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Sat Mar 9, 2013, 06:23 AM

3 disputed polygraph exams in wrongful conviction cases

3 disputed polygraph exams in wrongful conviction cases

The cases of Juan Rivera, Kevin Fox, Gary Gauger
By Duaa Eldeib, Chicago Tribune reporter
March 10, 2013

Polygraph exams and suspects led to believe they failed them contributed to false confessions in some of the most notorious wrongful conviction cases in the Chicago area in recent years.

Juan Rivera spent nearly 20 years behind bars for the 1992 rape and stabbing death of 11-year-old Holly Staker in Waukegan. After three Lake County juries convicted Rivera, an Illinois appeals court reversed the verdict in 2011.

Rivera did not offer a confession until after he was led to believe he had failed a polygraph, said Jane Raley, an attorney with Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions whose fight for DNA testing resulted in Rivera's eventual exoneration.

"He had been denying, denying, denying, and then they came in after he took the polygraph and they accused him for the first time," Raley said. "It had a huge impact on him."


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