SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Alvarez complains about “60 Minutes” story

Friday, Dec 14, 2012

* Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is miffed about a story aired by “60 Minutes” last Sunday which portrayed her in a harsh light

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez called a recent “60 Minutes” report on false confessions in the Chicago area a “misrepresentation of the facts” and sent a letter to the chairman of CBS News.

Byron Pitts interviewed Alvarez six months ago for the segment “Chicago: The False Confession Capital,” a piece about Cook County leading the nation in false confessions that aired nationally Sunday night on CBS. It featured high-profile murder cases where teenage boys falsely confessed and were later exonerated by DNA evidence.

More

One particularly damaging portion of the interview involved the Dixmoor Five case in which five men were convicted as teens of the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found on a path. DNA linked a serial rapist to the crime and undermined confessions from the teens. They were cleared in 2011 after spending years in prison.

Alvarez explained in the interview that one possible explanation for the DNA was necrophilia — that the rapist had sex with the girl after she’d already been killed.

That answer — which was roundly mocked in blogs and news critiques — was misconstrued, Alvarez said in the letter. She wrote that the necrophilia theory was used at trial years before she had any involvement in the case.

“I have never advanced that theory or argument, but simply responded, when asked by Mr. Pitts, that we can’t say with certainty what had occurred,” Alvarez wrote. “This story was not designed to inform, it was designed to undermine me and mislead the public.”

She said more than that. The actual exchange

Narration: In the case of Robert Taylor, Jonathan Barr and James Harden, DNA found inside the 14-year-old victim Catteresa Matthews was also retested, and a match was made to Willie Randolph, a 34-year-old convicted rapist, with 39 arrests. (Innocence Project Defense attorney) Peter Neufeld says prosecutors rejected the DNA evidence and instead came up with an unusual theory to explain it all away.

Peter Neufeld: They suggest perhaps after the kids killed her this man wandered by and committed an act of necrophilia.

Byron Pitts: Necrophilia. A lot of our viewers won’t know what that means.

Peter Neufeld: Having sex with a dead person.

Anita Alvarez: It’s possible. We have seen cases like that.

Byron Pitts: Possible?

Anita Alvarez: It is. We’ve seen it in other cases.

Byron Pitts: It’s possible that this convicted rapist, wandered past an open field, and had sex with a 14-year-old girl who was dead?

Anita Alvarez: Well, there’s all kinds of possibilities out there, and what I’m saying is that I don’t know what happened.

* But here’s the problem with Alvarez’s protests. She had an opportunity to support a common sense change in the law this year which would’ve probably prevented the false convictions of the Dixmoor Five.

A bill was introduced in February which would’ve likely prevented some confessions by juveniles without the benefit of counsel from being used in prosecutions of those minors as adults

Provides that an oral, written, or sign language statement of a minor who, at the time of the commission of the offense was under the age of 17 years, made as a result of a custodial interrogation conducted at a police station or other place of detention shall be presumed to be inadmissible as evidence against the minor in any criminal proceeding, for an act that if committed by an adult would be homicide or would be driving under the influence that was the proximate cause of death of another person unless the minor was allowed to consult with and have access to counsel throughout the entire custodial interrogation.

* From a fact sheet circulated by the proponents

In the last four months, Cook County has vacated the convictions of eleven men. Nine African American children were wrongfully convicted and served a total of 145 years in prison for rape/murders they did not commit. Seven of those nine children falsely confessed to these crimes and these confessions were used to obtain their convictions. If this bill had been law at the time of these convictions, none of these children would have been in prison.

Not passing this law is an expensive decision. On January 26th, 2012, another child who was wrongfully convicted for murder in Illinois was awarded $25million by a jury.

From a friend who passed this info along…

Such a modest proposal - you could still use the confession in juvenile court, but if there was no lawyer then there was just a presumption against admission in adult court (15 and 16 year olds automatically tried as adults based on murder confession).

Alvarez opposed the bill in committee and it went nowhere.

If she’s really so interested in preventing more of these horrific cases of false juvenile imprisonment, she’d help come up with a solution. So far, nothing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


22 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:23 am:

    Same old story. When you say something stupid, it’s the interviewer’s fault.


  2. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    - Byron Pitts: It’s possible that this convicted rapist, wandered past an open field, and had sex with a 14-year-old girl who was dead?

    Anita Alvarez: Well, there’s all kinds of possibilities out there, and what I’m saying is that I don’t know what happened. -

    There’s no excuse for her answer to that question. Any rational individual would at least preface the remark with “While I believe that is extremely unlikely…”


  3. - SAP - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Under Illinois law, a 17-year old does not have the capacity to enter into a contract. For example, if a 17-year old buys a car, he or she can renounce the contract a month later, return the car, and get back all of his or her money. With that in mind, I’ll ask somebody to explain to me why Illinois holds a 17 year old to a criminal confession that is coerced, if not beaten, out of him or her.


  4. - Fire Anita Alvarez - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:48 am:

    Anita’s PR spokesman/woman/robot needs to be sacked, so Anita can shift more blame!


  5. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    If nothing else, the 60 Minutes piece provided some great publicity for the Chicago Innocence Project. Such a vital organization doing such important work.


  6. - Dan Bureaucrat - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    Watching her hang herself is somewhat gratifying given her career commitment to extending the suffering of wrongly convicted people.

    But it is a huge tragedy that we are stuck with her for another term.

    There are pressing issues that can’t wait, and she is on the wrong side of every innocence claim.


  7. - Hank - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    She needs better PR people, I believe it was old man Daley’s staff that told reporters to report what he meant, not what he said!!


  8. - shore - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    I didn’t know here before all this stuff but she really comes off as a cheap hack. Can’t we get cedric daniels?


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    She could have said “We made a mistake in those cases. We did not have a full picture of what had happened during the police interrogation.” and left it at that. Instead, she tried to defend a clearly misguided prosecution and still insisted that the defendants were guilty. Even a friendly editor would have had serious difficulty show her in a good light.


  10. - MrJM - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    So Cook County’s chief prosecutor can’t handle some difficult questions from a reporter?

    No wonder she picks on little kids.

    – MrJM


  11. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    When 60 Minutes comes to interview you, a reasonable person would realize they stand a strong chance of looking like a chump. It does not help matters when you can’t handle a very easy question like the one Pitts asked Alvarez.

    In court he would be corrected for leading the witness, but he gets the answer he wants from her and she apparently did not see it coming.

    All in all she would have been better off not issuing a response 5 days later and keeping the interview in the public eye.


  12. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:56 am:

    Facts are stubborn things. Especially when they interfere with A.A’s attempt at revisionist history.

    Not even a week out and she’s trying to tell people they did not see what they observed with their own two eyes?

    Perhaps Alvarez’s mental disarray helps explain Cook County’s criminal disarray.

    Give a national interview and stand by the necrophilia argument? OK.
    Display some sliver of human empathy without admitting liability? Not so much.

    Double down by attacking CBS and claiming they manipulated the footage to make you look bad? OK.
    Admit you may have screwed up or misspoken? Not so much.

    ^^ Attempt to bully and even seek the grades of Northwestern journalism students helping wrongfully convicted individuals? OK.
    Support legislation designed to prevent future coerced confessions by juveniles? Not so much ^^

    Prosecute flight attendants and state senators to the hilt as gun-smuggling terrorists? OK.
    Aggressively pursue smugglers of guns, drugs and human beings (undocumented immigrants don’t exactly walk to Chicago)? Not so much.

    Better yet, just search for “Derrick King” or read the following: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/derrick-king-chicago-panh_n_1148728.html

    Mr. King is a “panhandler” quickly becoming infamous for violent attacks on women and strangers in Chicago, as well as being arrested nearly 100 times but rarely serving much time.

    Forgive me if this disrupts A.A.’s next press release or letter to Jeff Fager. It’s readily apparent her office has their priorities in order.

    And forgive me (no snark), fellow CapFaxers, if this comes across as a bit harsh. Learning of A.A.’s efforts in killing SB3195 surprise and baffle me. Perhaps I’ve become numb to such ineptness by legislators, but not prosecutors.

    The more we learn, the worse her decision making appears.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 11:59 am:

    === Can’t we get cedric daniels? ===

    McNulty, Freamon & Greggs, too!


  14. - Former Downstater - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    How many Cook County residents are lamenting not voting for Tom Allen, or anyone else, four years ago?


  15. - Boone Logan Square - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Pathetic. Not surprising, but pathetic.


  16. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    =And forgive me (no snark), fellow CapFaxers, if this comes across as a bit harsh=

    No apology necessary. That is just the right level of harshness. Actually, considering her level of incompetance, it may even be a little on the light side.

    I’m beginning to think “Alvarez” translated to english means “Blagojevich”.


  17. - anon - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    Alvarez is toast now. How anyone could continue to support her is beyond me. She made a fool of herself. Just another shill


  18. - reformer - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 1:47 pm:

    If she wants to rehabilitate her reputation, then Alvarez needs to take initiatives to curb false confessions and to promptly free the wrongly convicted. She needs to stop justifying practices that railroad black teens for crimes they didn’t commit.


  19. - Wensicia - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    She waited almost a week before giving this pathetic response? Why bother?


  20. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:25 pm:

    There wasn’t anything in the report that made me think any worse of Alvarez than I already do.


  21. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    If she wants to rehabilitate her reputation, then Alvarez needs to take initiatives to curb false confessions and to promptly free the wrongly convicted. She needs to stop justifying practices that railroad black teens for crimes they didn’t commit.

    Why would she do that when it is easier to keep doing what the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, the Chicago Police Department, and the City of Chicago have done for decades? That is, to pretend nothing happened, paper over it when it did, and try to rewrite history to say Chicago/Cook County never coerced confessions out of innocent people, threw them in prison for decades, and let the cops and prosecutors who knowingly perpetuated this arrangement mostly walk away scot-free. Why take on the system when you can just get high on the hog off it?


  22. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 4:56 pm:

    @Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thanks, Mr. Mustache. Big fan of the man behind the mustache as well.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Today's number: 10 percent
* Unclear on the concept
* Could be a big day
* Question of the day
* Illinois leaders react to Obama's immigration order
* TrackBill – An Introduction
* Caption contest!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Nokia N1, Samsung Gear S, Gorilla Glass 4 and more! | Pocketnow Weekly 123
        * Amazon Fire users get exclusive Washington Post app access
        * Photo-Sharing App Memoir Snags $5.5 Million To Help You Recall The Past
        * AT&T recalling Nexus 6 hardware from its stores
        * Android 5.0 encryption brings storage performance issues
        * BrandPost: Today's Hot Deals: HP Tablet for $99, Samsung HDTV for $247.99, and more
        * Shop ‘til you drop on Black Friday with Lumia and these Windows Phone apps

        * Code/red: Aereo’s Plan B? Bankruptcy.
        * Why Streaming (Done Right) Will Save the Music Business
        * Why You Can't Trust Wine Point Reviews
        * Charge Everything Under the Sun, Upgrade Your Knives, and More Deals
        * From Messenger to Slingshot to Paper to Rooms: How successful are Facebook’s new apps?
        * Why Is San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at Hipstamatic’s House Party?
        * Beware of H2O: Scientific Side Effects Water Bottle

        * Nine things about White Sox waiver claim Onelki Garcia
        * Sox add five to 40-man roster, DFA Ronald Belisario, outright Jared...
        * Sox protect four from Rule 5 Draft
        * White Sox Charities continue to make positive impact
        * Ranking the top 25 prospects from the Arizona Fall League
        * The White Sox' hot stove rumors keep on growing
        * Saladino brings singular focus to recovery

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Silent partner for Rahm in mayoral campaign? Mi.....
        * Drivers to pay $1.90 on completed Elgin-O'Hare .....
        * Riopell: Kirk says 2016 opponents have 'quite a.....
        * Drivers will pay $1.90 for Elgin-O'Hare tollway.....
        * Key ruling on Illinois pension law expected Fri.....


        * 140 frozen turkeys stolen from Illinois market
        * Obama to visit Chicago in immigration action push
        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * 4 injured in Chicago Macy's kitchen accident
        * Worker charged in glass-in-Big Mac case wins $437K
        * Fall harvest nearly complete in central Illinois
        * CTA approves 2015 budget with no fare increases
        * Sheley extradition pending with Missouri governor
        * Rauner wants hiring freeze; other issues on hold
        * Green light for Illinois red-light camera law

        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * Judge: Pension ruling to come Friday
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances, wants Quinn to freeze hiring
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances
        * Judge to hear pension law arguments today
        * Split court: Illinois red-light camera law stands
        * Lawmaker seeks background checks for ridesharing drivers
        * Retired state workers seek return of health care premiums
        * Frerichs says he’s ‘treasurer for all’ after slim win
        * Frerichs says he's 'treasurer for all' after slim win

        * House GOP sues administration over health care law
        * CTA to roll out holiday bus
        * U of C student's Facebook page hacked with hate messages
        * Obamacare enrollment mistakenly inflated
        * Obamacare enrollment erroneously inflated


        * Dr. Lawrence Solomon: Renowned dermatologist, book collector loved a mystery
        * 3 Daley scandals cost Chicago taxpayers over $6 million
        * As prisons swell, Illinois needs wiser policies
        * The Watchdogs: Rahm Emanuel’s silent partner in mayoral campaign: Mike Madigan
        * The Watchdogs: Rahm Emanuel’s silent partner in mayoral campaign: Mike Madigan
        * Rahm Emanuel’s silent partner in mayoral campaign: Mike Madigan
        * Chicago Police posting videos on Facebook to help find suspects
        * Business owners seeking pot shop licenses in Illinois faced lawsuits elsewhere
        * Arne Duncan not taking sides on CPS’ seeking delay on PARCC test
        * Out-of-power comet lander deserves praise


        * Orland Park massage parlor accused of offering sex
        * Ferguson police chief: Darren Wilson unlikely to return, indicted or not
        * Key ruling on Illinois pension law expected today
        * Security guard wounded during robbery at Bridgeport diner
        * Police alert after man tries to lure boy, 12, on Northwest Side
        * Immigrants in Chicago find Obama executive action bittersweet
        * James Foley's kindness, passion, faith lauded in Northwestern memorial
        * Kustok murder case to conclude by Christmas
        * Bruce Rauner says he hopes Illinois Supreme Court gives clue on pension law
        * Drivers will pay $1.90 to travel 10-mile stretch of Elgin-O'Hare tollway


        * School Funding Testimony Taken At Capitol
        * Incoming U of I President Speaks To Springfield Audience
        * To Restore Executive Mansion, Rauner Plans Private Funds
        * Alderman says police overtime is main reason he voted against mayor's budget
        * Cullerton: State Income Tax Hike Won't Be Extended Before New Governor Takes Over
        * Pension Ruling Imminent
        * New Efforts To Track Antibiotic Resistance
        * Medical Marijuana Licenses Could Be Issued Before Year's End
        * Fumée Gypsy Project Plays At WUIS
        * Computers Down At DMVs Statewide


        * Illinois pension case likely headed to high court
        * Mark Lawlor: Input sought from area residents on Grain Belt Express project
        * Esther Cepeda: Pass the ketchup
        * E.J. Dionne: A mission for Jeb Bush
        * Deckle McLean: Plagiarism comes with a price
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Nov. 21, 2014
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 22, 2014
        * Judge: Pension ruling to come Friday
        * Rauner mum on fixes for ‘dire’ state finances, wants Quinn to freeze hiring
        * Split court: Illinois red-light camera law stands


        * Man sentenced to probation for stalking
        * IRN prep report: athlete nutrition
        * 11-21-14 #Illini Friday Jim Turpin with @KentBrown and @BarryLHouser talk about Saturday vs PSU
        * 11-21-14 #Illini Friday Jim Turpin with @KentBrown and @BarryLHouser talk about @illinifootball vs PSU
        * Bentz announces cancellation of Cosby shows
        * 11-21-14 Penny for Your Thoughts
        * North Main will open to traffic Monday
        * Cosby show at Virginia canceled
        * Union County Court Report
        * IYB sneak peek: Christmas tree farm is new again


        * Arlington Heights man in court on murder charge at 1:30 p.m.
        * Weekend picks: Country star Hunter Hayes plays Hoffman Estates
        * Councilman's work meals cost Elgin $1,600
        * Stylists show you how to create festive holiday vignettes
        * Holiday tree arrives in Mount Prospect

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Senator Durbin Statement On Sale Of Corint......
        * Senator Durbin Statement On Sale Of Corint......
        * Immigration debate may entangle spending b......
        * Immigration debate may entangle spending b......
        * Immigration debate may entangle spending b......

        * 43 US Senators 'Alarmed' by Reports of Oba......
        * Devereaux and union reach accord before Ha......
        * Mark Kirk...

        * ‘RPAC to the Future’ started today
        * Register for GRI in Peoria by midnight tonight! #ILGRIturns50
        * Glen Brown on the 151st anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
        * Chicago Board of Education Meeting
        * Chicagoans Confront School Board Over CPS' Controversial Bond Deals
        * Progress Illinois To Cease Publication At Year's End
        * SEIU Local 1 Janitors Picket Outside Illinois Association Of School Boards Conference
        * Report: Large Donors Dominated Funding In IL 2014 Congressional Races
        * Obama Coming To Chicago Region Next Week To Talk Immigration
        * Whoever thought of this at the CTU deserves an award.


        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Minimum Wage Legislation
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller