Anita Alvarez '60 Minutes' Interview: State's Attorney Defends Convictions, 'Necrophilia' Theory


It has already been called everything from "political suicide" to "self immolation" to straight-up humiliation.

But whatever it was, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez emerged from Sunday night's CBS "60 Minutes" report (embedded above) on Chicago's history of wrongful convictions looking much, much worse for the wear.

"60 Minutes" reporter Byron Pitts looked at how Chicago has managed to rack up more false convictions than any other city in America in a report that included stirring interviews from men who lost family members, freedom and a significant chunk of their life due to wrongful convictions stemming from police coercion.

Alvarez quickly went off the rails as she defended the police's actions in two cases, including the high-profile 1994 murder of Nina Glover (her clip begins around the 7:30 mark in the embedded video).

Among her biggest blunders: backing a bizarre "necrophilia" theory to explain how the DNA from a convicted rapist -- and not the men forced into confessions -- was found on the victim and throwing cold water on Pitts' suggestion that prosecutors maybe should have been more interested in a convicted serial rapist than a pair of young men whose DNA was absent from the scene. Pitts appeared somewhat incredulous during Alvarez's response.

The Capitol Fax blog and the Sun-Times both featured the video, though the Tribune's Eric Zorn has a transcript of some of most cringe-worthy moments from the broadcast.

When Alvarez seemed obstinate on her position, Pitts asked Terrill Swift, one of the men wrongfully convicted, what he would say to the State's Attorney.

"I was wrongfully incarcerated for 15 years, and you're still fighting my innocence," said Swift.

Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly told the Sun-Times Monday that her office was "appalled, absolutely, unequivocally appalled by the lack of information [in the ‘60 Minutes’ report]" and blamed the broadcast for leaving out essential information about the cases discussed.

"Our office did a very, very thorough, careful review of these cases," Daly told the paper.

Just last week, Alvarez tried to save face in the David Koschman case, insisting to reporters that she and her prosecutors did not mishandle the investigation.

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