murder and was sentenced to serve 31 years in prison.  Years later the new coroner took a look at this case and determine the skull fracture was healing at the time of death meaning it was an old injury.  Upon further investigation it was discovered that weeks before the death daycare workers had noticed a large bump on the child's head.  The new coroner believes that that bump caused some kind of brain injury that eventually cased death.  Even with this new evidence the District Attorney refuses to reopen the case.  I believe she is innocent and at the very least deserves a new trial.  I think that with some public out cry  we can get this young women some justice. Melissa is current being represented by Kathleen Zellner a Chicago lawyer who has gained the exoneration and release of 17 men. The fact that Zellner has taken on the case says a lot about Melissa's innocence. Zellner is also very well known for her work on the Steven Avery case. Avery has recently gained much notoriety from the Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer." She is currently representing Avery as well as Melissa Calusinski. Here is a link to her Twitter account if you would like to follow for updates! https://mobile.twitter.com/ZellnerLaw Please also contact the Lake County State's attorney to plead for a new trial. http://lcsao.org/contact-us
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  • Lake County State's Attorney
    Michael G Nerheim


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