Juan Rivera sentenced to life again i...

Juan Rivera sentenced to life again in the '92 murder of Holly ...

There are 43 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jun 25, 2009, titled Juan Rivera sentenced to life again in the '92 murder of Holly .... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Passions ran high in the courtroom, but Juan Rivera remained stoic Thursday as he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the third time in the rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker.

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john p

Wilmette, IL

#1 Jun 25, 2009
Rivera did not testify at the trial, but instead tries to sway public opinion through gullible reporters afterwards. He confessed. Other DNA means means that he did not act alone. Or else that the scientists--yes, they DO make mistakes--made a hash of the DNA storage, handling, testing samples. If I were wrongly charged with murder, I could not wait to trumpet my innocence to a jury,would relish cross examination. Guilty as charged.
Rob

Streamwood, IL

#2 Jun 25, 2009
john p wrote:
Rivera did not testify at the trial, but instead tries to sway public opinion through gullible reporters afterwards. He confessed. Other DNA means means that he did not act alone. Or else that the scientists--yes, they DO make mistakes--made a hash of the DNA storage, handling, testing samples. If I were wrongly charged with murder, I could not wait to trumpet my innocence to a jury,would relish cross examination. Guilty as charged.
First of all the reporters are not gullible, they are only reporting the statements made by the defendant. Second, seeing how the State as well as the defense had the DNA tested then your saying two different labs messed up the results. And lastly if the DNA did not match the defendant then where's the second party to whom the DNA belongs?
the dr

United States

#3 Jun 25, 2009
How the he[[ does this guy get convicted when the DNA does not match?

This is nuts. I thought I lived in a just society. I was wrong.
Dave

Lafayette, LA

#4 Jun 26, 2009
Typical. He's hispanic so he'll do. That's what the family wants, so put him away for life--despite the evidence. It's been shown repeatedly that the police will wear a suspect down (read FOUR DAYS OF QUESTIONING) to the point where some will agree to what's being demanded of them. There is truly a reasonable doubt.
Jack

South Morang, Australia

#5 Jun 26, 2009
Is this guy mentally unstable?
Jack

Matteson, IL

#6 Jun 26, 2009
Jack wrote:
Is this guy mentally unstable?
If I remember correctly, he has an IQ in the 80s. I would also suspect that he's just not a likeable guy (not so much Hispanic as "alien looking") and that assures him of a negative jury.
Anonymous

Waukegan, IL

#7 Jun 26, 2009
"I have heard this trial three times. Thirty-six individuals from society have found this individual guilty of this crime without a reasonable doubt."
~~~~~~~~~~
How many appeals do these attorney's expect?
Do they think they can just keep appealing until they finally find a jury that will go there way?
STOP WASTING THE TAXPAYERS MONEY!
36 jurors have found him guilty, get a clue, HE'S GUILTY!
ROT IN PRISON YOU MURDERER!
Anonymous

Waukegan, IL

#8 Jun 26, 2009
THE DR,
Becuase the DNA was from the semen and he was on trial for the MURDER not the rape
Lawyers Lie

Springfield, IL

#9 Jun 26, 2009
To All of you bloggers... If you really believe that our Justice System is all about the Truth you are fools. It's a high stakes act being choreographed before stupid jurors, and being played by unethical greedy people with agendas. This includes the Judge is who just a Lawyer with a robe. It all boils down to how much Justice you can afford. Or how much Justice a lawyer things he can win off your misery. AND THAT IS THE TRUTH.
oneandoneissomet imesthree

Europe

#10 Jun 26, 2009
Did John Burge fabricate his confession??? Something smells fishy...
Rob

Chicago, IL

#11 Jun 26, 2009
So let me see if I get this straight:

A WHITE cop gets caught on video beating the hell out of TWO people in one day (including a defenseless woman) and he gets probation.

but...

A HISPANIC man, on trial for the rape and murder of a victim whose DNA wasn't even his gets LIFE?!
Anonymous

Waukegan, IL

#12 Jun 26, 2009
lawyers lie,
He had the BEST lawyers and still was found GUILTY. Guess that excludes that all you need is good lawyers.
He is GUILTY and is where he belongs!
Rob

Chicago, IL

#13 Jun 26, 2009
Anonymous wrote:
lawyers lie,
He had the BEST lawyers and still was found GUILTY. Guess that excludes that all you need is good lawyers.
He is GUILTY and is where he belongs!
Your argument is so full of holes it's ridiculous. "Lawyers lie [...] he had the best lawyers". If all lawyers lie, then you realize you just included the prosecution and the judge presiding over that case with your statement.

Look, if he's truly guilty then I'm all for giving him life in prison... or worse! Hell, public hanging is ok with me... but he was sentenced to life for not only the murder but the RAPE of that girl - and the DNA wasn't his! W...T...F!?!?
Justice For All

Raleigh, NC

#14 Jun 26, 2009
No matter how many jurors have heard the case, they were all simply humans who are as able to be swayed by theatrics and emotions as anyone else. It's hard to believe that this man would be reconvicted when the semen wasn't his. Did the jury believe the 11 yo had been sexually active? I suppose that's possible, but not probable.

It's probable this man, who was already being held on criminal charges, was convenient and coerced into confessing to charges. It has happened many, many times and most often to minorities.

I can't help but think of the group of white teenagers in PA who beat a Hispanic man to death and only two were given a handful of weeks of prison time. Why? Because the kids were white and "good students" which I suppose means "good people". Their beating an immigrant to death was somehow acceptable as a high school lark?

Justice in our country is dispensed by humans and will, therefore, always be unevenly and sometimes incomprehensively applied. I only hope whoever owns the semen they collected gets his own justice.
Rob

Chicago, IL

#15 Jun 26, 2009
Anonymous wrote:
THE DR,
Becuase the DNA was from the semen and he was on trial for the MURDER not the rape
Read the article again. If it's too long for you to read, then just read the first sentence of the article. He was sentenced to life in prison for the the rape and murder of that little girl.
Blind Justice

United States

#16 Jun 26, 2009
Just because the DNA is inconclusive does NOT mean he did not participate in the rape of this child. THREE TIMES a jury of his peers listened to the evidence and THREE TIMES found him GUILTY beyond a reasonable doubt. The Center for Wrongful Convictions is a Left Wing organization that is woefully misinformed about the realities of crime. Holly Staker was gang raped and murdered. If Rivera simply drove the get-away car, he is GUILTY of the Capital Crime!!! Stop wasting times on these dregs of society.
Fed-Up in Chicago

Round Lake, IL

#17 Jun 26, 2009
Rob wrote:
So let me see if I get this straight:
A WHITE cop gets caught on video beating the hell out of TWO people in one day (including a defenseless woman) and he gets probation.
but...
A HISPANIC man, on trial for the rape and murder of a victim whose DNA wasn't even his gets LIFE?!
So let me see if I get this straight:

You are comparing the sentence imposed for the rape and murder of a child with the sentence imposed for the battery of a female bartender with no permanent injuries.
Do you think you might be a little hung up on Race, Rob?
Rob

Chicago, IL

#18 Jun 26, 2009
Justice For All wrote:
No matter how many jurors have heard the case, they were all simply humans who are as able to be swayed by theatrics and emotions as anyone else. It's hard to believe that this man would be reconvicted when the semen wasn't his. Did the jury believe the 11 yo had been sexually active? I suppose that's possible, but not probable.
It's probable this man, who was already being held on criminal charges, was convenient and coerced into confessing to charges. It has happened many, many times and most often to minorities.
I can't help but think of the group of white teenagers in PA who beat a Hispanic man to death and only two were given a handful of weeks of prison time. Why? Because the kids were white and "good students" which I suppose means "good people". Their beating an immigrant to death was somehow acceptable as a high school lark?
Justice in our country is dispensed by humans and will, therefore, always be unevenly and sometimes incomprehensively applied. I only hope whoever owns the semen they collected gets his own justice.
I totally agree. I think we, as a society, so badly want whatever person the police find to be guilty that it clouts our judgement. We want that person to be sentenced to life (or worse) because of how that little girl died and how horrible her final moments must have been. But the case against the accused needs to be solid... and this one apparently wasn't. If it was, he wouldn't have been tried three times. Something tells me there will be a fourth.
Rob

Chicago, IL

#19 Jun 26, 2009
Fed-Up in Chicago wrote:
<quoted text>
So let me see if I get this straight:
You are comparing the sentence imposed for the rape and murder of a child with the sentence imposed for the battery of a female bartender with no permanent injuries.
Do you think you might be a little hung up on Race, Rob?
Perhaps it came off as though I'm race baiting but let me assure you I'm not. We just don't have the luxury of writing lengthy opinions, lest no one would read them.

All I'm saying is that what's happened SHOULD give people a moment of pause. Is that really justice?!

Yes, the crimes in the two trials are both bad but one trial far outweighs the other. And while that bartender never suffered permanent injury, should it then be taken lightly? What if someone smacked your mother around? Or your sister? Would you think probation is ok since there was no permanent damage? That lady is now afraid of her own shadow!

And as far as what happened to that poor little girl, I agree... sentence whomever did it - but be DAMN sure you got the right guy. Not whomever's convenient.
Fed-Up in Chicago

Round Lake, IL

#20 Jun 26, 2009
Rob wrote:
<quoted text>
Perhaps it came off as though I'm race baiting but let me assure you I'm not. We just don't have the luxury of writing lengthy opinions, lest no one would read them.
All I'm saying is that what's happened SHOULD give people a moment of pause. Is that really justice?!
Yes, the crimes in the two trials are both bad but one trial far outweighs the other. And while that bartender never suffered permanent injury, should it then be taken lightly? What if someone smacked your mother around? Or your sister? Would you think probation is ok since there was no permanent damage? That lady is now afraid of her own shadow!
And as far as what happened to that poor little girl, I agree... sentence whomever did it - but be DAMN sure you got the right guy. Not whomever's convenient.
I don't disagree with anything you say.
I wasn't at any of the three trials, I didn't hear all the evidence, I didn't get a chance to evaluate the demeanor of the witnesses. So I don't think that I should criticize the jurors who did, and reached the same verdict, on three separate occasions.
DNA evidence is not the ultimate evidence many people assume it is. If you sit thru a trial where you have good forensic witnesess testify for both the State and the defense, you'll see that the value of DNA evidence may be negligible, depending on the circumstances.

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