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  1. #1
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    IL - Ryan Harris, 11, raped & murdered, Chicago, 28 July 1998

    An anonymous letter delivered Thursday to the judge presiding over the Ryan Harris civil trial accuses two jurors of discussing the case with each other via text messages on their cell phones.

    The letter halted afternoon testimony in the trial brought by the family of a 15-year-old boy wrongfully arrested for the 1998 murder of the 11-year-old girl.

    It's unclear if a mistrial will occur.

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-ryan09.html
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  2. #2
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    Oh I've been following this trial as well myst.

    This one has so many twists and turns I'm really surprised it hasn't made more on the national front. I started posting the the articles over in the Fox thread to show the level of corruption in Illinois. How to equate political corruption with a child's murder is something of an Illinois specialty.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfmom
    Oh I've been following this trial as well myst.

    This one has so many twists and turns I'm really surprised it hasn't made more on the national front. I started posting the the articles over in the Fox thread to show the level of corruption in Illinois. How to equate political corruption with a child's murder is something of an Illinois specialty.
    LOL, this one is going to be interesting!
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  4. #4
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    "Both of you, get out of here now!" Cook County Judge Randye Kogan stood up and shouted at lawyers on opposing sides of the Ryan Harris civil trial Friday.

    Andre Grant, one of the attorneys who has sued the city on behalf of a then-8-year-old boy wrongfully arrested and charged in 1998 with the murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris, said it was the first time he had been thrown out of a courtroom.

    It was the same for Michael Sheehan, one of the attorneys for the City of Chicago.

    The debate Friday morning was over whether Kogan should expel two jurors who appear to be in a "budding romance," and who have been text-messaging each other.

    "If they get married after the trial, that's their business," Grant said.

    Kogan said the Cook County sheriff has subpoenaed records of their text messages from the wireless telephone companies. The judge said she will review them to see if they mention the trial, which is against the rules.

    "I will make my ruling Monday," she said.

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...-harris10.html
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  5. #5
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    Also apparently as soon as the lawyers, or judges are out of sight, cell phones start to be activated and start ringing.........all by the jury.

    Apparently the implication is that one side is trying to "change" the racial makeup of the Jury..........

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberLaw
    Also apparently as soon as the lawyers, or judges are out of sight, cell phones start to be activated and start ringing.........all by the jury.

    Apparently the implication is that one side is trying to "change" the racial makeup of the Jury..........
    During jury selection there was a lot of fighting and motions filed about minorities being excluded from the jury. Frankly, if there wasn't such a claim it did look like they would have been on target to have a completely white jury. I think that they feel that have to protect the few minorities they did manage to get on the jury.

    "Grant said it's no coincidence the two jurors the city wants tossed are minorities and their replacements would be white alternate jurors, who may have less empathy for his minority client.

    "Every juror they struck [in jury selection] was black," Grant said."

  7. #7
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    Summary

    I thought I'd post a quick summary of what's happened in the trial to date. I am amazed that there hasn't been more national press on this trial. Two boys (7&8) were arrested for the murder or 11 year Ryan Harris making them the youngest to ever have to defend themselves against such charges. This is the civil suit for the older boy against the City of Chicago for the botched investigation. The younger boy settled for $2M.

    SUMMARY:

    The case against the boys was dropped after semen was found on underwear stuffed in Ryan's mouth, evidence that could not have come from boys that young. The semen was later matched to a convicted sex offender, who admitted he had contact with Ryan's body but denies killing her.

    1. Even though there were 40 officers on the case, Cassidy claims that the boys spontaneously gave up a confession to him after only 5 minutes.

    2. The younger boy (who settled for $2M) had a speech impediment so severe that obtaining a confession from him would have been impossible. Even speech experts couldn't understand the child.

    3. The boys never received Miranda Rights. They received "Kiddie Rights". Where they were told people only needed lawyers if they did something "bad."

    4. The detective persevered with the charges against the boys, even in the face of the fact that the medical examiner stated flatly that these boys could not have murdered Ryan Harris.

    5. The detective lied during a Juvenile Court hearing saying that he spoke to the complainant. And testified to that conversation! When in fact he never did.

    6. The detective has admitted to changing the boy’s statements so that it matched the crime scene.

    7. The detective disregarded aspects that this may have been a sexual crime. He felt the motive for the murder is the boy’s wanted to steal Ryan Harris’s bike.

  8. #8
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    Golfmom, thank you for providing the background on the case. I knew some of it, but didn't know what all the detective did.

    LE is always looking at motives. I wonder what the detective's motives were for ignoring evidence and manufacturing evidence.

    This is a serious trial, but the actions of the jurors and the attys are quickly making it a farce.

    Jurors taking cell phones into the courtroom with them should be banned.
    How can they concentrate on the case if they are talking on the phone anyway?

    And OT (and with tongue in cheek- I wonder how many of the Jackson jurors took their cell phones into court with them?)
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysteriew
    LE is always looking at motives. I wonder what the detective's motives were for ignoring evidence and manufacturing evidence.
    Promotions and career advancements. It seems to happen every time a child is murdered in this state.

    1. Lisa Cabassa
    2. Jeanine Nicarico
    3. Jaclyn Dowaliby
    4. Riley Fox
    5. Ryan Harris
    6. Jule Russo
    7. Diamante Williams
    8. Holly Staker

    And those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. I know that there are more . . .

    eta: I have to keep editing to add more children to this list Please understand these cases were either horribly botched or the accused exonerated in ILLINOIS.

  10. #10
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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...calchicago-hed

    ........
    Legal experts said it is the first time they can remember text messaging or any other high-tech communication between jurors being brought up as an issue in a trial.

    The boy's lawyers objected to removing the jurors because it would change the racial makeup of the jury. Both of the jurors involved are minorities. The boy, who is now 15, is African-American. When jury selection began on Aug. 1, jurors were told that the trial would take about three weeks, but that estimate quickly evaporated as lawyers for both sides squabbled and called for sidebar conferences to object to witness testimony.

    The boy's lawyers have said that police rushed to charge the children because they were African-American. Lawyers for the city contend that race played no factor and that police had probable cause to charge the boys with the murder.

    There are currently four African-Americans, four Hispanics and four whites sitting on the jury. Two whites and an African-American are alternate jurors.

    The judge erred by having the phone records scanned, said Grant. During sidebars, jurors routinely use their cell phones to send and receive text messages. All have denied discussing the case.
    .....
    Messaging or talking to each other about a case is jury misconduct, but not a punishable crime, said Cavise, who has been in the legal field for 34 years. The jurors could, however, face perjury charges if the phone review shows they have discussed the case and lied to the judge while under oath, he said.

    While no one has asked for a mistrial, the judge could rule that, at which point the trial would have to start over, said Cavise. Even if the review finds no evidence of wrongdoing, the issue could be brought up on appeal, he said.


  11. #11
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    Text-Messaging Jurors to stay

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

    By Carlos Sadovi
    Tribune staff reporter
    Published September 12, 2005, 12:46 PM CDT


    Two jurors who admitted text-messaging each other while court was in session will be allowed to continue serving in the civil trial in which a family is suing Chicago police over an 8-year-old boy's arrest for murder.

    Judge Randye Kogan today reaffirmed her ruling of last Thursday that the male and female jurors could remain on the panel in the wrongful arrest suit stemming from a police investigation into the 1998 slaying of 11-year-old Ryan Harris.

    "The motion to reconsider is denied," Kogan said. The defense had moved that the two jurors be removed from the case.
    .............
    Andre Grant, lawyer for the plaintiffs, today asked Kogan to look into who wrote the letter.

    "I request that the court do something to determine the source and authenticity of the letter we read last week. It says that it came from a juror, yet all have denied it," Grant said. "We may have a juror that is dishonest. We have to determine the source of the letter. Otherwise, our jury is tainted."

    Kogan said she would take Grant's request under consideration.

    Grant suggested in court Friday that police may have been behind the anonymous letter. Lawyers for the city reacted sharply. The exchange at one point became so heated, Kogan expelled Grant and city attorney Michael Sheehan from the courtroom. Both were allowed to return after they apologized.

  12. #12
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    Settlement Urged

    http://www.nbc5.com/news/4964837/det...94&dppid=65193

    At the meeting, city attorneys estimated that a jury verdict against the city could potentially be as high as $30 million to $50 million.

    "I just want this (proposed resolution) to be a motivating factor for negotiations to continue," Lyle said. "Having been a trial attorney, I know that you can settle a case any time before the jury reaches a verdict. So it's not too late, they need to settle it. If we can mitigate our damages and not get hit with a tremendously large verdict, I think that's good for the city."

    She added that from what she knows, the police officers in the case had acted improperly even if they did not do so intentionally, and that reaching a negotiated settlement would eliminate the risk of a much higher verdict and offer some form of closure for the boy and the city.

  13. #13
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    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...-harris13.html

    Aldermen want boy accused of Harris' death to get $10 mil.

    September 13, 2005

    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

    Black aldermen demanded Monday that City Hall stop defending what they call the indefensible and offer no less than $10 million and as much as $15 million to the boy wrongly accused at age 8 with the murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris.

    The Finance Committee deferred action on the resolution, but the powerful message was delivered: Aldermen want the embarrassing trial to stop and settlement negotiations to begin.

    "We have spent $133,000 for a psychologist to come into court and testify that this little boy -- who was wrongfully arrested, placed in a mental institution, whose family had death threats, whose name was withheld, but everybody in Englewood knew who he was -- did not suffer any trauma," said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th).

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

  14. #14
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    What a freaking mess. If the jurors weren't discussing the case, they shouldn't be removed. However, the judge probably needs to give clearer instructions on just where, when and how text messaging would be appropriate. However, objections about them obtaining a subpoena to review the messages are ridiculous since there's no way to tell if the case is being talked about until someone reads what was said.

    I'm glad I'm not involved in this mess!!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeana (DP)
    What a freaking mess. If the jurors weren't discussing the case, they shouldn't be removed. However, the judge probably needs to give clearer instructions on just where, when and how text messaging would be appropriate. However, objections about them obtaining a subpoena to review the messages are ridiculous since there's no way to tell if the case is being talked about until someone reads what was said.

    I'm glad I'm not involved in this mess!!!
    Why don't they put in the court rules that jurors cannot carry cell phones while in the court room? They are supposed to be there to hear testimony and view evidence. They can't do that if they are chatting on the phone.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

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