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Serial killer Reinaldo Rivera continues habeas corpus appeal

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Confessed serial killer Reinaldo Rivera has another chance to continue his appeal of habeas corpus as lawyers on both sides of the death penalty case continue to battle over a court-ordered mental evaluation.

Confessed serial killer Reinaldo Rivera will continue his appeal of habeas corpus as lawyers battle over a mental evaluation.  FILE/STAFF
Confessed serial killer Reinaldo Rivera will continue his appeal of habeas corpus as lawyers battle over a mental evaluation.

Rivera’s lawyers, Robyn Painter and Brian Kammer, objected to an order by Superior Court Judge William Fears ruling that Rivera was competent. The judge granted Rivera’s request to continue with his appeal Aug. 3.

On Sept. 18, the lawyers asked the Georgia Supreme Court to expand the scope of the case and entered new evidence, including an evaluation that found Rivera experienced cognitive deterioration while on death row.

According to Painter and Kammer, Fears erred by communicating about the final order only with Assistant Attorney General Theresa Schiefer and not with Rivera or his counsel.

The judge based his ruling on no data from mental health professionals, they said.

A Richmond County Super­ior Court jury sentenced Rivera to death in January 2004 for the murder of Army Sgt. Marni Glista.

Glista was found unconscious inside her home Sept. 5, 2000, after being attacked the day before. She died four days later at Doctors Hospital. Glista was strangled, according to the indictment.

Rivera confessed to raping and killing three other women. A fourth, Chrisilee Barton, survived a brutal stabbing and gave investigators clues that led to his capture.

In February, the Georgia Su­preme Court ordered a mental evaluation after Ri­vera asked the court to drop his appeal. Rivera, who sits on death row in Jackson, Ga., wanted to dismiss his lawyer and waive rights to future appeals.

Lawyers for both sides presented arguments on whether the court should complete the evaluation after Rivera signed a handwritten affidavit May 22 saying he did not want to proceed with his motion to drop the appeal.

In his final order, Fears said evaluations throughout the trial never cast doubt on Rivera’s ability to make decisions regarding his case.

Schiefer filed a motion with the state Supreme Court Sept. 20 arguing that the court should not consider the evaluation Rivera’s lawyers are trying to enter. She said the defense did not enter the evidence during a June hearing.

The high court hasn’t ruled on whether it will hear the case based on new evidence.

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allhans 10/01/12 - 01:24 am
Why is this person still

Why is this person still around.

Ruckus 10/01/12 - 04:35 am
Tax payer money

Tax payer's money wasted again. I remembered when this happened, plus this guy had a family & good job. Now he's not mentally stable ..... Death by injection

rmwhitley 10/01/12 - 06:38 am
I lived

in the CSRA when this maggot was caught and sentenced. What's that putrid slime still breathing y'alls air for?

Jane18 10/01/12 - 07:31 am
What goes around, comes around

The main thing wrong with this man(?), is, he is evil! It's been 9 years now since his conviction and sentencing. I'd say it's past time to stick the needle in him...................

OpenCurtain 10/01/12 - 08:29 am
As much as it has been said, it still needs saying.

There are too many appeals on top of appeals. Update the Appeals process and limit it to 5 years and hire a few more judges.

But, proceed with care, so that NOT 1 framed or innocent person is railroaded to prison or Steam Roller'd to Death.

PLUS I would add a new law:
Anyone deliberately bringing forth false evidence to promote the conviction or making deliberate public statements using false information to hinder the prosecution in any felony case shall result in the same fine, imprisonment or death that would have been given (Quid Pro Quo) in sentencing.

That would sure to cool the heels of a few people that use these cases to promote themselves, get rich making public appearances or become famous inflaming the public one way or the other.

It is JUSTICE we are after, not a meal ticket for some talking head.

F4therTime 10/01/12 - 09:08 am
He needs...

A quick drop with a sudden stop. That's the cure for people like this. I don't care if they are mentally ill or retarded or whatever. We have to keep others safe by getting rid of predators like this!

my.voice 10/01/12 - 11:34 am
This sickens me. I wish the

This sickens me. I wish the families could get half the attention that this rat gets to help them heal and find closure. In this instance (and most others) the inmates are running the system.

There should be a tiered structure for appeals in the realm of murder. Admitted murderers should be given the fewest. And to those who say the cost of capital punishment is more than the incarceration of an inmate, I say NOT IF ITS LIMITED TO A YEAR OF APPEALS in cases like this. There's no mistaking this one, is he "ill"? Sure he is, but not so ill that he didn't LURE his victims to their demise.

We ALL need to contact our legislators and demand that a change be made in the system. It wont be a deterrent until we make it a deterrent.

Its needle time folks.

rmwhitley 10/01/12 - 02:13 pm
Sounds as if scumball's

attorneys are suffering from "cognitive deterioration". They're like that, you know.

ameehancock 10/01/12 - 03:53 pm

It's so sad to see that this is still dragging on. As a friend to one of his victims, it hurts to know that justice is taking so long, I can only imagine how the families of his victims feel. Not only did he admit to his crimes, but gave the police the location of one of his victims remains. He asked for the death penalty, stating that if he where ever released he would pick up where he left off. I thank the way they will eventually excute him is to easy. So he is going to get a little prick of a needle and then nighty night before they make his black heart stop.
They should change the laws that when someone admits to guilt, gives overwhelming evidence of their guilt, that there should be no appeals.
They should be taken straight from the courtroom and excuted to avoid further pain and suffering on the victims families.
This is not a case where it is witnesses statements holding things up, this is a bunch of idiots defending a man that has no problem admitting that not only did he commit horrible crimes, but would gladly do it again. I suppose his lawyers will be trying to set him free next on some bs grounds. What evidence could his lawyers possibly have that can prove he is innocent? It's kinda hard to prove that after his own confessions.

realitycheck09 10/02/12 - 10:26 am
"Swift Justice"

For those of you who believe in swift justice and limiting appeals, a man in Louisiana (who confessed, by the way) who was on death row was exonerated just last month after 16 years in prison.

That's why we don't practice the kind of barbarian justice you advocate.

OpenCurtain 10/02/12 - 03:42 pm
Good case to study

Naturally picking the exception to the general rule is always the best way to win.

But let us look at the case closely you provided.
Why was he found guilty? He confess to the killing.
Why was he exonerated? DNA provided he was innocent.
He got an appeal based on new evidence, not a loop hole in the law, the arrest process or question.

But in this case he made himself guilty.

He was stupid for confessing to something he did not do. All he had to do was ask for a free lawyer during the interrogation. They even told him so when they read him him his rights.

Quoting the ACLU "There's an easy fix: videotape every statement. That way anyone can look at the process to spot inadvertent contamination or coercion that crosses the line." <--- this has been the practice for years now. That is why more and more convictions are being upheld.

BUT that does not stop phony time delaying appeals that give the murderer more time and life than the victim got.

    My statement was board and I will narrow it down a tad.
    When you are guilty WAY beyond a reasonable doubt of multiple murders, not 1 but several, the courts should say to the convict take your time <48 months and get all your appeals to together so they can be heard 1 time.

Now the question becomes;
A Murderer is still walking the streets, because this guy stupidly confessed. Has the real murderer killed again?

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