Former beauty queen and lawyer Alba Reyes, attacked in tears, today called on Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced not to sign the bill that is being discussed in the Legislature that requires that a jury’s guilty verdict must be reached unanimously according to the determination of the United States Supreme Court.
The legislative pieces filed are the draft of the Senate 1590 and House 2476, which also establish that, for a non-guilty verdict, a minimum of nine votes will be required. Currently, both verdicts operate by majority, on juries made up of 12 people. If these measures become law, any convict who is serving a sentence of confinement as a result of a verdict that was not unanimous, could present a motion for a new trial.
“The new jurisprudence and the new bill that has already been approved in Puerto Rico by the Senate and the House that requires unanimity in the convictions (sic) and what opens doors for the two assassins of my mother, whose verdicts were not unanimous, have the right to a new trial. Not only that, but they have the right to leave bail in what is held a new trial … this is not Alba the beauty queen, this is not Alba who studied Law. This is Alba who survived a shooting and her mother was killed in front of her, “Reyes said today, visibly affected through Facebook Live, in which he stated that less than 10% of criminal cases are solved on the island. .
“On behalf of all victims of violence and crime … I ask that you do not do this to us. This is very large hit. This is cruel. I call on Governor Wanda Vázquez, she who was a prosecutor already knows how difficult the work of prosecutors in this country is, not to sign the bill. This is re-victimizing ourselves over and over again in a system that does not protect crime victims. This cannot happen. I can’t go through this again. This is something that cannot be overcome“Asked the lawyer amid a heartbreaking cry.
Reyes is one of the hundreds of crime victims on the island, after her mother Elena Santos Agosto, was murdered in her living room on June 3, 2016 in the Treasure Valle urbanization, in Cidra, by hitmen who shot from outside.
Since then, Reyes claims justice in his mother’s case, since all the people involved, according to his complaint, have not faced justice.
“It took me four years for justice to be done in my mom’s case. Two people were convicted of that murder and are serving a life sentence, and the other perpetrators in the vehicle have not faced trial, and neither has our neighbor who was the mastermind. For those who do not know much about the case. This was an attack of a personal dispute between a neighbor of my family… many people tried to stain the reputation of my family and my father and brother. We think that things like this have nothing to do with the underworld and drug trafficking, but unfortunately these things do happen ”, claimed the second finalist for Miss Universe 2004.
In his complaint, Reyes urged the country’s legislators and leaders to “put aside their religious convictions” on the determinations of crime and crime.
Reyes recounted how he has lived four years full of fear, in which he had to leave the island, sleep in motels with his father and even hire private security. She reiterated that even with protection orders for her and her family, none feel safe on the island.
Lastly, the former Miss Puerto Rico urged that more people join the claim and share the message so that it reaches the governor.