Chicago, Illinois – March 27, 2015 – Juan Rivera had served 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was wrongly convicted of raping and murdering of an 11-year Holly Staker. Fortunately for him, the advanced technology of today’s age has helped him clear his name and prove his innocence. Not only that, he will also be receiving an outstanding amount of $20 million as a compensation for the number of years he spent time in prison. The settlement is now considered as the biggest ever in U.S. history.
In an interview, Rivera said that no amount of money could compensate for the 20 years that he has lost. He described his time in prison as ‘living hell’ but he also acknowledged that the settlement would help him live comfortably now.
At age 19, Rivera was convicted of the raping and fatal stabbing of Holly Staker in 1992. For 20 years, he stayed at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois to pay for a crime he did not commit.
To prove his innocence, he appealed to the court three times and three times was found guilty. But fate would have it that in his last trial back in 2009, the advanced technology has enabled the investigators to test the DNA sample that was found in Staker’s body and all the genetic material, the fingerprints and the hair could be not be connected to Rivera.
Rivera had argued that his confession before was coerced by the police. On December of 2011, the court ruling against him was overturned and on January 2012, he was released.
The 42-year old says that he is not angry at what had happened but that he is resentful.
He says that he has gotten a lot of threats and weird looks as well as other people still believing that he is guilty.
When asked what he would do with the money, Rivera says that he plans on going to college and getting a degree on business management and accounting. He would also use the money to help his nieces with their school as well as his mother’s medical bills.