News 03.12.18

Orlando Sentinel: Judge in Clemente Aguirre Death Penalty Case Should Step Aside

By Innocence Staff

Clemente Aguirre

Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell is urging Seminole County Circuit Court Judge Jessica Recksiedler to recuse herself in the retrial of Clemente Javier Aguirre. Aguirre is facing a retrial for the murders of Carol Bareis and her daughter Cheryl Williams. The Innocence Project was co-counsel on Aguirre’s appeals for several years, which ultimately led the Florida Supreme Court to issue a unanimous ruling throwing out his conviction and death sentence based on new DNA testing identifying William’s daughter, Samantha Williams, as the likely assailant. In addition to the DNA evidence, Samantha Williams made multiple confessions implicating herself in the murders in the years since Aguirre was convicted of the crime.

The Florida Supreme Court unanimously reversed an earlier decision by Recksiedler to uphold Aguirre’s conviction despite the strong evidence of his innocence.  In fact, the Sentinel column notes that Recksiedler even tried to use her opinion denying relief to Aguirre as the basis for a promotion to a position on an appellate court, and “has a vested interest in trying to prove herself right.”

In urging Recksiedler to recuse herself from the case, columnist Maxwell writes: “But even if she believes she can be the wisest, most impartial jurist in Florida, she should step aside to remove any further taint from a case that has been a hot mess for years.”

Read the full column here.

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  1. J O'ral says:

    We have another hot one with this same judge ( on video), not even reading the law in front of her and denying justice to someone who has not even had a trial in almost a decade. We are willing to share this entire case with anyone interested.

  2. Tom Lucas says:

    I didn’t know at the time that she was involved with this case, but I have met and spoken with Clemente. She had no issues with the death penalty, but likes to give child porn defendants probation. I googled her because of the fact that she gave a guy that had 10 Counts of Child Porn only 5 years of Probation.
    Seminole County Case # 2017CF001531A
    How do you go from a $350,000.00 bond to walking out of jail on probation?

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