When should government employees face personal liability for knowingly gaming our justice system in order to get convictions?
Juan Rivera, 42, who endured three trials and twenty years of wrongful imprisonment before being exonerated of a vicious crime, has reached a $20 million settlement agreement with Lake County (IL) authorities. His $1 million award for each year in prison will enable him to pursue his education and assist his family, but, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times (here), Rivera said, “I still would prefer my 20 years back [over] the $20 million.”
The settlement cost will be shared by the county and several municipalities that contributed police work in the investigation of the brutal crime. The largest amount will be paid by the city of Waukegan where the crime occurred.
Rivera was convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker. His conviction was based primarily on a confession that occurred over four days
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