Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Funeral Services Today for Retired Judge Rayvis, 67
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services are scheduled today for retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis, who died Saturday at the age of 67.
Presiding Judge David Wesley informed court colleagues yesterday that Rayvis, who took disability retirement in August, had passed away. Rayvis had been dealing with cancer for several years.
She was appointed to the court by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2001, and sat most recently at Airport Court. She was a deputy district attorney from 1990 until her appointment to the bench, and began her judicial career in Downey. She served as site judge in Downey and Huntington Park in 2006, and sat at the Airport Court from 2007 until she stepped down earlier this year.
A 1985 graduate of Southwestern Law School, she once explained in an interview posted on the school’s website that she had been an elementary school teacher with a master’s degree in education, and was raising young children when the school started its PLEAS program in 1981. The program, one of few in the country, allows students to attend part-time during the days, and largely attracts students with child or elder care responsibilities.
Her primary interest in law school was criminal law, and she externed with the Public Defender one summer and the District Attorney the next. “I realized that I liked the prosecutorial aspect more than the defense aspect,” she explained, and “never considered going into anything other than criminal law,” although she did civil work for several years because she was able to do it part-time.
She took her first fulltime job, as a deputy district attorney, when she was 41 and her youngest child was 12, she explained. Her assignments there included five years in the Hard Core Gang Division.
In one of her last cases, Rayvis vacated Terrence Prince’s 31-year-old murder conviction, finding that he was deprived of his right to a fair trial because the state failed to disclosed exculpatory evidence in the form of statements made to police by witness immediately after the crime that would have raised doubts about Prince’s guilt. The evidentiary hearing in the case lasted 42 days.
Survivors include her husband of 44 years, Irvin Godofsky; their daughters Maya and Johonna, and four granddaughters.
Today’s services are scheduled at 2 p.m. at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Ave. The family asked that memorial donations be sent to Women Helping Youth, 15332 Antioch St No. 36, Pacific Palisades, CA 90972.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company