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Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Man Convicted of 1995 Double Murder Resentenced to Natural Life in Prison
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that Judge George Bakalis has resentenced convicted double-murderer Joseph Arrieta, 40 (6/28/1977) to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1995 murders of Anthony Moore and Edward Riola. The resentencing comes following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Miller v. Alabama) that a mandatory sentence of natural life for those under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime violates the eighth amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and that anyone under the age of eighteen sentenced to mandatory life in prison must receive a new sentencing hearing. Arrieta was seventeen years-old at the time of the murders, just three months shy of his eighteenth birthday.
On March 11, 1996, following a jury trial, Arrieta was found guilty of the double murder. At that time, Illinois law mandated a sentence of natural life in prison without the possibility of parole in the case of double murders. Consequently, a sentencing hearing was unnecessary and Arrieta was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment, as required by Illinois law. With the 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision, Arrieta received a sentencing hearing at which time the court heard evidence and arguments for and against his life sentence. The sentencing hearing was held on August 8, 2017. Following the hearing, Judge Bakalis ruled that after careful consideration of all the relevant factors, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama, the “petitioner’s original sentence to natural life imprisonment was correct” and that his request “to be sentenced to something less than life imprisonment is denied.”
‘Judge Bakalis’ decision today is absolutely correct,” Berlin said. “In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence for those under eighteen is unconstitutional, not the sentence itself, just the automatic imposition of the life sentence after a finding of guilty. This was a cold-hearted, planned killing by a man who, once informed by others that Mr. Moore was still alive after being shot, actually went back to the room where he shot Mr. Moore and shot him again to make sure he was dead. The Miller v. Alabama decision should not have and did not change Mr. Arrieta’s circumstances. He earned his natural life sentence on March 15, 1995 – the day he murdered two innocent men. I would like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Lindt for his efforts in ensuring that Mr. Arrieta spends the rest of his life behind bars for the murders of Anthony Moore and Edward Riola.”