A 1991 case involving Reynaldo Guevera has been overturned amid allegations of misconduct. Indeed, there are attorneys right now who only handle cases related to disgraced Chicago detectives and their shoddy and criminal police work.
Most recently, Demetrius Johnson will be allowed to move forward with a new trial after an appellate judge granted his request. Yet this time, Cook County prosecutors will move forward with retrying the case as opposed to dropping the charges against Johnson.
The defendant’s criminal defense attorney express confusion over the decision to press forward with the trial. Not only is it a major cost to the taxpayers, but it also depletes the resources of the prosecutor’s office. Any evidence that was presented by Guevera will be considered tainted. This will require the prosecution to present evidence at trial that is either not linked to Guevera or is linked to Guevera, but the defense will have the opportunity to attack the credibility of that evidence.
If Convicted (Again) Johnson Will Not Go to Prison
To color in how bizarre this decision is, if Johnson is again convicted of the crime, he will not go to jail having served all 14 years of his sentence. However, the conviction will remain on his record. Prosecutors likely believe having this case overturned will impact the credibility of the office, but that credibility has already been tarnished and even a second conviction will not undo the damage done.
While the stakes for the prosecution do not appear on the surface to be that great, the stakes for Johnson are. He was convicted of murder and having a murder on your record (even though he was 15 when convicted) is still a problem for many employers. His record, for obvious reasons, cannot be sealed or expunged.
Witnesses Pick Johnson Out of a Lineup
The prosecution maintains that witnesses picked Johnson out of a lineup, but it is well known that they did so only after being shown a picture of Johnson by Guevera. However, no one is aware of any other suspects involved in the murder.
Johnson’s is the 20th murder conviction that has been vacated by the courts. Guevera has refused to testify in these cases and even after having been granted immunity, refused to go into details regarding a specific double murder in which it was alleged that Guevera beat up the two suspects to get their confessions. The judge overseeing the appeal later ruled that Guevera had destroyed any possibility of being considered a credible witness in any proceeding.
So what the prosecution hopes to gain by retrying the case based on witness testimony that was improperly gathered is unclear.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are being charged with a serious crime in the City of Chicago, it is too easy for prosecutors to convict defendants based on poor or illegally gathered evidence. It thus becomes necessary to have a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands how these games are played. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.