May 25, 2017
Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx announced today the hiring of Mark L. Rotert to serve in the newly-created position of director of the Office’s Conviction Integrity Unit.
“The Conviction Integrity Unit serves a critical function in our office. I am committed to ensuring that we rigorously examine our work and actively seek out and correct cases of possible wrongful conviction,” said Foxx. “Mark’s sound judgment, exemplary reputation, and thoughtful and thorough approach make him the ideal person to lead this unit.”
Rotert has over 35 years’ experience as trial lawyer in federal and state courts, having worked as an Assistant Attorney General, Assistant U.S. Attorney, partner at Winston and Strawn, and most recently as a partner at the firm of Stetler, Duffy, & Rotert. His work has encompassed both civil and criminal matters, including criminal defense representation, and prosecution of homicide and public corruption cases. Each year since 2012 and through the present, Mr. Rotert has been listed among the Top 100 Attorneys in Illinois by Chicago Magazine.
“I am impressed by State’s Attorney Foxx’s earnest desire to correct any wrongful convictions, and her commitment to this work as a way to build and preserve the public’s trust in the criminal justice system. I share that belief, and am excited for the opportunity to put it into action. My goal is that the recommendations made by the Unit have a reputation for fairness and reliability, and I commit to coming to each case without bias or assumptions, and to making decisions based only on the law and the facts,” said Rotert.
The State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit is responsible for reviewing claims of actual innocence or wrongful conviction resulting from prosecutions by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Unit reviews any claim from a living person who was convicted in Cook County. Cases come through many sources, including letters from the convicted person, their loved ones, and attorneys; post-conviction filings that raise actual innocence claims, the work of Innocence and Exoneration projects, media investigations, and internal sources.
Mr. Rotert received a J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a frequent lecturer at Chicago law schools.