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DNA and the Authoritarian Fantasy Life of Prosecutors

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Andrew Martin has a fascinating article about how things work in a winger-dominated DA’s office in Illinois.   First, people are convicted based almost entirely on not-very-plausible confessions extracted from the kind of marathon high-pressure interrogations that will produce many false positives.    And then, once a convicted defendant is essentially exonerated by DNA evidence, the prosecutors respond by trying them again (or refusing to try the real killers) based on baroque theories that would need substantially more coherence and underlying evidence to rise to the level of being “implausible”:

His theory for why there was sperm that did not come from Juan Rivera inside 11-year-old Holly Staker on the day she was murdered is, to his mind, simple and straightforward. She and her twin sister, Heather, were sexually active, Mermel argues, and Holly must have had sex with someone else before Rivera came along and raped (but didn’t ejaculate) and murdered her. There was scant evidence to support this sexual-activity theory, but Mermel dismissed that objection. “Nobody is going to admit to having sex with an 11-year-old girl, even if the statute of limitations has run out,” he told me. “But there was a lot of evidence that came to our office that these two girls were sexually active.”

Sure, we don’t have any evidence that this 11 year-old girl had sex the day she was raped and murdered by someone who apparently left no forensic evidence at the scene, but we have evidence that she was sexually active — conjecture is a kind of evidence, right? And evidence has come into our office! Not the kind of evidence that can be presented in open court or anything, but it’s out there!

An initial examination found no evidence of sexual assault in the case, and Hobbs never mentioned it in his confession. Two years after his arrest, though, a private laboratory hired by his lawyers discovered that there had been sperm in Laura’s vagina, anus and mouth, and they tested a sample. The defense lawyers immediately announced that DNA analysis showed the DNA did not match Hobbs’s.

When Mermel heard about the findings, he dismissed them and suggested that Laura could have got the sperm on her while playing in the woods, where couples might have sex.

Right. I’m sure this has happened to all of us — you go for a quick chaste stroll in the woods, and you come back with your genitals covered in semen. Happens all the time.

At least in the latter case, the innocent man is free, although the DA has refused to prosecute the probable killer identified by the DNA evidence. The first exonerated defendant remains in prison after being convicted yet again. Obviously, Rivera’s post-DNA convictions represent failures by the jury and/or defense counsel as well as the DA. But an interview with the victim’s guilt-ridden twin sister late in the article shows how the jury can err; no matter how ridiculous the DA’s theory, most people have no idea how unreliable confessions secured under coercive methods are. The DA’s office has no such excuse.

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  • Much sport could be had about how DNA got up the DA’s ass that made him twist the evidence to fit his facts, but that would be disrespectful to the girls involved.

  • Could this be tied to the problems with law school? How does a person so impoverished in their thinking with such an underdeveloped sense of justice become a lawyer, much less a D.A.?

    This is travesty writ large, and any system that supports such travesty is broken.

    • Boudleaux

      Hey — that same person could go on to become Antonin Scalia, and gleefully announce that there is no procedural obligation to revisit convictions, substantive results be damned.

    • c u n d gulag

      I think too many DA’s offices confuse, or equate, justice and victory.

      It’s a Defense Attorney’s job to make sure that everything is done properly by the state and its representatives – and to the letter of the law, or else his client should walk with no consequences.

      The DA’s seem to think it’s their job to make sure they win, for the sake of their own and their bosses careers, and will do everything in their power to win a case, including tampering with, or not presenting evidence.

      And for some reason, we have decided that there will be no consequences for the DA’s actions. Only the victims and the falsely accused face any consequences.
      The DA’s skate on to create more havoc the next day.
      Whatever this is, it ain’t “JUSTICE!”
      Reprehensible and despicable, only begin to describe this.

      • I think too many DA’s offices confuse, or equate, justice and victory.

        I think too many macho men conflate justice with victory, and unfortunately a lot of people are coerced into playing that game. Thinking that someone must win and someone must lose— making every interaction a contest— is a costly, dysfunctional, and sad way to go through life. It is also predatory.

        Intelligent people work toward win/win situations. Over and over again, it is demonstrated that police forces are more effective when they use a community model of policing and the police officers are rewarded for solving problems without making arrests. But, when votes are needed from a bunch of bootlicking stupid people, draconian methods are once again put into place because it appeals to the authoritarian imbeciles.

        • c u n d gulag

          wiley,
          I agree with everything you said, except that there are now a lot of females in DA’s offices that are pretty indistinguishable from their male cohorts.

          Authoritarians of all sexes, races, religions, and even sexual orientations are drawn into that ‘win at all cost,’ black-and-white world.

          It’s certainly not all of them.
          But I think if you’re looking for lawyers with heart and soul, you’ll more likely find them in the Public Defenders office.

          Being a DumbAss DA, is a lot faster track to the House, the Senate, or your states Governor’s mansion, than the Public Defenders office.
          Why?
          Because of the people you described as authoritarian imbecile voters.

          • No doubt. It was a generalization, and I consider it a core trait of patriarchy. This got me thinking about a female manager I had at Denny’s. I laughed like a hyena as I signed the document she wrote up saying that I would be terminated if I did some stupid shit she imagined I did. It made her so angry that she couldn’t scare me.

            • LKS

              I’ll take it a step further and suggest that a base component of the wingnut/authoritarian mind is that winning, in and of itself, proves you were right all along, regardless of how you achieved the victory.

              That is, I don’t think it’s really about “victory”. It’s about how the authoritarian mindset fundamentally views right and wrong. They seek “victory” as validation that they are right.

              A similar vein can be seen in their attacks on climate scientists. Wingnut climate deniers believe if they can discredit the scientists and shut down the debate, this “victory” will prove that there is no human-induced climate change.

              The concept that winning proves you’re right is alien to the rest of us, but that’s how they think.

      • L2P

        That’s a little simplistic. What happens more often is a mix of getting emotionally involved with your case and the normal psychology of having a side to defend.

        Prosecutors are trying to build a case, and mostly that involves figuring out a story that fits the evidence. Psychologically, once you get committed to the story it’s hard to get away from it. No matter how hard you try to be objective, you view incriminating evidence favorably and exculpatory evidence with a gigantic grain of salt.

        The prosecutors in this article are irrational and indefensible, but you should see some of the stories that defense attorneys try to spin with the evidence. And both sides, IMO, truly believe they’re getting at the truth the vast majority of the time.

        • c u n d gulag

          L2P,
          You’re right, I may have also over-generalized.
          And I do believe what you said in your last sentence.
          The problem lies with those who, even when the evidence clearly shows a DA that someone’s innocent, or is later proven such, that they continue to deny the truth and forge on ahead. That’s either willful stubbornness, vanity, or a complete unwillingness to accept defeat/reality.

          And I know defense attorney’s can be bad, but their it’s their client who’s presumed innocent until proven guilty, and so his/her job is to sow seeds of doubt.
          So, it’s the defense attorney’s job to come up with rediculous hair-brained stories of semen covered grass, flowers, and trees, and not the DA’s.

          • Anonymous

            “And I know defense attorney’s can be bad, but their it’s their client who’s presumed innocent until proven guilty, and so his/her job is to sow seeds of doubt.
            So, it’s the defense attorney’s job to come up with rediculous hair-brained stories of semen covered grass, flowers, and trees, and not the DA’s.”

            Since the defense attorney is required to provide the most vigorous defense possible, not only is it their job to do so, but to not do so would violate both their professional ethics and their clients constitutional rights.

            Prosecutors, on the other hand, ostensibly have a commitment to justice. That means not only trying to convict people of crimes, but nominally respecting their rights and the spirit of the Constitution as well (not that that happens in the real world, of course, unless the suspect is sympathetic, white, and upper-middle class).

            • The Shaggy DA

              As I linked elsewhere, prosecutors explicitly have an ethical responsibility to put justice before wins. Any one who is so blatantly not doing so should be answering to the bar association.

        • Njorl

          Once you get to “unindicted co-ejaculators”, it’s time for a reappraisel of your objectivity.

          To me, it doees not seem like this case fits what you are describing. It seems to me that they are fighting to defend their way of doing business – every major crime must result in a conviction. That was how it was 40 years ago. if there was a terrible crime, someone -guilty or innocent- had to go to jail. Every case which gets overturned threatens their ability to push through trumped up cases in the future. Their whole model of justice is threatened.

          • L2P

            I don’t disagree with this. But I’d suggest a focus more on specific prosecutors than on a problem with authoritarian DAs. These guys aren’t representative, and IMX a lot of what looks like railroading the innocent from the outside looks like trying to do justice from the inside. In general across America IMO DAs are the least of the problems with the criminal justice system; they’re just the most visible because they ALWAYS leave a paper trail.

          • c u n d gulag

            Njorl,
            “unindicted co-ejaculators”

            WIN!!!

            • Njorl

              Not mine. It was from a linked article. I also heard it used in an overturned case on one of the “TV News Magazine” shows.

      • Lee

        One of the roots of this problem is that DAs are often elected positions and this puts political pressure on them. They get elected by boasting about their conviction records, not by ensuring that justice is done. If DAs are appointed rather than elected than the political pressure to secure convictions would be less and more indirect, mainly coming from the Governor who appointed them rather than the public itself.

        This is an issue that happens frequently with government lawyers. Lawyers are opposed to be advocates for their clients. Government lawyers can interpret this that their client is the public/government and they are advocating for them by winning. In the criminal context this means securing convicitions.

        • c u n d gulag

          Yes, Lee, I mostly agree.

          But if the public is the client, what good is that conviction rate if it includes innocent people, while the guilty ones may still be roaming the streets committing crimes – what good is that rate as a barometer of your real success?

          Any idiot can bring up charges.

          And I know many DA’s can indict a ham sandwich, as the old saying goes.

          But that doesn’t mean that you have to convict it when you either suspect then, or find out later, that it was the salami which did the deed.

          • Lee

            I think that most of the public generally holds to the happy coincidence theory of criminal convictions. That is, if you happened to get arrestted you probably did something wrong even if you didn’t do the thing that you are accused of. If you actually did the thing that you are accused of and convicted than thats just a happy coincidence. Yes, I know I stole this from Terry Pratchet but it happens to be correct.

            The public wants convictions, not necessary the right ones but it wants convictions.

            Can’t we get a new public?

            • c u n d gulag

              “Can’t we get a new public?”

              No, the STOOPID is too strong in us.

      • The Shaggy DA

        Illinois appears to have rules of professional conduct that mirror the model RPC’s (as do the ones I am bound by) which do impose special rules on prosecutors:

        Rule 3.8

        Everything that people are complaining about in these comments are covered by the rule, if these prosecutors would pay attention to the rules they took an oath to uphold.

        • chris

          And if they don’t, who’s going to make them?

          Their professional incentives all point to getting more convictions by means fair or foul, and if their personal inclinations didn’t point that way too, they’d probably be at the other table.

  • Malaclypse

    Right. I’m sure this has happened to all of us — you go for a quick chaste stroll in the woods, and you come back with your genitals covered in semen. Happens all the time.

    Dear Harvard Law Review: I never thought I would find myself writing to you, but you’ll never believe what happened to me last night…

    More seriously, we need to start recognizing that a system that punishes random innocents is the opposite of “tough on crime.” Americans don’t care about punishing the innocent, but if we can start to emphasize that every time something like this happens, someone guilty walks free, that will get through to the vindictive assholes, and that may sway things.

    • mpowell

      No, it won’t. The problem is that if you convict the guilty 50% of the time, that is a pretty damn good crime deterrent. You can maybe get away with 1 or 2, but the odds are strongly against a career of crime. And, hey, very few people with any sort of alternatives choose a career of crime. The other 50% of the time you can either convict an innocent person or not. It makes a huge difference in the ‘justice’ part of the system, but not so much in the crime deterrence. Until we have a society that cares about justice we won’t get it.

      • Malaclypse

        Oh I agree that the system as it stands provides deterrence. But picture your typical asshole. If you tell him someone got wrongfully convicted for raping an 11-year-old, he won’t care. Rephrase that as “the person who raped that kid got away scott free, and D.A. Mermel doesn’t care” (and let us be clear, that is exactly what has happened) and the asshole may stop supporting Mermel.

        • Holden Pattern

          Except that your typical asshole is OK with convictions (and for that matter executions) based on the accused being “guilty of something” or often “looked funny”.

          So their response to “the child rapist got away” is more likely than not “that’s because we’re not killing enough people”

          • Malaclypse

            Fair enough. I was assuming basic rationality at some point, and that is clearly an error on my part.

          • Joshua

            Or something like, “if he got arrested he was probably doing something’ wrong.”

        • Or you’d get the response, “Whatchew mean he got away? He’s in prison!”

      • chris

        And, hey, very few people with any sort of alternatives choose a career of crime.

        This strongly suggests that we’re already at least tough enough on crime, and need to focus more on giving more people more opportunities for non-criminal careers.

    • Karen

      I am a civil prosecutor for a Texas state agency, and I used to have “sue the wrong guy and the right one gets away with it” as a screen saver. Seriously, more people ought to know this. Convict the wrong the person and the right person WALKS. Repeat until someone listens.

  • mpowell

    This is the sort of thing that suggests that ‘justice’ system is a misnomer. This guy should be looking at an indictment as well as disbarment. Of course, instead, he is still the DA because we can’t possibly hold prosecutors responsible for doing their jobs correctly.

    • Holden Pattern

      Why should we? We don’t hold anyone else with power accountable for their actions, at least not in any consistent way.

      • Malaclypse

        We need to look forward, not back.

        • Holden Pattern

          Careful. You’re straying into an area of criticism that will call down the pack.

          • Uncle Kvetch

            Now now, Holden, that’s unfair. There are any number of valid criticisms that can be made of President Obama and his administration.

            Just not on this blog, that’s all.

            • Njorl

              Except for:
              Obama’s pandering to the deficit hawks.
              Obama validating Republican extortion on the debt ceiling.
              Obama’s terrible offers to cut medicare in the debt ceiling negotiations.
              Obama’s unwillingness to threaten to use hardball tactics to nullify the concept of the debt ceiling.
              Obama’s flouting of the war powers act in Libya.
              The lack of repurcussions in the torture of Bradley Manning.
              Obama’s failure to fill judicial vacancies.

              Other than those, and a dozen or two or three other exceptions, it is absolutely verboten to criticize Obama here.

              • jeer9

                As if it’s not bad enough that most liberals are going to hold their noses and vote for Obama, the howling faithful also want the skeptic to inhale deeply, hold it, and then call the nausea he’s feeling a high.

              • Scott Lemieux

                Don’t forget his Supreme Court appointments — was any blog a bigger supporter of Elena Kagan?

                • Uncle Kvetch

                  Fair enough, Scott — it was more of a good-natured tweak than a reasoned critique, and it didn’t even work on that level, so I take it back. And if I thought it was actually true I wouldn’t bother to read this blog.

                  I will say that the multiple posts about Naomi Wolf’s admittedly silly conspiracy-mongering did fill me with a vague sense of foreboding…as in, OK, election season is heating up, so it’s time for endless reiterations of “Oh look, another whiny-ass-titty-lefty is throwing a hissy fit because Obama didn’t personally deliver their pony.” John Cole & crew threw themselves into that with gusto for awhile and it rendered Balloon Juice exceedingly tiresome (although they’ve since dialed it back).

    • L2P

      Disbarment?

      The primary duty of a lawyer is to zealously advocate for her client. The duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice, but most state bars say that government attorneys are NOT free from their duty to zealously advocate for their clients.

      This is a really difficult ethical area for prosecutors. Is there a crazy theory that fits the evidence that 12 jurors might buy, but you think is ridiculous? You have NO IDEA how tough a call that is for a DA that cares about this stuff (not saying these guys do, of course.)

      • Njorl

        The prosecutor’s client is the people of his jurisdiction. Putting innocent people in prison and allowing guilty people to roam free is zealous, yes, but it is not in the interest of the client.

      • mpowell

        You know, I don’t know how DA’s and the bar actually interpret the duty of a public prosecutor. My view is: the DA gets to decide what cases to bring to trial. And he represents the interests of the people generally, not some mythical force whose only goal is to imprison the people the police point their finger at.

        If a DA is not confident in the guilt of an individual, that’s reasonable doubt right there. It is not in the people’s interest to put people in jail with reasonable doubt present. And it is also in conflict with the law of the land. So a DA who tries to get a conviction just because he can isn’t doing either the people any service or upholding the law. How tough a call is that really? Only a bunch of idiot lawyers could confuse their duty that badly. This is why I hate lawyers. They confuse convoluted sophomoric arguments with actual reason.

  • DrDick

    Further evidence of the anti-science (and reality) bias of the wingers. They know the truth, so don’t go trying to confuse things with those pesky liberal “facts”.

    • JohnR

      While that may play a role here, don’t discount the need to always be right. You never admit mistakes because then you would be wrong, and being wrong is a sign of unmanly weakness. That’s, I think, at the core of this anti-science stuff.

      • If I were king, no one would graduate high school without having read, written about, and discussed “Being Wrong, Adventures in the Margin of Error” by Kathryn Schulz. We learn by understanding that we are wrong and understanding how we’re wrong. Perhaps having too many objective tests or classrooms in which we are asked to give “the answer” is taking us away from understanding. Machismo and other compensatory mechanisms rooted in insecurity or hubris do no one justice. It’s o.k. to be wrong. Everybody’s wrong sometimes. But the answer to being wrong is not to keep digging.

      • DrDick

        There is certainly that. Prosecutors get promotions and raises based on conviction rates, not any regard for the facts. The same is true for their bosses, the Illinois States Attorneys, who win elections based on their conviction rates and “being tough on crime.” A truly perverse incentive system.

    • Manju

      Because in your world, Martha Coakley (satanic child abuse voodoo), Janet Reno (ditto), John Stennis (railroading black folks), Harry Connick (ditto), Linda Fairstein (central park non-rapists), and Mike Nifong (more non-rapists) do not exist.

      Or if they do exist they became republicans, since they were always wingers to begin with, or something. But they are definitely not liberals or even associated with liberalism in any way in which their misdeeds could stain a liberal.

      Only MLK, Rosa Parks, Everett Dirksen, Fonzie, Angelina Jolie, Steve Jobs, and Santa Claus are Liberals.

      Got it.

      • Walt

        I swear to God, Manju, you need to either quit the Internet, or seek professional help. You are visibly descending into madness.

        • c u n d gulag

          I’ve made it a point to ignore him – while I pity anyone near him.

          • DrDick

            I had decided already that Manju is totally delusional and this only confirms it, as I have absolutely no idea what the f**K he is babbling about or how it has anything to do with my statement.

            We have physical proof that this guy did not do it, but the prosecutor insists on retrying them. Now Manju is ranting about how this means I do not believe rape happens? (Oh and the whole Satanic child abuse thing is and always was pure bullshit).

            • mpowell

              I don’t know what’s so confusing about his complaint. He’s identifying liberals who have been overzealous prosecutors, in some cases criminally so. You can dispute his claims on a case by case basis, but there are some pretty nasty examples in there so his claims are not entirely off base. And I think they are pretty relevant to the suggestion on your part that this type of thing is about being a winger.

              I would pretty much agree that this problem is more common with wingers, but I wouldn’t describe Manju’s comment as insane rambling.

              • Hogan

                He’s identifying liberals who have been overzealous prosecutors, in some cases criminally so.

                No, he’s identifying Democrats.

                • mpowell

                  Are you differentiating between liberals and democrats? That’s a fair point.

              • DrDick

                Frankly I had no idea what he was referencing. There is still a difference between over zealous prosecution (which I never indicated was a conservative problem alone, though far more common among them) and rejection of solid scientific evidence as in this case.

                • Manju

                  Except for arguably Stennis (he knowingly used confessions extracted from police torture) all the examples fall under “rejection of solid scientific evidence”.

      • Malaclypse

        You forgot Robert Byrd. That’s not like you to forget Bryd.

  • OK, so you can’t sue the DA, but the local bar association can debar him for corruption of justice

    • Holden Pattern

      Ah-hahaha. Oh-hohoho. HAHAHAHAHA! You funny.

      • Glenn

        Yep, you are far more likely to get covered in semen from a casual stroll in the woods than is this DA to be disbarred or disciplined.

        • Anderson

          Wait — that was YOU in the woods?

    • Richard

      Its not the local bar association that debars someone. Depending on the state, its the state bar association or some other judicial body that does it. But the DA is not going to be disbarred by anybody from taking a ridiculous position, even one as crazed as the position in these two examples. If the DA witheld evidence or used knowing false evidence, he could theoretically get disciplined or disbarred but that doesn’t seem to be what happened in these two cases.

  • Aaron Baker

    Well, in Illinois they’re State’s Attorneys (SAs), not DAs–but very disturbing.

    From your description, I thought this would be some rural county down in central or southern Illinois–but when I got to the article, it’s Lake County–probably the most affluent county in the state, and one of the most urban. I would have expected more professionalism and competence in Lake County, but I guess I had little real basis for doing so.

    • proverbialleadballoon

      Lake county is republican d!ckhead central. The parts that are not affluent are nice places to go hunting and fishing, ie hillbilly country. Add that together and multiply by both groups aversion to Cook county and Chicago, and you get a republican district. Remember, Joe Walsh, deadbeat dad and America’s lousiest congressman, is from Lake county.

      I am glad that IL has a moratorium on the death penalty, for several reasons, but the most important outlined here.

      • Aaron Baker

        It’s not a moratorium; the death penalty in Illinois has been abolished.

        • proverbialleadballoon

          Oh, right, right. Even better.

    • B-Real

      Who you tryin to get crazy with, SA? Don’t you know I’m loco?

  • Anderson

    Man, the 11-year-old girls definitely weren’t doing anal when I was in 5th grade. Times have changed. Or maybe not.

    … Here’s the quote from the article that pinpoints what’s wrong with this system:

    “The taxpayers don’t pay us for intellectual curiosity. They pay us to get convictions.

    One might have supposed that the idea was to uphold the law, or convict the guilty. But that is not how these guys see their mission.

    • Anderson

      (Leaving aside how the victims’ families feel about this “your 11-year-old daughter was a tramp who took it up the ass” theory of the case.)

    • Holden Pattern

      “The taxpayers don’t pay us for intellectual curiosity. They pay us to get convictions.”

      One might have supposed that the idea was to uphold the law, or convict the guilty. But that is not how these guys see their mission.

      I think that’s exactly right, though (not morally, just descriptively). Everything having to do with crime in this country is viewed through the Nixonian lawnorder lense, and various kinds of “toughism” rhetoric.

      So we elect mayors, governors, legislators, DAs who promise to git tough, tougher, toughest, we select and elect judges from the ranks of career prosecutors, we pass laws that are increasingly and counterproductively punitive, and we spend fucktons of money on prisons (not to make them habitable — prison rape jokes tell you what you need to know about how we feel about convicts, but just because we have so many people in them).

      “Justice” is just a word that we use to mean “getting tough”.

      • Glenn

        and “freedom”‘s just another word for “nothing left to lose”

    • Lee

      To be fair, its how the public tends to see their position to. This is especially true in conservative districts. There is nothing inaccurate with the statement “They pays us to get convictions.”

  • Justin Cognito

    This is a long-running thought process in some conservative circles. I remember when Ann Coulter was riding the wave of her “we need a new Crusade” post-9/11 controversy, and argued that so what if those convicted in the Central Park Jogger case were let off on DNA evidence, they CONFESSED. ‘Cause it’s not like confessions can be forced or anything, and we all know DNA is just made up of pixie farts and the wishes of liberals.

  • Lee

    The only thing that I have to say about the prosecutor’s “theory” is OMG. This is one of the wingnuttiest things that I’ve ever read. How can anybody say this with a straight face?

  • Steve LaBonne

    As a forensic DNA analyst myself, I found that article nauseating. Prosecutors who are not seeking truth and justice should not only be out of office, but in jail themselves.

  • Warren Terra

    What I thought was amazing in the story was how the author didn’t more prominently feature the fact that Rivera’s location was being electronically monitored as a condition of hi parole for other offenses. Not only was another’s DNA found in the 11-year-old victim; not only was the only evidence against him a deeply flawed confession; not only was the prosecutor’s characterization of the victim’s character false; but he was known to be under electronically verified house arrest across town at the time.

    • pete

      Yes, remarkable, and thanks for remarking.

    • Now, I feel like putting my head through a wall. That poor little girl. She is abused even after her horrible death. It is befuddling that finding the person who committed this heinous crime (a person who appears to fit the profile of an offender who will commit this crime again) is not foremost on their mind. Why isn’t protecting children from a psychopathic child raper and murderer what gets them out of bed in the morning and what keeps them awake at night? What could be more important to them? I’m starting to cry so I’ll stop now.

      Fucking rat bastards.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Excellent point.

  • LKS

    Rivera was convicted for being brown-while-on-parole.

    • DrDick

      And in Lake County. No brown people allowed, unless they are millionaires.

  • Karen

    Someone needs to run against this DA on the platform that his insistence in retrying this case means that there’s a man roaming free who likes to rape and kill 11-year-old girls, all because dickhead DA wants to keep his conviction numbers.

    • Lee

      The only problem with this strategy is that the people of Lake County might find that this makes their DA reliable. They are conservatives.

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