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COLUMN ONE; In Search of Juvenile Justice; At 16, Mario Rocha was convicted of murder as an adult. A nun has fought nine years to free him. To her, it's about more than one boy.
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Appeals; Religious organizations; Murders & murder attempts
Author: Simmons, Ann M
Date: Oct 26, 2005
Start Page: A.1
Section: Main News; Part A; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

At juvenile hall, Rocha was selected at random for the writing class [Janet Harris] had started. As she watched from the back of the classroom and listened to the young men read their work, Rocha stood out.

Harris was stunned. After Rocha was sent to prison, she studied the 13-volume trial transcript, hounded the prosecutor, found new witnesses -- missed or ignored by Rocha's trial attorney -- and put together a booklet summarizing the case. She wrote and phoned lawyers, legislators, reporters -- anyone who might listen. For almost two years, no one did.

Among other things, the [Latham] lawyers found that [Anthony Garcia] had failed to call witnesses who could have provided exculpatory evidence. They argued that Garcia failed to adequately cross- examine witnesses who -- with uncertainty -- fingered Rocha as the shooter. And the attorney failed to protect Rocha against the accusation that he was a gang member, the Latham lawyers argued.

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