Rivera appeal argues illness

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EATONTON, Ga. - It could take up to four months for the Georgia Supreme Court to rule on arguments heard Wednesday surrounding the appeal of the 2005 death sentence of convicted serial rapist and murderer Reinaldo Rivera.

Reinaldo Rivera: Man was sentenced to death in 2005 for the rape and murder of Army Sgt. Marni Glista.  Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
Reinaldo Rivera: Man was sentenced to death in 2005 for the rape and murder of Army Sgt. Marni Glista.

To a packed audience in the Putnam County Courthouse, Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Craig and defense attorney Jacque Hawk squared off to make their case for and against a death sentence handed down two years ago for the rape and murder of Army Sgt. Marni Glista.

Mr. Hawk cited 10 points of contention during arguments - including exclusion of crucial testimony by a medical witness, introduction of unnecessary and inflammatory evidence from other murders, and interventions by Mr. Rivera himself when he was allowed to act as cocounsel after being found guilty.

In response, Mr. Craig argued the heinous nature of Mr. Rivera's crimes as reason for the sentence, calling proposed medical testimony "fiction" and referring to Mr. Rivera as just a difficult client instead of mentally disabled.

"You've got to understand, we didn't have a defense in this case in the guilt and innocence phases," Mr. Hawk said. "Our basic goal was to get him some sort of a life sentence."

Mr. Hawk said Mr. Rivera admitted to the Glista murder and others, forcing the defense team to argue Mr. Rivera had a genetically inherited mental condition, was diagnosed as a psychopath and had a dysfunctional childhood, which caused the violent criminal behavior.

Mr. Hawk said years of exposure to pornography at an early age led to a sexual addiction for Mr. Rivera, ultimately leading to his crimes.

Mr. Hawk argued that Mr. Rivera had reduced capacity in his frontal lobe, the area of the brain known to regulate judgment and impulse control. Mr. Hawk told the court that neuropsychiatrist Dr. Thomas Sachy was prevented from presenting colorized 3D PET scan models and testimony on what effects the reduced capacity would have on Mr. Rivera's behavior and ability to control his actions.

Mr. Craig argued the PET scans taken of Mr. Rivera's brain were conducted with no set protocols in place and were colorized by laboratories in California with no set parameters.

During the original trial, Mr. Craig had medical experts from the Medical College of Georgia negate Dr. Sachy's claims.

Once he was found guilty of the murder, both parties said Mr. Rivera's behavior in the courtroom changed - leading to another point of appeal for Mr. Hawk.

"He turned on us the minute he realized they were going to find him guilty without the consideration of mental illness," Mr. Hawk said. "He even put himself on the stand two times. He looked at every juror and told them he didn't want to be out of jail right now, but in five years he might change mind. He was going to get out, and he was going to do the exact same thing and it was going to be on your head, and your head and your head," pointing toward the jury box as Mr. Rivera did during the trial.

Mr. Craig argued that Mr. Rivera's actions were deliberate, bucking the system only after his original ruse didn't win sympathy with the jury.

"In the first part of the trial, (Mr. Rivera's) defense was that 'I am mentally ill and I will be a good specimen for psychiatric study as opposed to a convicted murderer and that you should consider me as such, as a specimen, and deal with me accordingly,'" Mr. Craig said. "When the jury rejected what was put forth by Dr. Sachy in the second phase, we heard (Mr. Rivera say) 'I enjoyed every minute of everything that I did, and I will kill again if I am given the chance, and I am still thinking that there is a way that I can get away with this, after killing four women and almost killing a fifth.'"

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pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 03/01/07 - 07:34 am
0
0
I belive in justice

I belive in justice whole-heartedly. What Rivera is doing is rubbing society's nose into the trail of his slime. I know this is mean to say but, considering this scum bag's guilty plea in the face of overwhelming evidence, Rivera should be hung from the 13th St. Bridge, (in the middle of the Savannah River because SC & Ga have a death penalty). Weight him down & cut him loose. I agree he's sick. But we have no treatment for his criminal illness only a cure-all for Rivera & the public good. May he rest in pieces. God Bless. I'm sorry!!

getalife
4
Points
getalife 03/01/07 - 09:10 am
0
0
Fry his [filtered word] in the electric

Fry his [filtered word] in the electric chair. He was smart enough to find and attack his victims and smart enough to elude law officals. Anyone that commits these type crimes is sick, but they still should be put to death. Rivera is taking up good space and air that someone else could use and wasting lots of taxpayer's money.

darr350
2
Points
darr350 03/01/07 - 09:26 am
0
0
I don't know if Mr. Hawk has

I don't know if Mr. Hawk has a daughter or not but if it was his child this sicko did this to I bet he would feel alot different.

fergie01
0
Points
fergie01 03/01/07 - 09:55 am
0
0
i agree wholeheartly with all

i agree wholeheartly with all of the above comments. i knew one of the young ladies personally. kill him and get it over with. but on hawkes' defense. this is what he was trained to do. he is only doing his job. sometimes you might not like the person you are defending. but hawk i have a problem with you. i saw you in line at the jail soon after the arrest leaving a couple of books for your client. they were all about serial killers. i even spoke to you about your choice of books. anyway that was not the kind of books to take to a sick man.

MyOpinion2
5
Points
MyOpinion2 03/01/07 - 09:58 am
0
0
Two THUMBS DOWN, for Rivera,

Two THUMBS DOWN, for Rivera, the sooner we rid this earth of him the better. I for one do not want to waste another taxpayer dime on the *&$#@@ #@$%!!!!!!!!!!!

wendyrpk
0
Points
wendyrpk 03/01/07 - 03:00 pm
0
0
As the sister of Marni, I

As the sister of Marni, I can't agree more. Save the tax payers a lot of money and finish the sentence. I know there are mandatory appeals, but lets be done with it. We just passed the 6 anniversary of Marni's death this past fall. As we approach the 7th this year I would love to have it be done!!!

tandrk
0
Points
tandrk 03/01/07 - 05:06 pm
0
0
As a friend of Marni's

As a friend of Marni's family, I say this monster needs to have his sentence finished! He's admitted his guilt. Don't just think that because time has passed that people are going to forget the facts. The families of his victims need this to be over with. I agree with the above statements--quit wasting taxpayers' money and finish the sentence!!!!

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