Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (Excerpt)
(Found on Internet from Search Engine Cache. Author unknown, though he gives some details about his identity.)
PREFACE: I wrote the following chapters as part of a book called Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (as in crime scene tape) back in 1997 to help explain why my friend, Larry Brown from Columbus Ohio, a great grandfather of four, did not kill his wife. He was charged with First Degree Murder. His wife Joyce died in a fiery vehicle crash in Logan Ohio. Fortunately the jury found Larry not guilty. However, there are countless other innocent defendants, like Scott Peterson, who are not as fortunate. Many may ask, why read about cases other than Scott’s. The answer is simple: the next case you read about may be your own. A consistent pattern consumes America’s court system – a pattern that punishes the innocent and absolves or minimizes the punishment of the obviously guilty. By "obviously" I mean smoking gun evidence. Until my friend, Larry Brown, was nearly put behind bars for the rest of his life for a crime he did not commit, I was a lot like most of you out there in the general public. However, when you are enduring the pain and fear for your family or friends because of trumped up charges that look good on some prosecutor’s resume, you will never know how it feels. Unfortunately most of you will never fight to fix that which you perceive as unbroken.
I hope you will take a few minutes to read the following chapters to see how broken our justice system really is. The main problem lies at the roots of the legal process – the Charge itself. My theory regarding murder cases is that prosecutors almost always wrongly charge the next of kin. It certainly applies in the Scott Peterson case. Scott Peterson’s trial was the most hideous excuse for justice this side of the Salem witch-hunts. There was not one shred of evidence against Scott. While the prosecutors said it was a case of circumstantial evidence where the dots would all be connected at the end of the trial – nothing was further from the truth. Scott’s attorney, Mark Geragos, managed to erase every single solitary dot during the trial.
Gloria Alred, the wicked witch from the west, Jean Pirro the wicked witch from the east (shown below with Alred on the left and Pirro on the right), Dan Abrams, Jeff Fiebig, John Hannity, Joe Scarborough, Nancy Grace, et al crucified an innocent young man, Scott Peterson, via the TV airways nightly for almost two years. Whenever Greta Van Susterend, or anyone else for that matter, would dare to bring up a point that supported Scott’s innocence, they were shouted down by the witches. And witches they are with their crystal balls, body language superstitions, and their magical thinking...
Then the Judge, Alfred Delucci, got his two cents worth in by eliminating jurors favorable to Scott Peterson such as Gregory Jackson the doctor/lawyer and Justin Falconer. Whenever a person is convicted of murder on weak, circumstantial evidence, 9 times out of 10 the verdict is the result of one or more jury members intimidating those in favor of the defendant. That is what happened in the Scott Peterson case. There were those who intimidated Gregory Jackson to the extent that he went to the judge for relief. Instead of warning the bullies to pipe down so that meticulous details of the case could be discussed or – even better yet – kicking the bullies off the jury, Judge Delucchi kicked Dr. Jackson off the jury. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi, the king witch in Scott Peterson’s trial, cast out every juror who was even remotely in favor of Scott Peterson. What Delucchi did was reprehensible and he should have criminal charges brought upon him. What charges you ask? How about attempted murder, obstruction of justice, and dereliction of duty for starters?
Such hideously evil excuses for justice must be replaced with a system that is fair and honest if we are to be anything other than a third world banana republic. We have to stop casting out the “evil” reason, the “evil” mathematics, the “evil” science, the “evil” logic if we are ever going to have a justice system that is worthy of its name. Just because Gregory Jackson had taken 19 legal pads of notes which he wanted to “methodically” review with his jury, he was kicked off. A man’s life hung in the balance and it was s too much to ask that a jury of his peer’s might become methodical for a few days...
I did the cartoon above not to try and be cute. I did it because it symbolizes Scott’s predicament. I trust there are others who believe as I do that we must get Scott a new trial soon. I feel the immediacy of the steam rising from the caldron. We must pluck Scott from the caldron and put all the witches in. I am afraid the witches on the jury will find for the death penalty so they can kill Scott for being a philandering husband --- before the real murderers surface. And they will. We must not let the witches get their way. If they do, God help us all.
PROSECUTORIAL ABUSE OF POWER
Historically, the County Prosecutor's Office is a relatively recent invention. About two hundred years ago, it was created to speak for "the people" as a collective whole. Our founding fathers fought to insure that we would not be subjected to witchhunts, nor the vile Star Chambers of England, still fresh in their memories. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” These words were uttered by a long hair radical, a radical that most of us dearly admire and respect -- George Washington.
George and the boys swore that our new nation would never arrest someone unless there was reason beyond any doubt that those charged were guilty. George and the boys would more than likely wink at a suspect, raise an eyebrow and say "OK chap, we think you did it and we are going to be watching you closely. If you did, we'll get you.” However, never -- never ever -- was it, nor would they ever have contemplated, that our nation would be indicting and convicting and witch hunting like we are today. George must be doing somersaults in his grave at the goings on in our present courts.
Our country never intended for the prosecutor to be a persecutor, obstructing justice at every turn just to “get his man.” They were never granted a license to extort, threaten, lie, and abuse their power to further their own political agenda. The prosecutor’s office was not founded as a freak sideshow out to just “get" someone convicted. The fanatical adversarial system has about as much integrity as a WWF wrestling match. This adversarial role evolved, or rather devolved, over time by prosecutorial allegiance to the almighty "conviction.”
“Conviction” is not why our forefathers created the office of the Prosecutor in the first place. It is not a bowling game with the points added up in the “C” column. Unfortunately, it seems to have devolved this way. The prosecutor’s office was created to search for the truth. Joseph Bosco in his book A Problem of Evidence succinctly describes this new, unconstitutional form of adversarial law in one word-- "horsefuckingshit"1.
Bosco goes on to say "at a time when crime victims' (and their families') rights are all the polite rage, it might be politically very incorrect to ask, but when did the bedrock of our American way of justice get reversed without Congress, the President of the United States, the United States Supreme Court, and We-the-People knowing about it? As a paid and sworn advocate of We-the -People, and thereby the State, a public prosecutor is in the courtroom, by law and statute, to seek truth, wherever or whatever it might be. That's it in one small nutshell. By its very definition, truth can have no agenda, no side to be on; truth is what it is, even when it's only a legal abstraction."
When a prosecutor is wrong, a good one used to admit it. Where have all the good ones gone? Today most prosecutors stick epoxy-like to their theories regardless of how dumb the theories may be. Once prosecutors go into hot pursuit, they are like hound dogs on a scent. There is no turning them back. If God personally came down and publicly declared a man innocent in the Town Square, most prosecutors would still not change their mind. In reported cases where the real murderers confessed after the innocent defendant was convicted, many prosecutors still did not change their minds. You would have about as much chance in getting a prosecutor to change his mind about a defendant as you would in making a cucumber out of a pickle. At least the NFL is seriously considering bringing back the instant replay. There is no instant replay for prosecutors. It must be nice to be perfect on every call. When the real criminals fess up, prosecutors say something like “they don't always mean what they say". Unfortunately, the prosecutor's ego just overpowers the truth. Consequently, the poor innocent inmate stays locked up.
Joseph Bosco said on national TV, "It is better for the accused to go free than for the government to cheat". For the government has the armament, the power and virtually unlimited resources to annihilate whoever they want if left unchecked. Such was the case, as we all know, in the sovereign state of Germany in the '30's, and look what that State was able to do. I hope that some day our great nation will address this colossal problem of fanatical adversarialism within our justice system.
It is so much easier for prosecutors to prey on the meek, the innocent, the good guys - after all, good guys don't come back to hurt you. Instead of using their prosecutorial discretion (e.g. weighing the evidence to determine whether to charge a suspect with a crime), they use it to protect their own rear ends by going easy on the truly evil in our society – the thugs and sociopaths. Our court system seems to be dodging cold-blooded "hands on" killers like the plague. I guess if you look like a disease, nobody wants to catch you. Our prisons are filled to the brink with non-violent offenders. It is estimated that 75% of our prison population is comprised of non-violent offenders. Many others are in prison on solely circumstantial evidence. The conspicuous criminals -- the bad guys caught on tape openly committing crimes in front of eyewitnesses – in a surprisingly large percentage of cases receive only token punishments. Prosecutors willingly plea with a "disease.” A violent sociopath with a grudge filled memory as long as his arm gets a slap on the wrist because, deep down inside, prosecutors are scared as hell of the beast and its revenge.
Ironically, many cold-blooded killers with unshakable, proof-positive, "smoking gun" evidence are freed on esoteric technicalities. Ask any cop on the street and he will verify this fact. Butchers, many captured on videotape shooting helpless convenience store clerks, receive only a few years imprisonment if the assailant shows remorse, sheds a few crocodile tears, and kowtows to the prosecutor with a plea. Thanks to plea-bargaining, violent criminals can “customize” their sentences. In 1992, more than 90 percent of all defendants charged with a felony never went to trial, instead opting for a much more favorable plea bargain.
A murder occurs every 24-seconds in the U.S. The average murderer serves less than eight years. Convicted murderers in 1992 actually served only 5.9 years on sentences of 12.4 years. There are a hundred thousand murderers in prison and eight hundred thousand walking the streets.
“Hands on killers" generally get off relatively easy, while innocent defendants receive extremely harsh sentences. Scum who are “video guilty” plea bargain for reduced sentences, while the innocent stick to the truth, buck the prosecutor, and face formidable odds. Prosecutors often out price defense attorneys. If the authorities make the political decision to expend virtually limitless public resources to pursue you, you are guilty until proven innocent. Prosecutors have the public resources to pay for expert witnesses, laboratory tests, psychological profiles, reconstructions, videography, scale models and other prosecutorial exhibits. If the State cannot prove its case with evidence, sometimes it will even manufacture it, taint it, or withhold it.
Prosecutors manipulate morons, who occupy far too many jury seats today. According to Dateline NBC's telecast on June 27, 1997 a recent Gallop poll found fifty percent of Americans believe there is a government conspiracy to cover-up the existence of aliens. Thirty-eight percent believe there is no cover-up, and the rest do not have any opinion. What chance is there of receiving a fair jury trial when half the jury can be brainwashed by the media to believe in aliens? Is it not reasonable to assume that if the media can make the average Joe believe in aliens, they most certainly can make him believe that Larry Brown, or any other innocent person, committed something they didn't. A prosecutor could probably convince some suggestible jury that the sun would not rise tomorrow. All these prosecutorial practices go on routinely, beyond the yellow ribbon.
Multitudes of innocent people are being imprisoned on weak or non-existent evidence? I thought our Constitution protected them. In our system of justice, the defendant in a criminal case is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. As the most famous forensic scientist in the world, Dr. Henry Lee of OJ trial fame said,".... it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, people die for that right!"2 It is the burden of the prosecution to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The United States Supreme Court has held in a number of cases that proof of a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt is constitutionally required. The Court stated this very clearly in the case of In re Winship, 397 US 358 (1970).3 The main idea is summarized in the last sentence in footnote 1 below: "It is also important in our free society that every individual going about his ordinary affairs have confidence that his government cannot adjudge him guilty of a criminal offense without convincing a proper fact finder of his guilt with utmost certainty.” Well, in Larry's case, the prosecutor has no evidence. Larry was just "going about his ordinary affairs.”
Actually, there is more -- much more than reasonable doubt -- required to convict a person. Joseph Bosco sums it up very well in his book A Problem of Evidence when he states "not only must the State prove each and every legally prescribed element of crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the State's case must also exclude all reasonable hypotheses of innocence. In other words, if there is one scenario, presented by the defense and supported by evidence, which exculpates the defendant, then the benefit of doubt must accrue to the accused. A verdict of not guilty must be returned. That's it.” There is another scenario in Larry Brown's case -- the scenario of truth, the scenario of Joyce dying in an accident. However, what does an innocent man like Larry do to defend himself when an accident happens while he was just "going about his ordinary affairs"? What kind of a defense can he use? It is his word against the authorities' theories.
We have one of, if not the worst, justice systems in the world. Chinese and Turkish courts, renowned for their barbarism, at least have the eye of the world on them. Sanctions and other non-military measures are often used to force change in such countries. However, in America, we exalt our system - a system which routinely locks up its citizens without just cause. We blindly boast that we have the best system with jingoistic chest thumping. It is the combination of a bad system along with Americans’ denial that it is bad, that makes for one of the worst systems in the world. Goethe once said “I have discovered again that misunderstanding and inertia cause more harm to the world than slyness or evil doing, the latter being much rarer.”
Until we begin to mend our judicial ways, our system has no other choice than to plod along in a state of inertia toward a total judicial meltdown. We must not remain apathetic. As Dante said “God reserves the hottest place in hell for those who remain neutral during a crisis”. We are in a crisis.
Prisoners, innocent as charged, are probably more common today than at any time since the Salem witch-hunts. The state of Virginia started a program called Innocence about three years ago. It is one of the most worthwhile programs in the judicial system. The purpose of the program is to find prisoners who contend they are innocent and who have blood, hair or other DNA evidence found at the crime scene to back them up. If DNA technology finds no match between a prisoner's DNA and the assailant's, the inmate is pardoned. In only three years, the “Innocence Program” has processed forty cases and in thirty of them, the inmate was exonerated.
How can we boast of a system which convicts thirty of forty innocent human beings? In the past 20 years, 70 men on death row awaiting execution have been freed after DNA or other evidence proved their innocence. How many other executed innocent people were not so fortunate? We can no longer snicker, with tongue in cheek "Oh, the inmates all say they're innocent.” It's no joke anymore because many of them are!
It is our collective fault for electing prosecutors who originate charges against the innocent, while simultaneously plea-bargaining the violent criminal back onto our streets. We are the fault. We are those juries, we buy the lies from the media, and we vote the hideous monstrosities into office we call prosecutors. Injustices in our court system, injustices originating from the prosecutor are common. There is an ocean of examples of injustices, and the tide does not seem to be turning.
One of the most wrongful verdicts ever rendered was the conviction of George S. Revelle, a fine upstanding community leader, father of two children, and president of a bank in Missouri. George was convicted of murdering his dear, beloved wife of seventeen years. He loved his wife Lisa with all his heart and soul. An intruder shot her to death. There was no physical evidence, or even circumstantial evidence to incriminate George.
The prosecutor concocted a bogus scenario involving money. A handwritten letter written by Lisa was entered into evidence. In the letter, she criticized her husband's seeming preoccupation with material things. She pointed out that their relationship was more important than a Mercedes. They resolved their disagreements, George realized money was not nearly as important as his wife was -- and that was the end of that. George even saved the letter as a reminder not to place material things before his family. By failing to discard that letter --by saving her words -- he left behind a window of opportunity for the prosecutor to climb through and a jury to help him. How can one lovingly written, personal message be construed as evidence that George killed his wife? To me it showed he loved her by listening and changing -- and even saving it.
Everything pointed to George's innocence. Even Lisa's family members were in staunch support of George. George had a good family upbringing and could always depend on his parents and siblings for support should the need arise. George was living the American dream.
George took out a $500,000 insurance policy on his wife, not a lot of money for a bank president. It was merely a prudent investment which would have retired their mortgage should either one have died. Lots of us buy such policies. From a single letter from Lisa and from one modest insurance policy -- out of seventeen years of an idyllic marriage -- the malleable morons on the jury convicted this innocent man. They believed he killed his wife for the insurance. They believed what the prosecutor thought. The prosecutor thought it and the jury bought it. They bought it to the tune of George receiving life in prison with no chance for parole.
It was discovered during the murder investigation, that George had embezzled some money from the bank, apparently to help support his family. He intended to pay it back. He was prosecuted and received a sentence for the crime. His secret would probably never have been discovered had it not been for the murder investigation. The intense scrutiny of the murder investigation revealed the embezzlement. George was smart; he would never have killed his wife for money only to have the scrutiny undercover his money dipping. The jury made a cataclysmic jump from George an embezzler, to George a murderer.
After the trial, the jury commented on their verdict. It was apparent viz. a viz. the responses from the jurists that they were jealous of George's wealth and upper class status. I listened to their capricious rationalizations. The reasons they gave for their verdicts were erratic, illogical and irrelevant.
The guilty verdict should be tossed out and George should be released from prison based on the bias alone. George should be given a least $20 million for the irreparable pain and suffering he has had to endure. To accuse a man of killing the woman he loved is forgivable in God’s eyes only. How could a real person do such a thing? I guess prosecutors are not real people.
The jury seemed to ignore all the evidence favoring George. They had to because there was no evidence incriminating him. It was one of the shallowest and dumbest juries I have ever heard of. The cock-eyed jury ignored the incredibly large number of pleas from family and friends. Family and friends swore under oath that Lisa and George had a wonderful relationship and that George could not and would not have murdered his wife. The prosecutor did not know Lisa and George, -- their family and friends did. Yet, the jury chose to believe a stranger.
Another biasing factor was the media. This case turned George's little town upside down. The media sharks had a feeding frenzy on George's blood. After the media and the authorities used him up, they spit him out all bankrupt. The auctioneers sold off every single solitary possession George or his family ever owned. The prosecutor had a single theory in this case-- one learned in an ivory tower -- an academic exercise learned at some taxpayer supported symposium. The small town idiot-jury bought the textbook cookie cutter "husband did it for insurance money" theory. The prosecutor and homicide investigators did not investigate other leads. They did not investigate the 99.99% of good times shared by Lisa and her husband. Actually they did not investigate at all because they had their man. The prosecutor and police did not even investigate other suspects, suspects who admitted to the possession of the murder weapon - a 45-caliber pistol!
Five months into the investigation, the real murderers typed a confession letter and sent it to the police. In it, they confessed to the murder of Lisa. They stated they had originally been approached by George's stepbrother, a sleazy, criminal type, about kidnapping George and forcing him to go to his bank so they could rob it. The stepbrother hated George. The real murderers said they were fugitives living outside the U.S. They even told where the murder weapon was hidden -- gave an exact location of the gun used to kill Lisa. The gun was found at the bottom of a pond several miles from Lisa and George’s home. The step brother is now dead, but his widow -- a convict herself-- testified that she recognized the weapon as “one kept over at grandma's house.” She said her late husband and his friends often used it for various criminal purposes. Incredibly, the prosecutor never investigated any of this hard evidence. About the only thing scientific they did was test for DNA on the stamp on the confession envelope -- it did not match George’s saliva.
Maybe jurisprudence will lose its stench when juries start convicting our prosecutors. Wouldn’t it be great someday if a jury reached a verdict like the following: the judge says something like "Has the jury reached a verdict"; the jury says something like "Yes we have your honor. The jury finds the defendant NOT GUILTY....uh, but, if it pleases the court --...uh, we the jury hereby charge the prosecutor with attempted murder for conspiring to take the life of the defendant without just cause.” God, it would be so sweet.
Consider another wrongful case, that of Susie Mowbray. Susie has been a prisoner in Texas for over nine years. She was convicted of murdering her husband although there was no credible evidence. She was the victim's wife - and she had insurance. Therefore, the law enforcement/media/insurance collaboration went into hot pursuit of an innocent woman, wife, and mother. Again, twelve jurors, obviously brainwashed by years of TV soap opera puke, put her away. Insurance companies hate to pay off. The only hard evidence was found to be a fraud perpetrated by Sgt. Dusty Hesskew, a police investigator and so-called “blood spatter expert”. The prosecutor withheld supportive evidence from a forensic scientist who said that the blood spatters supported Susie’s statement that her husband shot himself. There were no traces of blood on Susie’s nightgown so she had to be innocent. However Sgt. Hesskew said he found, or rather he lied that he found, traces of blood on Susie’s nightgown. Susie had nothing to do with her husband's suicide.
Susie had her conviction thrown out in December 1996. Her attorney said, "It's clear the case probably never should have been prosecuted from the outset.” District Judge Darrell Hester ruled that without Hesskew's testimony, there was "another equally reasonable hypotheses other than the applicant's guilt: Mowbray's death was suicide or an accident."4 Sound familiar? Joyce Brown’s death was clearly an accident too, and Larry should never have been prosecuted at the outset either!
Scores of other cases can be found where innocent people have been incarcerated to appease the political appetite of overzealous prosecutors. A recent example in Columbus, Ohio is Walter D. Smith, the man who was accused of raping a woman but later exonerated as the result of DNA testing. The testing was unavailable at the time of the rape. Walter was imprisoned for nearly eleven years.
Doctor Sam Shephard
Dr. Sam Shephard was imprisoned for ten years on virtually no evidence and only recently exonerated, posthumously, after DNA tests proved there was a third person at the scene of the murder, as the doctor insisted over forty years ago. In addition, it was discovered that the prosecutor had withheld evidence concerning the possible murder weapon. The weapon, a dented flashlight had paint chips missing -- chips later found at the scene of the murder. Yet, the prosecutor, not seeking the truth, kept this evidence hidden.
The media reported that Sam was convicted, in large part, because the jury did not think he acted “sorry" enough in court. We convict people for over-, or under-, acting compared to an idealized standard. How a person acts or does not act after a tragedy is irrelevant. We are all different with varying degrees of manifest emotions. Some people clam up, some look stodgy, some shy, some cry. That's just people. Some people appear awkward, contrived, and guilty under the pressure of scrutiny whether it is by a polygraph or a peoplegraph. There are those who couldn't appear smooth, comfortable, or honest if their lives depended on it -- especially if their lives depended on it.
Juries find many people guilty simply because of jury intuition. The rage among contemporary prosecutors and juries is to condemn a defendant based of his “body language.” Jurists may intuitively feel that the defendant's body language is wrong, that the defendant does not look at them but looks down or through them or over their heads, or some other bullshit. If the defendant does maintain eye contact, does sit with all the right body language, does express himself clearly -- ahah! the jury and the courtroom pundits proclaim the defendant to be too smooth, too calculating, too coached, too manipulating. How can a defendant win for losing!
If a defendant is in shock, and appears cold -- he's guilty! If he appears vigorously animated, he is perceived as overacting, displaying a film noir. If he is emotional or teary-eyed, he selfishly fears only for himself -- guilty again! After George Revelle openly wept while testifying at his sentencing hearing the idiot jury said he appeared shallow and was only crying, “to save his selfish hide.” Here is a guy who was present right after a stranger shot his beloved wife in the head. He had to listen to the mother of his children moan in agony before she died. While weeping, he told the jury how much he would always miss his wife and how he did not kill her -- and the jury said he was shallow. May God have mercy on such heartless bastards because I sure don’t.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as “body language”. Body movements, scruples, quirks, touching compulsions, and shiftiness is as varied among individuals as are the individual’s fingerprints. DNA patterns are as varied and personal as are the zillions of neurotransmitters in the synapses of our brains. The almost infinite combinations and permutations of neurotransmitters are what make us unique. We uniquely cry, or shift, or raise our eyebrows when provoked. There are 5 billion different body languages on the face of the earth. No one can normalize body language because such data cannot be validated. There is no predictable bell curve. Yet jury after jury, expert witness after expert witness all say to hell with the evidence – we saw them shift from one side to the other, or raise an eyebrow at an inappropriate time, or force a whimper. They wee too practiced, coached, rehearsed, cold, over emotional, unemotional, cocky, angry, not angry enough, etc. etc. Give me a break!
No intuition, no body language interpretations, no hocus-pocus should be permitted in the courtroom. Unbelievably, while juries are prohibited from taking factual notes in the jury box, they can freely wield their intuitive swords in their sanctimonious deliberation rooms. Intuition --like theories-- are OK, we are all human. People have them. It is only when our intuitions become empowered to change someone else that witchcraft has been born. The Puritans had intuitions about their neighbors. These intuitions were the force behind the executions. If a jurist says she voted to convict on body language, the judge should declare a mistrial. The intuition mongers should be arrested and charged with a felony.
I am not saying intuitions and such should be forbidden. It is a free country we live in. They are part of our very being. Intuitions are personal. Currently it is psychologically fashionable to preach that we can only change ourselves – that we have no control over other people, places or things. How many times have we heard this little pearl of wisdom! The authorities and juries, however, are changing people solely on their own misguided intuitions. It should not be acceptable for intuitions to change another person; it should be a crime -- yet we legally see it in courtrooms each and everyday. By simply waving their intuition wands, juries change good, innocent people from their homes to prisons, from the company of their loved ones to the company of predators, from their lounge chairs to electric chairs.
In the early eighties, I was upset when I heard that the three-judge panel, hearing Dale Johnson's case in Logan Ohio, thought Johnson was guilty. They thought he was guilty, in part, because he appeared cold and unemotional on the witness stand. By what standard was that to judge a man? I watched films of Johnson on the stand. He was very emotional by my standards, and I'm a fairly mushy guy. I just think that no matter how truthful, how real, how maudlin, or stoic a person acts should be irrelevant. Unfortunately, recent studies at Harvard University have concluded that what a person says is considered only 17% of the time. However, body language is considered 67% of the time when weighing the truthfulness of another person’s statements. This is an outrage. My body does not move like yours -- and yours does not do what your neighbor’s does when she is in the process of answering a question under pressure. Yet judgments based on body language are commonplace. Such is the essence of sorcery.
Judge Harold Rothwax’s Wacky Juror
Judge Harold J. Rothwax of New York while presiding over a robbery trial noticed a female juror with her eyes closed. A crucial witness was testifying. At the recess, he asked her if she had been sleeping. She shrugged. He explained to her how important it was for her to hear all of the evidence. She told him that she did not have to listen to every word -- that she could tell if someone was lying or not by the way he moved his eyebrows. Fortunately Judge Rothwax exchanged this conversation with the juror before the trial. It occurred during evidentiary hearings and the judge could dismiss her without risking an almost certain mistrial to ensue. In another case, Rothwax said that four jurors consulted a Ouija board to “contact” the murder victim, and were persuaded by it to render a guilty verdict.5 How much of this sorcery actually goes on in the courtroom is unknown. However, if jury deliberation rooms could talk it would probably scare the beejesus out of anyone with half a brain.
Captain Jeffrey McDonald’s “Groovy” Trial
Captain Jeffrey McDonald, a strong, brave soldier, a Green Beret, the cream of America's crop -- has been in prison for almost twenty years. He is charged with murdering his two children and wife who he dearly loved. There was no evidence other than the prosecutor's unfounded contention that the word "groovy" was passé among the hippie sheik who McDonald said killed his family. Jeffrey said the hippies, who broke into his family's home and butchered his pregnant wife and two children, used the word "groovy” talking with one another. The prosecutor said hippies wouldn’t talk that way because the word “groovy” was no longer in vogue. Who is to say that the word "groovy" wasn't uttered during the massacre of McDonald's family that night? It was 1970 when the murders took place. I still hear some people using the word today twenty-seven years later.
Other things went wrong at the trial. The prosecutor argued that McDonald self-inflicted the fifteen wounds he suffered in the attack, including one which punctured his own lung. Fifteen wounds when a half a dozen or so would have sufficed; and a knife through the lung? Common sense tells you that no one is going to stab his or her own lung. One of the doctors who treated McDonald’s knife wounds said, "Jeffrey didn't appear remorseful enough". Hell, McDonald had been crying for two solid days and was in total shock when the dufus doctor saw him.
Recently it was discovered that the FBI lab falsified their findings on wig hair follicles at the scene of the murder to help incriminate McDonald. This is truly an outrage!
In all three trials --Johnson's, McDonald's and Shephard's -- the prosecutors thought it, and the juries bought it. That simple. McDonald is trying to get a new trial. God speed it to happen and God speed that the venal FBI agents who falsified evidence in this case receive life sentences themselves.
Another relevant case is that of JonBenet Ramsey, the beautiful six year old girl from Boulder Colorado who was raped and gruesomely murdered. Her parents are prime suspects in her murder - if not because of pressure from the prosecutor, then because of pressure from public gossip and sensationalism.
If it is not a family member, close friend, or a nanny type, the police simply do not seriously consider someone a suspect. After all, prosecutors pay good money to learn this in some sociology classroom -- the suspect must be a family member. Must! That is their prime theory today. Theory is the cornerstone of our contemporary criminal courts.
Mark Burk, a mild mannered young man, sits on death row at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institute in Lucasville for simply standing by and watching his monster cousin George Tanner knife a man to death. Tanner got a prison term; Burke was sentenced to the electric chair. Can anyone say for sure that they would raise their hand to protect an acquaintance being attacked by a knife wielding mad man? The Franklin County Prosecutor's office along with Judge William Millard, were cowards and probably deathly afraid of Tanner. Tanner had an extensive criminal background and could put the fear of God in most folks. Trouble is, that is what we pay our court officials to do -- to seek the truth even if it means risking their lives. All this was reported in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper by courtroom reporter Carolyn Candisky back in the '80's, yet the prosecutor and jury still succeeded in condemning an innocent man to death. I spoke with Mark Burk's attorney Tully Rogers. He said it was the most wrongful finding he had ever known of -- yet the public is totally unconcerned.
Rolando Cruz was sentenced to death in Illinois for murdering and raping a seven-year-old girl. There was no physical evidence of any kind to incriminate this man for anything. Even after the real murderer confessed; even after the real murderer gave a detailed inventory of what parts of the girl’s body were sexually ravaged; even after the real murderer’s DNA from semen was found in the girl’s vagina; the prosecutor in the case still kept Rolando on death row. He would not admit his mistake nor would he pursue the real murderer although there were plenty of leads. Eventually the real murderer did confess but not until he had killed two more girls. The prosecutor stuck to his phony story with perjured evidence for political reasons. It was near election time and the prosecutor felt vulnerable. Two more people were murdered and an innocent man was put on death row for twelve years because a prosecutor thought he might lose his greedy power!
Edna Engles and Poor Little Christopher
Then there was the travesty in Fairfield County Ohio re: State vs. Edna Mae Engles. Edna's husband John hit his children with hammers, shot one in the foot, beat Edna with pliers, hung one small son on nails and doorknobs and repeatedly slammed the door shut. John did not work. Every first of the month, he took the family welfare check, paid rent, and used the rest of the money for beer. He never let his wife or children out of the trailer without permission. He kept the refrigerator pad locked. Only he had the key. He regularly beat his wife and children with his fists and steel toed cowboy boots. Volumes could be written about the horrifying acts committed by this monster. Edna sought help from the courts. She also sought help from children services on several occasions. But the judge and other government agents simply sent her back to the house of horror and told her to try harder to make her marriage work.
Little Christopher was four years old. He was their youngest son who would occasionally soil his pants. I guess I would too if I had to live around John Engles. One day, John punished Christopher by scalding him nearly to death in hot water in the bathtub. When Edna, frantically cuddled Christopher in her arms and fled the trailer seeking medical attention, John caught her and beat her unconscious with pliers. The next day, Christopher died -- but not until John had tortured him further by bursting his blisters open with a broom. John was going to burn up the body, but Edna implored him to at least bury their son. So John buried little Christopher under the trailer until the odor became so obnoxious that he burned the corpse in the yard, in plain view of his children.
John Engle was sentenced to less prison time than his wife Edna was. Why do Americans generally tout a great justice system -- over all -- when, over all this country there are countless cases being handled similar to this one. And what was the spin by the media on this case? -- they sort of laid off John Engles but were very anti-Edna, as were the local gossips. They all conspired to hang an innocent woman. They were probably all afraid of John, the bully, who might some day be paroled and cut off parts of their bodies or scald them to death. The same old repugnant legal engine in "hot-pursuit of the innocent.” This is an extreme example of justice- gone- mad, but there are many extreme examples.
Frank Lewis and Prosecutor O’Brien, Odd Bedfellows
Frank Lewis is another monster who will receive only a token punishment for his horrendous crime. Lewis murdered my friend Terry Kerns in cold blood in October ‘97. Terry was a good man who selflessly helped others and me. He helped build a halfway house, which I designed. for recovering adolescent alcoholics and users.
Lewis and an accomplice murdered Terry. It was in Terry’s apartment above a bar on Parsons Avenue. A guy held Terry while Lewis beat him to death with his bare hands. Terry’s cousin, who was hiding in a closet, overheard everything including the murderers say that they would throw Terry down a long flight of stairs to make it look like an accident. The TV news that night reported Terry died of a broken neck--blood all over the bottom landing and it’s a broken neck? Broken necks don’t bleed.
I called the county prosecutor, Ronald O’Brien, with the details. He said that Lewis was already charged with involuntary manslaughter. He said there was nothing he could do now. Why? This was premeditated murder. Lewis got a low bond and skipped bail. Lewis went to northern Ohio and molested a little girl. He was caught and sentenced to one-year. After that he was returned to Columbus where he only received 4 years of a 5-year sentence for the murder of my friend. It makes me want to cry every time I think of the miscarriage of justice by the prosecutor.
Contrast Lewis’ case with that of Mrs. Fugen Gulertekin from Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. She is a middle class, middle-age lady with a Master’s Degree in Early Child Development. The kind of person prosecutors love to go after. She was baby sitting a 5-month old baby named Patrick Lape. All the sudden the baby started choking on something and Fugen, an immigrant from Turkey, used CPR and shook and patted the baby to attempt to clear his airway. She succeeded. The baby suffered a skull fracture and brain damage -- but the child will live.
The extent of Patrick’s injuries is not known, but he continues to recover at home. Everyone hopes he will fully recover including Fugen who saved little Patrick’s life. A cowardly prosecutor named Scott Longo, a brainless jury, and a gutless judge Deborah P. O’Neill, handed Fugen the maximum sentence of eight years for felonious assault and child endangering. The only evidence was pseudo-voodoo-medicine from Dr. Johnson of Children’s Hospital. Johnson conjectured that shaking to save Patrick could not have caused the injuries. He melodramatically “reenacted” the alleged crime by vigorously shaking a baby doll. The media, too, ganged up on Fugen. In football they call it piling on.
Judge O’Neil said she gave Fugen the maximum sentence because she did not act remorseful enough. Why should one act remorseful for a crime they did not commit? It was a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the Lapes. However, it was not the fault of Fugen. Fugen saved the child. This whole thing sounds a lot like the little children who testified that certain adults could not have been anything other than witches back in merry old Salem Massachusetts. We as a society failed Fugen, and therefore failed ourselves. We continually fail ourselves every time we render such inhuman verdicts. As a wise person once said, “man’s inhumanities to man makes countless thousands mourn.”
David Hess and the Poor Little Guy
Fugen gets eight years and David Hess, who killed his girlfriend’s son by body slamming him more than once, was not even indicted for murder. Hess, also from Columbus Ohio, acted remorseful and said it was an accident. How can you accidentally body slam a six-year-old boy twice? Apparently if you are a hands-on killer and remorsefully admit the crime the jury feels it was just ‘boys will be boys’ play.
Another inhumanity is currently unfolding in Nevada. A young man suffering from terminal cancer was picked up for speeding. The officer discovered a small amount of marihuana in his car, marihuana used to relieve some of the pain caused by cancer. The prosecutor is persisting with the case. The young man's attorney requested a speedy trial because "if it drags on too long there might not be a living defendant.” This example shows how insane our system of justice has become.
Jason Robb, a Victim of Intimidation
Consider the Valandigham case. In the Valandigham murder trial, a brave guard, Robert Valandigham, was horribly murdered in the Lucasville prison riot in 1993. A most bizarre thing happened in this case too. Alvin Jones and Kenneth Law, the two "hands on" murderers, received relatively light prison sentences for conspiracy. However, the conspirators received the death penalty. My daughter, Katrina, served on the jury for one of the conspirators, Jason Robb. Katrina told me she was "muscled” into going along with the majority of the jury in order to "send the right message.” I called the prosecutor in the case, Dan Hogan, on several occasions and forcefully expressed my utter contempt for the way Hogan was conducting the case and how patently wrong the charges were. I wouldn't know Jason Robb from Dan Hogan on the street, but what is right is right and -- in this case -- what was wrong was Hogan and the State. Wouldn't the "right message" have been to electrocute the actual murderers and lock up the conspirators? This bizarre, convoluted inversion of justice is increasing at an alarming rate.
Terry Bryant vs. Darlie Routier
Ironically Hogan, now an elected judge, recently sentenced Terry Bryant, a cold-blooded killer, to a term of 15 years plus three years for using a gun. Bryant walked into a clinic and shot and killed a co-worker of his wife's because he was in a jealous rage. Such cowardly court decisions are occurring daily in our nation. Bryant gets eighteen years, and Darlie Routier, who tragically lost her 5- and 6-year old sons-- stabbed to death by an intruder in Rowlett Texas -- was sentenced to life in prison. Routier had virtually no physical evidence against her but the jury and judge accepted the prosecutor's feeble theory that the mom killed her sons out of spite. The prosecutor said she was spiteful because her sons cost her to lose her girlish figure. I can't believe such jism is being served up as justice. It boggles the mind. Bryant gets eighteen years for murder and Jerry Dewayne Williams of California was sentenced to life in prison for stealing a pizza -- simply for breaking the insane new three-strikes-you're-out law; (all three felonies were non-violent).
Lemrick Nelson, a seventeen year old from New York City, killed Yankel Rosenbaum -- an innocent bystander -- during unrest that erupted on the streets of NY. Before Yankel died he looked his murderer in the eye and identified him to the police and Nelson even admitted to the murder. Nevertheless, a state Supreme Court jury, full of cowardice, acquitted Nelson of all charges. Linda Lee Walden, of Columbus Ohio, spent several years in prison for killing a rapist who broke into her home and assaulted her. Linda killed in self-defense and was sentenced to thirty years for murder and Lemrick gets a wink and a grin. By the way, the same Dan Hogan was involved in the prosecution of Walden.
Robert Caulley, a Grieving Son
Hogan was also involved in the prosecution of a 32-year old man, Robert J. Caulley who is accused of murdering his parents Lois and Charles Caulley --a truly ghastly deed if, indeed he did it. They lived in a suburb of Columbus Ohio. The problem is -- like the proverbial broken record -- there is no evidence. Lois and Charles were stabbed and beaten to death two years ago. The defendant contends he found his beloved parents dead, the home ransacked. Caulley's attorney, James Owen, recently filed a motion against Hogan who was then prosecuting the case. Hogan allegedly badgered the defendant. Apparently the homicide detectives were questioning Caulley after the death, with Hogan talking with them on the phone. Apparently Hogan was telling two detectives from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Tony Rich and Zachary Scott, to force Caulley to admit he killed his parents. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office uses a police interviewing technique that coerces confessions.
The detectives would come back and report that Caulley, a clean-cut aeronautical engineer, denied any involvement in the murders -- but Hogan would not stop the grilling. He just kept up the torment for almost nine hours. He kept telling them to go back and force out some answers. According to the court reporter, Caulley was not even permitted counsel. At one point, the police told Robert that he might never see his wife and seven-year-old son again if he did not confess.
He finally said he did it to get them off his back after he was assured he could leave if he admitted “off the record” to the killings. Robert just wanted to get home. It wasn't until two years after the tragic death that the authorities indicted this poor guy using voodoo which the FBI euphemistically refers to as "profiles.” The cops said he fit some profile -- which is meaningless unless you also believe in the psychic late-night hotlines. Chances are the only thing the profile came up with was that Robert was next of kin and would have inherited some insurance money. I'd be willing to bet on it, a lot on it.
Bruce Cadwallader in the Columbus Dispatch Newspaper reported all this puke, June 6, 1997. You can go to jail today not because of doing right or wrong but because of being in the right or wrong mind of the right or wrong punk prosecutor at the right or wrong time. No evidence, just a thought by the prosecutor and a profile by the FBI sorcerers. Witches all! The prosecutor thought it, and the puppet jury bought it. In October 1997 Robert Caulley, a young man with an admiring son and a beautiful, adoring wife was sentenced to 26 years to life for nothing more than getting up in the morning and going about his usual daily affairs.
If it's the last thing we all do, let's work like beavers to get Judge Dan Hogan out of office. We don't need his kind on the bench. We don't need his kind on a park bench. What he, and countless other prosecutors Like Hogan are doing, is a crime. They are snuffing out lives of innocent people -- what could be more demonic? Hogan belongs on a bench in a prison courtyard not in a courtroom. Actually, this might happen. It appears that in the State's prosecution of Jason Robb in the Valandigham case, Hogan was not only working for the State but was also double dipping as a Franklin County Prosecutor. This was reported in the July 16-22, 1997 Edition of the Columbus Alive Newspaper. He earned about a hundred thousand dollars for the State while still collecting his $61,300 a year salary from the County. If convicted for theft in office, a felony, Hogan could be sitting on that prison bench unless he can prove he can be working in two places at the same time.
Teresa Cornelius’s Recantation
If I have not convinced you that our jurisprudence system is broken, try this one on for justice: In 1985, Teresa Cornelius said she had been raped, and Danny Marker went to prison. Teresa Cornelius then said she had lied. The incident had been nothing more than her vivid imagination. Nevertheless, Danny Marker was not released from prison. There was no physical evidence against Marker -- but, Cornelius was a deaf-mute who suffered from cerebral palsy, struggled to the witness stand, and had to be questioned via signing. Talk about drama. As it turns out, Cornelius was just mad because Danny Marker suggested she and his son wait a year before getting married and she wanted to get even. Therefore, she cried rape. Danny was sentenced to thirty years. I don't think Hogan was involved in this case since it was out of his jurisdiction in Seneca County. Why does our court system seem so intent on going into hot pursuit of the innocent?
Marihuana Mania Again
It is not only the poor who are being massacred by our “injustice” system. It is the meek, the mild, and the innocent. The nicer you are, the greater the chances you'll be dogged by the prosecution because they know you are civilized and won't hurt them. Cowardly sentences are being handed down to the rich and the famous as well as poor nice folks. Randy Lanier, the 1986 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year, was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole for his part in a marihuana smuggling operation --a totally non-violent crime. Why is it acceptable to lock up a decent, non-violent, productive individual for life, while the average murderer receives less than eight years? The answer is simple -- the court is not afraid of Randy Lanier, they are scared to death of cold-blooded killers Like Lemrick Nelson.
Our system of justice certainly does not discriminate. It even cannibalizes its own law officers. Three police officers in Washington D.C. were found guilty of accepting $2,000 bribes in a FBI sting. Each of them received 49 to 55 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Even the judge -- Thomas F. Hogan (no relation to the infamous Dan Hogan) -- said "That's a terrible consequence for a $2,000 bribe."6
Hogan criticized the federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences. Hogan noted that the average sentence served for murder in the United States is only seven years. The three cops, John C. Harmon, Troy Taylor and Dwayne Washington received, in effect, life sentences while Jacquelyn Williams, Fedell Caffey and Levern Ward of Addison Illinois got only 25 years for knifing ten year old Samantha Evans to death and killing her mother Deborah, cutting open the pregnant mother's stomach and stealing the unborn fetus in 1990.
Au Pair Ala Salem
Then, of course, there is the case involving a nanny after which I would not blame Great Britain should she choose to declare war on America--the au pair case. Poor nanny Louise Woodward whose only crime was of loving the little baby she was taking care of--was found guilty of murdering him. The only scientific evidence in the whole case was evidence which exonerated Louise -- the blood serum which was indicative of an old wound which eventually caused the death of the eight-month-old baby.
The jury hung her not on evidence, but on body language. The witch hunters on the jury thought she appeared too “practiced”-- whatever the hell that means. Louise only had to tell what happened when the baby died that day about five hundred times to everyone --the police, lawyers, investigators, family, and acquaintances, so, why wouldn’t it sound a little practiced? The very day of the child’s admission to the hospital, several police officers converged on her and made her recite everything that had happened that fateful day. Then the next day, she had to recite the day’s events to other investigators. Repeatedly, she was forced to recall the baby’s baths, feedings, naps, and every other tidbit of minutia. Then after being imprisoned for eight months pending trial, she sat on the witness stand and again recited the fateful day’s events while babysitting and the ignoramus jury said she sounded “practiced” --who the hell wouldn’t. Louise could probably say it in her sleep. It wasn’t her fault it sounded ‘”practiced,” it was the authorities’.
By the way, why didn’t anyone ask the infant’s older brother what happened? At three years of age, the clearly articulate child could have served as an eyewitness. The prosecutor would not permit it because the kid liked Louise. Videotapes show the parents attempting to coach the child to say bad things about Louis, but the kid would not. The parents should be charged with perjury and Louise set free. Louise should never have been charged in the first place.
In addition, Louise passed a polygraph test with flying colors. A test which the jury never knew of. Louise was set free by the judge in the case after having served nearly a year behind bars. Now the public is storming the judicial Bastille’s to have her tried again. If it is found politically favorable enough, she will -- to hell with double jeopardy.
I and countless others fought in foreign wars to defend this kind of a system right here at home? -- a system based on insanity, voodoo and soap opera? If the judges and prosecutors do not have enough courage to go after the vile, the repugnant, the sociopath in our society simply because they are afraid of them, then why are they sucking up their paychecks every two weeks?
In closing, I hope this document hoists a warning flag, to provoke the hearts and minds of rational, decent, citizens to come to the aid of our fellow human beings. Who knows -- you may be the next human being in need of some aid. Witch hunts feed on silence. A famous German theologian once said "They went after the Jews; but I was no Jew, so I didn't object. They went after the Catholics; but I was no Catholic, so I didn't object. They went after the Trade Unionists; but I was no Trade Unionist, so I didn't object. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to object!” Many of the above victims of our courts had no one objecting for them. Law-abiding innocents who trusted the system unwittingly became prisoners of it. Many silently accepted the power and punishment of the State with little or no public outcry.
Therefore, don’t be silent, don’t politely object. Do as William Lloyd Garrison, the devout abolitionist, wrote in 1831 “On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present, I am in earnest --- I will not equivocate --- I will not excuse ---- I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD…
If you need even more examples of injustice to get juiced up for the long battle ahead, the battle that must be fought for justice, then read the names on the last few pages of this document. The hundreds of persons on the list were found guilty of mostly murder with a few rape cases thrown in, only to have later been exonerated. It should make you explode with anger. And if this list of names of “dead men walking” doesn’t prime your passion, then just think for a moment about the countless other “dead men walking” who were not exonerated. They were fried.
If you don’t think this extensive list of innocents who served thousands of combined years behind bars demonstrates what a rotten justice system we have, then I do not know what will. If we accept this as justice I guess H. L. Mencken was right when he said “You can never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.”
It takes courage for authorities to go into hot pursuit of the bad and cowardice to pursue the good. The only way that witch hunting will ever stop is for reasonable people to get active. Sue the authorities when they are wrong. We all need to start suing “criminal witch hunters” in the courtroom and in the media, especially prosecutors.
Challenge authority when you see it revving up in hot pursuit of good people. Make calls to authorities expressing your concerns and letting them know we know what they're up to. Don’t be afraid to mouth off to your county prosecutor.
Make calls and build a cocoon of friends around you who, like yourself, are distressed over cases that are unjust. Call for support and consensus. It is always good to have a shoulder or two to cry on when it looks like the witches are winning. Contact grieving families whose loved ones are being persecuted.
Vote the devils out of office. And …..
Most importantly, stop and think before you appear for jury duty -- stop and think "Am I going to be duped by soap opera theories; am I going to be persuaded by an expensive suit with a high sounding title like Prosecutor; am I going to be intimidated by fist thumping bullies in the jury room?” Make sure that reason, logic, science, and mathematics are your focus, and only focus, when deciding the fate of another human being. His life is in your hands. Don’t just go along with the crowd like the idiot jurors did in the Scott Peterson trial.