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The Release of Juan Rivera
Juan Rivera Finally 'TASTES' Freedom, After Almost 20 Years
I am truly sad as to what the state of our Country has come to! I am not referring to just the economy; but to the state of our Justice System, also. Some of us, literally, dance on others despair; and, have (show) no wish to dance on their parade (when good fortune befalls them). How do we, as Americans, have the audacity to try to think that we are better than other countries that have unjust, and unfair, legal systems. True ours may be better; especially, from those countries where you are guilty, until proven innocent. In some countries, you do not even get a trial. Just as these countries systems are perceived, our so-called justice system appears to be flawed, also. Other countries are, likely, laughing at us; probably, using stories like this, as part of their propaganda, as a way to get their people to hate America, and Americans, more. Especially, those countries that have censored communications; and want to persuade their people that Democracy is a bad thing. Again, I thought that people, in this Country, are only guilty of a crime, if our Justice system deems them so; and that the Appeal System was set up to overturn a conviction, if new evidence is discovered, to prove the person innocent.
How are we able to teach our children right from wrong; when we, as adults cannot, even, agree, and accept, what our justice system, apparently, had deemed to be the correct action to take. One thing that I am learning from cases, like this, is that we, definitely, must find a way to weed out the bad police, including others that are supposed to be upholding (not abusing) the law; and pray for the remaining police (and other justice officials), to not turn to the (in the words of the Luke Skywalker Series) dark side.
Obviously, this is another case of an 'innocent' man, unfairly, and unjustly, imprisoned; and during the prime of his life; his freedom stolen from him at the tender age of Nineteen. Almost 20 years of his life stolen from him. When does this stop? I am truly outraged, not only for his imprisonment; but, also, for those that rather see an innocent person in prison, just to claim a case is solved. I am speaking of , even, after his recent release. I am not saying whether anyone is innocent or guilty; that is not my place to judge; nor any other citizens, that are not put in the position, legally, to make that decision. What I am saying is that we should respect the law. Who are we to judge? I had written, about this very exact matter, regarding this issue, in a past article that I have written.
This Country seem to be made up of 'witch-seeking' individuals; who just rather stir up havoc, and trouble; rather, than find out the truth. Do we not owe the victim(s) to find out the real truth? I thought that we, as people, have evolved, over the years; and became people that want to find the truth, that want to be fair, that want justice served, and want to treat other individuals the same way that they would like to be treated. I was under the assumption, that in this Country, a person is considered innocent, until 'proven ' guilty; even, if that decision becomes a lengthy one, to be proven, or until a guilty verdict is overturned, by the discovery of other evidence. I was never a fan of the 'once tried, you cannot be tried for the same crime,' even, if, eventually, it is discovered that you are guilty. Example, I must admit that I do have a problem with; for example, people that get away with murder, because they had already been tried for the murder, and found not guilty. Then, new evidence is discovered after they are found not guilty, had a mistrial, or there was a hung jury; and, legally, it would be considered 'double jeopardy,' to try them, again. Where, exactly, is the fairness in this; and the justice for the victim?
Something is, definitely, wrong with our justice system; where murderers get less, or no sentence; than non-murderers! Where is the justice: this should be where the questioning is, not keeping an innocent person in prison, for a crime that it was proven that they did not commit. People, these days seem to want someone in jail because they do not like them, or something about them. It does not matter if they did the crime, or not. The new saying seem to be 'If you did not do the crime, do the time anyway! Who cares? I just don't like you!'
Time and time, again; it is proven over, and over, that there is indeed something that is flawed, with our legal system, that it keeps taking a College Class, to prove that someone is in prison, for a crime that they did not commit. Yet, there is not ever any real effort taken to change, or improve it, by any politician. They only pay attention to it, when they want to make it one of their statements, when running. Afterwards, it goes back to the bottom of what is important to them, or for their pockets. Just one of those things that makes you say ... ummm. Does the lawyers of condemned prisoners, truly, try to prove that their clients are innocent; or are just in it for the money, also? After all, they are somewhat equivalent to politicians. Most politicians are Attorneys. It has always amazed me how Attorneys are only too happy to take a person's case (innocent, or guilty), as long as the money that they want, to be paid, is there; however, as soon as the money runs low, or runs out, the majority of them drop their cases, like hot potatoes. Just to be clear, I am not speaking of any Attorneys that gladly give a percentage of their time, and handle Pro-Bono cases. I, actually, applaud them; because they are giving back, to the community, or society. After all, this seems only right, anyway. If there were not people requiring Attorneys, or legal assistance, in different capacities; where would Attorneys bread and butter come from?
I do so feel for the family of the raped, and murdered, young lady. Like Juan Rivera stated, there were two families that were affected by tragedy, in 1992. The DNA was found not to match that of Rivera's. If it was my family member that was raped, and murdered, I would want the person that is, actually, responsible, brought to justice. Just because Juan Rivera was found guilty by, not one, but three juries; they were all based on a statement, that Juan Rivera stated that he was coerced into writing, by the police ... that they tortured him, until he said, and/or wrote, it. He is not the first,and, probably, not the last; that has said something like this. One thing is clear, and that is in all of the almost twenty years, he has never once claimed to be guilty. In my opinion, I feel that most of these incarcerations; especially, those made in the past, were based on race, and/or lack of money, to hire the best lawyers, anyway. However, regardless, despite that the ruling was handed down by an Appeals Court, for Juan Rivera's release, there are those that want to see him remain in prison; although the DNA, nor any of the physical evidence, does not point to him. Twenty years ago, DNA was not used in solving cases; one of the other reasons it was so easy to make, or make someone appear guilty. I just shudder at the thought of serving a sentence that only I, the victim, and the Creator, know that I am innocent of. Juan Rivera showed a strong will, and perseverance of faith, that the truth will, one day, come out, to reach this day. Just think of all of the other innocent poor souls that still are imprisoned, around the World.
I was touched by the way that Juan Rivera's family received him; upon his release, from prison. All of the hugs, kisses, smiles, laughter; and, even, the way that he called out for Jacob, and hugged him. I do not think that Jacob is a family member, I am not sure; I believe he may be one of the ones responsible for helping his case get heard by the Court of Appeals. However, I am positive that he considers Jacob as family, now; probably, along with the others that had a hand in his release; after almost serving twenty years. There was so much appreciation, and love, going around, within that group. What 'family,' is all about! The way it should be. I am glad that he has an amazing support system, surrounding him. I wish him well, now, and into the future. Good Luck, Juan Rivera.