State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in Chicago has long been criticized for her efforts to bar the public filming of police officers, bizarre positions, and anti-civil liberties positions. Now she is again under fire for refusing to re-open four cases that were identified in an independent investigation as “more likely than not” resulting in the conviction of innocent men.
The investigation, commissioned by mayor Rahm Emanuel and conducted by former U.S. attorney Scott Lassar, looked at the four cases due to the role of police officer named Reynaldo Guevara. The four men — Roberto Almodovar, Robert Bouto, Jose Montanez, and Armando Serrano — were investigated by Guevara. Guevara investigated two men—Juan Johnson and Jacques Rivera who were subsequently freed in wrongful-conviction cases. Chicago paid $15 million to settle a lawsuit with Johnson.
Despite the huge settlement and prior cases, Alvarez dismissed the need to re-open the cases and made the same arguments used in the prior wrongful prosecution cases: saying that re-opening the cases would be “contrary to those made by the triers of fact in each of these cases, and contrary to those made by the Judges that have presided over these cases for decades.” The very same thing could (and was) said about the cases of Juan Johnson and Jacques Rivera.
None of this means that the men are innocent, but a good-faith basis exists to re-open the cases in the interest of justice.
20 thoughts on “State’s Attorney Alvarez Refuses To Re-Open Cases For Men Found Earlier To Be Most Likely Innocent”
Hitler was in favor of “prosecutorial immunity”. If you review the Reichstag Fire Decree issued by President von Hindenberg in 1933 when some guy (later turned out to be Goering) burned down the German Parliament (Reichstag), you will see the origin for American “prosecutorial and judicial immunity”.
Those war criminals in Gitmo are immune because of the Patriot Act. Some other blogger on here has mentioned these two parallel themes in history before.
State’s Attorney Alvarez Refuses To Re-Open Cases For Men Found Earlier To Be Most Likely Innocent
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in Chicago is a fraction of an American and a lesser fraction of a human being.
Thank goodness the US supreme court has removed any potential remedy to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in Chicago despotic reign with it’s specious doctrine of qualified/absolute immunity which sets impossibly high Kafkaesque burdens upon those seeking remedy through the US justice system (haha).
Karen, Chicago people take a perverse pride in their slimy reputation. That’s what helps perpetuate it. As dirty as it seems from what you read, it’s actually MUCH more corrupt.
Chicago politics has such a dirty reputation.
This is unjust, and she sounds unworthy of her position. She should re-open the cases and let them stand or fall on their own merits. Regardless of whether the men are found innocent or guilty, it’s the right thing to do.
If hers is an elected position, I am curious how the voters will react.
Defense attorneys and all litigators need to go on strike.
As a plaintiff or defendant, I’m surely not immune so where’s the logic?
It is an elected position, and often a stepping stone for higher office. The dumber than dirt Richie Daley held that position prior to becoming mayor.
This hardly Anita Alvarez’s first abnormal response….
“Prosecutors have absolute immunity for their official actions. They can charge individuals they know are innocent, put them through enormous stress and expense, then drop charges at the last min, and no one is allowed to bring suit against them. They can even lie and falsify evidence, and are still immune. SCOTUS has upheld the power of prosecutors to do this and to be immune from any lawsuit for damages resulting from such abuse.”
And then we wonder why there are so many prosecutorial abuses. How can you have a functional justice system where some are immune from liability their actions cause?
I guess our Judges aren’t to smart after all or as I believe, government is just one big friggin scam, full of functional sociopaths.
I saw her 60 Minutes interview a year back. Scary lady.
IMO law enforcement officers on average are among the most disgusting and obnoxious groups of people on earth. The job attracts power hungry egotistical liars. The notion of “serve and protect” applies to themselves, not the public.
The BBC did a great radio special Re. the phenomenal growth in police shootings and killings of unarmed citizens (it’s insane that no Federal law requires tracking of LEO shootings or use of force). Decades ago the LEO industry decided and made policy that their first and primary job is to get home safe at the end of their shift. They logically determined it was acceptable to kill infinite number of innocent citizens toward meeting the first goal I just stated.
Remember the opening scene of “Hill Street Blues” when the shift Sergeant’s last words at the end of the morning meeting was “…and be safe out there?” Translation: “It’s better to be judged by 12 then buried by 6,” or, “It’s better to apologize (after killing an innocent) than to be shot and killed by a real bad guy.”
Less evidence for the following, but I still believe it’s true: the people who lead this nation, from Obama down, are as lawless as the worst Central or S. American drug lord. I think this trickles down stream to LEOs and the rest of the populace. When I look at school shooters I POTUS and the rest, just on a smaller scale. You think some Americans are exceptionally violent? Ask the world what nation causes more violence and suffering on the planet. What nation has over 500 foreign military bases and aircraft carriers parked all over the world?
Does our system serve to protect the rights of individuals only up to the point of conviction and then it serves to protect the reputations of those that convicted them?
NO innocent people should be incarcerated and those that knowingly incarcerated them should pay the price. The people need to be reminded that the Grand Jury is there to protect the people from the prosecutor, not work along with him/her. No-one should be allowed to be on the jury without reading the “Juror’s Handbook” and knowing their rights & duty.
hskiprob – You were going along just fine until your last paragraph when you started begetting. At that point you fell off the Bell Curve after colliding with any number of logical fallacies; red herring comes immediately to mind. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies for a brief refresher course.
I was going to ask several questions. Then I got to Randyjet’s comment above and he posed those questions. She needs to be removed. Did she get the job because of her Hispanic name? She should do two years in prison for each year some innocent person did on her watch. This is why God made rifles.
It is long past time to get rid of this so called prosecutor. Is that an elected position in Chicago? If so, and she is a Democrat, I would be voting against her and damn near any GOP challenger if I lived there. Party loyalty only goes so far, and she is not worthy of it.
I don’t understand how this woman even has a job much less made it though law school and the bar exam. Could someone please explain. Why is not someone bringing down the gauntlet on this woman.
Is the political and judicial system of Chicago so protective of their past indiscretions, that they are just blatantly willing to ignore justice and the lives of those they have sworn themselves to protect? That the potential loss from a monetary reward, out ways the need for justice and compassion or at least finding out the truth when questions arise.
It surely does suggest that socialism does in fact beget fascism as it appears that greater and greater amounts of insanity are occurring as our system goes through each phase of it’s bell curve cycle.
I heard recently that those who are convicted of non-violent crimes in my State, like burglarizing a home and stealing the cars, are no longer incarcerated. The prisons are so over-crowded that only violent criminals are now incarcerated. So the US has a far higher rate of incarceration than any other country, and many convicted felons are not even incarcerated, but many innocent people or people convicted of petty crimes are imprisoned???? Something is grossly wrong with this system.
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