Posted by John Thomas
The meeting in the Winnetka Community House was opened at 12: 18 by President Bill Leske.  Greg Nelson gave an interesting Thought for the Day followed by the pledge of allegiance led by Chuck Norton. Lunch was served at 12:24.
 
The meeting resumed at 12:40 with 27 members present. Our Rotarian visitor was Neil King from Skokie Valley and his guest, in turn, was Pete Henderson. They got a nice round of warm applause.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Announcements started with John Thomas noting there was a new vacancy for New Trier Township Trustee. Anyone interested should contact Thomas for further information. Marie Kuipers updated plans for the June 1 benefit. She said auction items were needed and an early commitment to attend was needed as she had to commit early for food with the caterer.
 
President Bill noted next week’s speaker will be Carly Pace and the unusual topic is “Sex Trafficking”. He then noted the following special events:
            - May 9 our meeting will be at the refurbished Hadley School
            -  June 1 is our Annual Benefit
            -  June 19 is our Installation Dinner
 
HAPPY BUCKS:  Fred Schwimmer celebrated the sale of something and threw in $10.
David Birkenstein honored the work of Brook Peppey in leading the Club’s Foundation who have just allocated grants to four operations who will use the funds for special needs children.
Tony Kambich presented a very odd tie for Robert Mardirossian who, in turn, chipped in $10 in recognition of such an unusual gift.
 
DIG & GRIN : Tom Nash spun out an anecdote that was received with warm applause.
 
SPEAKER- Our speaker, Stephanie Caparelli, is a lecturer on legal affairs at Lake Forest College. She was a Public Defender in the Lake County States Attorney’s office and received her legal education at Chicago’s Kent College of Law.
 
She started by asking if any of us could envision a circumstance under which we might confess to a crime we didn't commit. We responded with a confident "no." The prospect is difficult to fathom, which is why juries often consider confessions to be a paramount piece of damning evidence leading to guilty verdicts. However, the Innocence Project in Lake County finds that more than 1 out of 4 wrongfully convicted persons ultimately exonerated by DNA evidence falsely confessed to the crime for which they were charged. She explored this phenomena using the 1992 Waukegan murder of Holly Staker and the false confession of Juan Rivera. That confession was coerced by subjecting Mr. Rivera to 4 days of hard questioning ultimately leading to his apparent psychotic break and agreeing to that confession written for him by a detective.
 
However, Juan's written confession led to three separate juries rendering a guilty verdict, resulting in Juan spending 19 years in the Department of Corrections. However, ultimately a review led to the confession being deemed invalid. Juan was exonerated and given a $20 million settlement for false imprisonment.
 
The meeting closed at 1:26 after some audience Q&A, the usual lottery drawing and a recitation of the 4-Way pledge.
 
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