Attorney for UnderdogsWilliam Genego

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An attorney who trained at Yale, Genego “liked to represent the underdog and righting a wrong,” says Vicki Podberesky, a former law partner. Like who? Like Bruce Lisker, who was arrested at 17 in the death of his mother — and tried and convicted. He served 26 years before Genego won him a new trial: the evidence in the case was fabricated. When informed there would be a new trial, the Los Angeles District Attorney dropped the charges due to a lack of evidence. “He was a soldier,” Lisker said after hearing of Genego’s death. “He took the injustices inflicted on others as a personal affront.” So much so that when he became ill, Podberesky took over some of his cases — and found most of the clients he represented weren’t being charged. “He did it because he believed these people were wronged,” she said. His family was strongly behind him: they asked that rather than sending flowers, friends and family instead should contribute to “The Bill Genego fund against governmental encroachment on civil liberties” at the ACLU of Southern California. In all, Genego was instrumental in overturning the wrongful life sentences of at least five people. He died at home from cancer on March 8, at 66.

From This is True for 12 March 2017