CHICAGO (WLS) -- A clemency hearing was held Wednesday morning for a woman serving a life sentence for a 1992 murder in Humboldt Park whose conviction is tied to a disgraced former Chicago police officer.
Marilyn Mulero is serving a life sentence and her lawyers say it's due to misconduct by Reynaldo Guevara.
Mulero has been in prison for nearly three decades. She was sentenced to death after pleading guilty to murder with no trial. However, now she's serving a life sentence, but maintains her confession was coerced and that she's innocent.
The Illinois Prisoner Review Board listened to arguments Wednesday morning on behalf of Mulero, who is now 49, seeking clemency from Governor JB Pritzker for a 1992 murder in Humboldt Park she says she did not commit.
Mulero is currently incarcerated. Her cousin, Damaris Medina, spoke on her behalf.
"Her sons are ready to have their mom back, her mom her daughter back, her brother her sister back and myself and many others just Marilyn back," Medina said.
Her attorneys from The Exoneration Project along with other attorneys who represent the wrongfully convicted say Mulero was forced to confess at the hands of Detective Reynaldo Guevara and Detective Ernest Halvorsen, two retired Chicago cops whose cases have resulted in 19 exonerations to date.
"So far it's only been men who have been exonerated. Marilyn would be the first woman. It's unbelievable that they would only have perpetrated this against men. They certainly did against women, but Marylin and other women have just not had their voices heard yet," said Lauren Myerscough-Mueller with The Exoneration Project.
Mulero's attorneys pointed to fabricated evidence and a confession to the true killer, Jacqueline Montanez, who has confessed to being the sole murderer of both victims. Montanez has since been re-sentenced and is due to be released in 2023. Meanwhile, Mulero remains in prison for the rest of her life.
"I can't believe this lack of due process happened in the United States of America, that a 21-year-old was sentenced to death without a trial," said Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project.
More than a dozen people stood up in the hearing to show their support for clemency.
The family of the victims tearfully testified off camera that Mulero was there that night and she should stay in prison based on her confession and that she had to have known what was going to happen that night when she was with gang members.
The board will send its recommendation to the governor now. It could take him a year to respond and he's under no time constraint.