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    Colorado Statutes relating to JonBenet Ramsey’s death

    Because of several recent discussions, I looked into some of the statutes that dealt with the True Bills that had been returned by the Ramsey Grand Jury. I really thought I had found something that would make both of the charges not subject to the Statute of Limitations as has been widely reported in the press. This relates to a discussion on another thread where we talked about complicity. So I decided to ask a friend of mine who is an attorney. Here is what I wrote as I interpreted what I had found on Count VII [I’ll address the other True Bill (Count IV), and other issues in later posts.]:
    (For reference):
    COUNT VII (Accessory to a Crime)

    On or about December 25, and December 26, 1996 in Boulder County, Colorado, John Bennett Ramsey (or alternately, Patricia Paugh Ramsey) did unlawfully, knowingly and feloniously render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of Murder in the First Degree and Child Abuse Resulting in Death.

    There are two possibilities on why the Grand Jury charged each of the Ramseys as accessories and neither as the principal: (1) They couldn’t figure out which parent actually committed the act which caused the child’s death and decided to leave it to the courts to decide, or (2) the person who actually committed the act which caused her death was unable to be charged.

    If the reason is the first, it wouldn’t matter who the principal was, because of the concept of complicity as defined in C.R.S. 18-1-603. Essentially that statute states that complicity constitutes guilt of the crime committed. Selected quotes from that statute:
    Complicity is merely a theory by which a defendant becomes accountable for a criminal offense committed by another. People v. Thompson, 655 P.2d 416 (Colo. 1982); People v. Thurman, 948 P.2d 69 (Colo. App. 1997); People v. Medina, 72 P.3d 405 (Colo. App. 2003).

    No fine or imprisonment may be imposed for complicity since it is merely a theory of law by which a defendant becomes accountable for a criminal offense committed through the conduct of another, the punishment is imposed for the underlying crime and not for complicity. People v. R.V., 635 P.2d 892 (Colo. 1981).

    The acts of the principal are the acts of the accessory, and the accessory may be charged and punished accordingly as a principal. Oaks v. People, 161 Colo. 561, 424 P.2d 115 (1967).

    A person who aids, abets, or assists in the perpetration of a criminal offense becomes an accessory to that offense and is chargeable and punishable as a principal. Reed v. People, 171 Colo. 421, 467 P.2d 809 (1970).

    An accessory who stands by and aids in the perpetration of a crime may properly be charged as a principal. McGregor v. People, 176 Colo. 309, 490 P.2d 287 (1971).

    An accessory charged as a principal for an accessory is deemed and considered a principal, punishable as a principal, and plainly shall be charged as a principal. Fernandez v. People, 176 Colo. 346, 490 P.2d 690 (1971).

    In the case of codefendants it is unnecessary to characterize and classify the specific acts of the principal and the accessory. McGregor v. People, 176 Colo. 309, 490 P.2d 287 (1971).

    It is ultimately the jury's responsibility to determine the specific role a defendant plays. People v. Scheidt, 182 Colo. 374, 513 P.2d 446 (1973).
    So if the Ramsey Grand Jury thought that one of the Ramsey parents committed the act that caused death and the other was only accessory, it would not be necessary to prove which parent was the principal -- they are each individually held responsible for the death (regardless of intent) with the aggravating crime of Child Abuse Resulting in Death. Therefore this true bill would be for murder in the first degree.

    The second possibility of the Grand Jury’s reasoning could be that they felt another third party was responsible for the act which caused her death, and that individual could not be held criminally responsible. However, the Ramsey parents would still be held ultimately responsible. Obviously, we are speaking here about the possibility that their son Burke committed the act which caused his sister’s death. Since at the time of the crime, he was 9 years old, in the eyes of Colorado law he was incapable of forming criminal intent. However, that does not mean that an adult who acts as an accessory cannot be charged. Applicable Annotations from C.R.S. 18-1-801 (Insufficient age) state the following:
    Although a child under the age of 10 cannot be charged with an offense, it does not necessarily follow that the child cannot violate the law. In enacting the statute, the general assembly determined those persons who could be held responsible for their criminal acts, not that such persons could not commit the acts. People v. Miller, 830 P.2d 1092, (Colo. App. 1991).
    The reference to People v. Miller, 830 P.2d 1092 (http://www.leagle.com/decision/19911...%20v.%20MILLER) was from a case in which a parent appealed her conviction of Contributing the Delinquency of a Minor because the child was too young to be charged with a crime (theft). No doubt you know this case, but I’ll briefly describe it. From that Appeals Court opinion:
    Miller first contends that the trial court erred in denying her motion for judgment of acquittal on the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She asserts that her eight-year-old son was not charged with theft because a child under the age of ten cannot be charged and convicted of any offense. Section 18-1-801, C.R.S. (1986 Repl.Vol. 8B). Thus, according to Miller, since it was impossible for her son to violate any state law, she cannot be found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    The Appeals Court’s decision states:
    Here, the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous. The General Assembly is concerned with adults who encourage children under eighteen to commit crimes. The statute does not require that the minor be charged or convicted of a crime nor does it require the minor to be over the age of ten.

    Further, Miller's reliance on § 18-1-801 is misplaced. Although a child under the age of ten cannot be charged with an offense, it does not necessarily follow that the child cannot violate the law. Rather, in enacting § 18-1-801, the General Assembly determined those persons who could be held responsible for their criminal acts. It did not determine that such persons could not commit the acts themselves. Cf. Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815, 108 S.Ct. 2687, 101 L.Ed.2d 702 (1988). We therefore conclude that even though Miller's son was only eight years old at the time of her offense, Miller could be found guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
    And in C.R.S. 18-6-701 (Contributing to the delinquency of a minor), Annotations, it states:
    An adult may be charged with violating this statute regardless of whether the minor was actually charged with or convicted of a crime or whether the minor was old enough to be charged with or convicted of a crime. People v. Miller, 830 P.2d 1092 (Colo. App. 1991).
    This all indicates to me that, if the Grand Jury believed Burke was the person actually responsible for the act which caused JonBenet’s death, as accessories to the crime, both John and Patsy Ramsey could be charged with murder in the first degree.

    So either way, whoever it is that the Grand Jury felt committed the act which caused her death (whether the principal was the other parent, or it was Burke, a minor), Count VII (Accessory to a Crime) is still murder in the first degree.

    C.R.S. 18-3-102 (Murder in the first degree) states:
    (1) A person commits the crime of murder in the first degree if:

    (b) Acting either alone or with one or more persons, he or she commits or attempts to commit arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault as prohibited by section 18-3-402, sexual assault in the first or second degree as prohibited by section 18-3-402 or 18-3-403 as those sections existed prior to July 1, 2000, or a class 3 felony for sexual assault on a child as provided in section 18-3-405 (2), or the crime of escape as provided in section 18-8-208, and, in the course of or in furtherance of the crime that he or she is committing or attempting to commit, or of immediate flight therefrom, the death of a person, other than one of the participants, is caused by anyone;
    Please let me know if you agree or if I am missing something that makes my conclusions wrong. It seems to me that both true bill counts IV(a) and VII are actually for first degree murder and therefore have no statute of limitation. C.R.S. 18-6-401.1 (Child abuse - limitation for commencing proceedings - evidence - statutory privilege) defines lesser degrees of Child Abuse which would limit prosecution to ten and five years after commission of the offense. But those lesser degrees are specifically defined and would not apply in cases where death or injury results.
    The answer I got tells me that I was confusing the two distinctly different concepts of the word Accomplice as opposed to Accessory. Here is the explanation I received:

    The law of complicity is as you say, that the accomplice is guilty of the same crime as the principal.

    In the old common-law language of the law of crimes, those who contributed to the commission of a crime ("aiders and abettors") were called accessories before the fact. Aiding and abetting included (and still does) not only material aid, but help with planning a crime or even mere encouragement of the crime. There were varieties of accessories before the fact, depending on whether they were present at the scene of the crime or not, but today these distinctions are unimportant and we treat them all as accomplices, whose guilt is equal to that of the principal. (There may be a few occasions, unimportant here, when the accomplice and the principal are guilty of different degrees of the crime, but no matter for our purposes).

    But the GJ did not charge John and Patsy as accomplices to the actual killing. They are charged instead as accessories after the fact. (In Colorado this crime is called simply Accessory to Crime; the statute is CRS 18-8-105; you will see that its language matches the language of those counts of the indictment.) This is different from complicity, and carries different (and milder) penalties from the principal's crime. Being an accessory after the fact requires helping the principal criminal escape, or hide, or evade prosecution— things that happen after the crime is committed. Now if someone promises to provide these after-the-fact services with knowledge of the crime that is planned, then they may be accomplices (or in the old term, accessories before the fact), because by promising their post-crime aid they have contributed to the planning of the crime, or encouraged it. So the charge of accessory after the fact suggests that (the GJ believed) those who were charged with it (John and Patsy) had no advance knowledge that the crime was going to be committed, but once they learned of it, they took steps to protect the criminal from detection, prosecution, and conviction. Since it is unthinkable to me that the Ramseys would have done such a thing for a stranger or intruder, or indeed for anyone except their other child, I conclude that the GJ believed that the criminal whom the two adults took steps to protect was Burke.

    Interestingly, the GJ says that the crime to which J&P were accessories after the fact was murder in the first degree. Putting aside highly unlikely forms of first-degree murder, I believe this means the GJ believed that the crime was either deliberate (planned) by Burke, or that it occurred while Burke was sexually assaulting his sister. (The latter seems to me much more likely.) Felony-murder (that is, killing while in the course of committing a felony) is first-degree murder in Colorado. There are a few felonies other than sexual assault that would support a felony-murder charge in theory (burglary, robbery), but none of them fits the facts as we (think we) understand them.
    I’ll address the other True Bill (Count IV) in another post when I get a more detailed explanation. But there is one more piece of information I did get that was in response to this question of mine:

    Since Alex Hunter chose to not sign and process the true bills in open court having them dismissed due to a lack of evidence (in his opinion), this leaves open the possibility that any current or future District Attorney could still pursue the charges that were presented by the Grand Jury. Correct?

    You are correct, however, that nothing in the procedural history of this matter prevents the current DA from charging John Ramsey with murder, which has no limitation period. I believe Stan Garnett simply thinks there is not enough evidence to convict and thinks a trial would not be a good use of his office's resources, but of course I have no access to his reasons or his thinking process.

    All views expressed in my posts are my opinion and are protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as “freedom of speech.”

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    OMG!!!

    Gets comfy on couch, and gets down to some serious reading!


    Thank you for all you do <3

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    As clearly written as you've put it here, it's a lot to absorb, and I will have to read this several more times.......yet I can't help but conclude:

    So it's apparently all about how the DA(s) has no balls?


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    Quote Originally Posted by bettybaby00 View Post
    OMG!!!

    Gets comfy on couch, and gets down to some serious reading!


    Thank you for all you do <3
    This is a huge discovery.

    For some time I’d thought the statute of limitations had run out. (I thought it was 3 years from the time of the homicide.) So, I was confused after I read the True Bill how that worked: murder in the first verbiage and no action on the part of DA AH? But then I carefully re-read Garnett’s statement in the Daily Camera, and the words “conclusive evidence” jumped out at me.

    Garnett in the Daily Camera (BBM): “Which brings me to the "true bills" from the Ramsey grand jury. I became aware of the existence of these documents when I took office in 2009. I asked my appellate department to review them and was told that they related to charges for which the statute of limitations had run years ago. My staff evaluated the Ramsey case to determine if there was any charge for which the statute of limitations had not run and for which there was conclusive evidence. Because there was none, we focused on other matters (including four murders we tried in 2009, two of which were cold cases). .”

    Later I listened to Silverman on Boyle’s radio show. Silverman (attorney in Denver) made the statement that he believed JR had to be “sweating” this pronouncement. To me, Silverman also found this GJ revelation pretty big stuff.

    Gonna have to take some time to go over OTG post. But initial reactions – ITA with BB: Where’s the cojones!

    Last edited by questfortrue; 04-07-2014 at 05:01 PM. Reason: word replacement

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    Wow! Great post and info otg. I think it pretty much finalizes my theory.
    The above mentioned text and views are my opinion and mine alone.

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    I should point out (just to be clear) that my friend has no access to the proceedings of the RGJ, and therefore is not saying he knows what they concluded (or how), or for that matter, what actually occurred. All this attorney is telling me is how the laws apply, and what it appears to be that the majority of the GJ agreed to.

    All views expressed in my posts are my opinion and are protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as “freedom of speech.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by bettybaby00 View Post
    As clearly written as you've put it here, it's a lot to absorb, and I will have to read this several more times.......yet I can't help but conclude:

    So it's apparently all about how the DA(s) has no balls?

    I don't know if I'd be quite as quick to say that about the current DA, betty. It seems he's taken a realistic view on what it is that he inherited from his predecessors. Lacy's "pronouncement of exoneration" didn't help the situation. The problem (IMO) was that charges should have been filed when the GJ returned the true bills on the charges which had not yet run out of time on. (Maybe Hunter is the one whose anatomical deficiencies you were referring to?)

    All views expressed in my posts are my opinion and are protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as “freedom of speech.”

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    Thank you otg!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

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    Quote Originally Posted by bettybaby00 View Post

    So it's apparently all about how the DA(s) has no balls?


    I think "Ball-less in Boulder" sounds like a GREAT name for a new TV show, doesn't it? It could star all of our "favorites- AH and his "crew", and even some that are ball-less because of gender (ML).
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

    This post is my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy or take it anywhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    I think "Ball-less in Boulder" sounds like a GREAT name for a new TV show, doesn't it? It could star all of our "favorites- AH and his "crew", and even some that are ball-less because of gender (ML).
    O. M. G.

    Loves it


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    Thanks for going to all that trouble.

    Jonbenet's case is truly staggering in so many ways, not least because of the political shenanigans that went on.

    The only solution is for the good people of Colorado/America to persist in asking for an official and unbiased inquiry into the entire mess.

    Jonbenet has been let down by everyone, at every level.

    eta: I sometimes think WS is the only place that still cares.
    Last edited by SapphireSteel; 04-07-2014 at 09:06 PM.
    Everything I post is my opinion only, can change at any time, and is not intended to replace fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by otg View Post
    I don't know if I'd be quite as quick to say that about the current DA, betty. It seems he's taken a realistic view on what it is that he inherited from his predecessors. Lacy's "pronouncement of exoneration" didn't help the situation. The problem (IMO) was that charges should have been filed when the GJ returned the true bills on the charges which had not yet run out of time on. (Maybe Hunter is the one whose anatomical deficiencies you were referring to?)
    IA, SG hasn't necessarily been as "as guilty" as his predecessors, but that's for another time.

    What struck me when reading your excellent post is this:

    There has been much ink regarding AHs inability to prosecute this case, in part, b/c of the formidable opponents he faced. IMO, behind the scenes this has been held up as an excuse, while publicly the public was told "the case lacks enough credible evidence." yet we see day in and day out cases prosecuted across the country with far less "evidence." So I have to ask, if there was so much hesistancy on AHs part b/c of his less than impressive prosecutorial experience, why were the pleas for a special prosecutor so steadfastly ignored?

    We were reminded of S. Thomas' plea the other night (LindaNJ ?), but reading your post here made me want to dig out the Whites letter to the citizens of Boulder dated, August of 1998.

    I won't post the whole thing as it s rather lengthly. The following is still long, so I apologize in advance

    several passages and concepts definitely stick out, and the overall tone has stayed with me. I definitely recommend to those who haven't to read it in its entirety.

    http://extras.denverpost.com/news/whiteltr.htm



    Letter from Fleet and Priscilla White
    The following is the full text of the letter written by Fleet and Priscilla White, former friends of John and Patsy Ramsey, regarding the murder investigation of JonBeneœt Ramsey.

    To the people of Colorado:

    On August 12, 1998, Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter announced that he would be presenting the JonBeneœt Ramsey murder case to a Boulder grand jury at the expense of the State of Colorado.

    Colorado grand jury law requires that both jurors and witnesses take an oath of secrecy regarding grand jury proceedings and testimony. In anticipation of receiving a subpoena to appear before that grand jury, we wish at this time to address matters concerning the investigation which we feel are of great importance to the people of Colorado and the Boulder community.

    After JonBenet Ramsey was killed in Boulder nearly twenty months ago, her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, immediately hired prominent Democrat criminal defense attorneys with the law firm of Haddon, Morgan and Foreman. This firm and its partners have close professional, political and personal ties to prosecutors, the Denver and Boulder legal and judicial communities, state legislators, and high-ranking members of Colorado government, including Governor Roy Romer. The investigation of her death has since been characterized by confusion and delays. The district attorney and Ramsey defense attorneys started early in the investigation to condition the public to believe that these delays and the lack of a prosecution have resulted almost entirely from initial police bungling of the case and the non-cooperation of witnesses. This has continued to this day. Advising the district attorney since the early days of the investigation have been Denver metropolitan area district attorneys Bob Grant (Adams County), Bill Ritter (Denver County), Jim Peters (18th Judicial District), and Dave Thomas (1st Judicial District).
    [...]

    We knew JonBenet and her parents very well and have been closely involved in the investigation as witnesses. During the past year, we have also come to know and respect Mr. Thomas and were saddened and discouraged by his departure from the investigation. We share Mr. Thomas' view regarding the district attorney and his contention that overwhelming pressure brought to bear on the district attorney and police leadership from various quarters has thwarted the investigation and delayed justice in the case.

    [...]

    Notwithstanding what the public has been led to believe, Boulder police leadership and detectives have been under the effective control of the district attorney and his advisers since the early days of the investigation. In December, 1997, we met with Governor Romer to request that the state intervene and appoint an independent special prosecutor to take over the investigation and prosecution of the case. Citing the growing conflict between police and prosecutors and the delay of any progress in the investigation, we expressed our view that Boulder authorities were incapable of seeking justice. We also pointed out specific circumstances which we felt could inhibit or restrict Governor Romer's willingness to intervene. In early January, 1998, we were advised that he had decided against intervention on the advice of Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby. Chief Koby, who has since left the department, had told Governor Romer that the investigation was incomplete and therefore had not been given to the district attorney for prosecution. In short; there had been no failure to prosecute and thus no basis for the state's intervention.

    Since our meeting with Governor Romer eight months ago, the public has been shown the forced reconciliation of demoralized police detectives with the district attorney and his prosecutors and a sequence of odd and highly publicized milestones in the case. In March, 1998, police Chief Koby and lead investigator Mark Beckner (later to be appointed police chief), made an unusual public appeal to the district attorney for a grand jury investigation on the pro bono advice of three prominent Denver attorneys. In response, the district attorney requested a complete presentation by police of evidence. This presentation occurred over two days in early June, 1998, and was witnessed by prosecutors, representatives of the State Attorney General's office, prominent forensic scientists, and advisers of the district attorney and the police department. The public was then told that the investigation had been finally transferred to the district attorney from the police department and that the district attorney would now require some indeterminate length of time to review the case prior to making a decision concerning the police request for a grand jury investigation. Upon leaving the presentation, both Alex Hunter and Mark Beckner made inappropriate but tantalizing comments designed to give the public hope that the case may yet be "solved''. They warned, however, that there was still a lot of work to do and that additional evidence was needed.

    [...]

    Most developments in the case brought to the public's attention throughout 1997 should be regarded as well-publicized but clumsy attempts by the district attorney and police leadership to look busy, follow long "task lists,'' and clean up investigative files while the district attorney killed time and spread-out responsibility for the case. On the other hand, "advances'' in the case since early this year have been carefully planned to condition the public for a grand jury investigation. The district attorney's past indecision and the need for the police to ask him for a grand jury investigation were deliberate attempts to mislead the public. If based on nothing other than the district attorney's repeated public statements and leaks characterizing the case as "not prosecutable,'' there can be little doubt that, absent a confession, the people running the investigation had long ago decided against filing charges in the case. Instead, they manipulated public opinion to favor the use of the grand jury. There is compelling evidence, however, that their motivation for presenting the case to a grand jury has little or nothing to do with obtaining new evidence, grilling "reluctant'' witnesses, or returning an indictment and everything to do with sealing away facts, circumstances and evidence gathered in the investigation in a grand jury transcript. It is our firm belief that the district attorney and others intend to use the grand jury and its secrecy in an attempt to protect their careers and also serve the conflicting interests of powerful, influential, and threatening people who have something to hide or protect or who simply don't want to be publicly linked to a dreadful murder investigation. Also weighing on the district attorney has been the matter of preserving and protecting the now "cooperative'' and forthcoming Ramseys' rights as victims.

    * * *

    August 12, 1998, Governor Romer announced at a press conference that Hunter had told him that the case was "on track for a grand jury.'' Romer said that "it would be improper to appoint a special prosecutor now'' but that to improve public confidence in the case he would make available to Hunter additional prosecutorial expertise. Shortly after the press conference, Hunter's offfice announced that the case would be presented to a grand jury in "order to gain additional evidence in the case, on August 13, 1998.

    the Rocky Mountain News offered an editorial entitled "Calling in the Calvary'' in which the editor generally supported Governor's Romer's action but insightfully asked the obvious question: Why has it taken so long for Hunter's office to present the case to a grand jury?"

    [...]

    There is a relatively simple but compelling answer to the question raised by the Rocky Mountain News editorial. Since very early in the case, there has been at least a tacit understanding among the district attorney, police leadership, those persons advising these agencies, and Ramsey defense attorneys that the case would be presented to a grand jury but not until the statutory Boulder grand jury was convened in April, 1998. This delay was deemed necessary by some or all of these parties in order to take advantage of a new statute (16-5-205.5, C.R.S.) concerning grand jury reporting procedures which was the result of legislation promoted by the Colorado District Attorney's Council and passed by the legislature in early March 1997. By law, however, this change in procedure would only apply to reports issued by grand juries convened after October 1, 1997. In order to take advantage of the new statute, a Boulder grand jury would have to wait until April, 1998, the next convening of the statutory Boulder grand jury subsequent to October 1, 1997. In order to accomplish this, it was necessary for these people to stall and cynically rely on the public's relative ignorance of the statute and the purpose and general nature of grand juries. The district attorney and police leadership worked hard to create the fiction that the police investigation was not "complete'' and therefore not ready to be transferred to the district attorney. As long as the district attorney didn't have the case it would be difficult to fault him for not prosecuting or presenting the case to a grand jury. It was this fiction that was used by the district attorney to deflect mounting criticism including that contained in our letter in January, 1998. It also served as the basis for a Boulder court to throw out a suit brought against the district attorney by New York attorney Darnay Hoffman who had accused the district attorney of "constructively abandoning the case.'' The district attorney's publicly expressed indecision in late 1997 regarding a grand jury investigation gave way to his progressively greater "leaning'' toward such a decision as the date for convening the Boulder grand jury drew near.

    * * *

    House Bill 97-1009 was drafted by the Colorado District Attorneys Council in late 1996 and was introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives on January 8, 1997, two weeks after JonBenet was killed. HB 97-1009 was sponsored by Representative Bill Kaubman, a Republican, and Senator Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat.

    The impetus for this bill was the desire of the Council to effect legislation changing an existing statute (16-5-205 (4), C.R.S.) regarding the issuance of grand jury reports in those cases where there is not an indictment.

    [...]

    The existing statute allowed the issuance of reports but was argued to be confusing and overly restrictive. As a result, grand jury reports were nonexistent.

    [...]

    "The proposed law would instruct judges to determine whether the report should be released and allow for withholding any parts necessary to protect witnesses. It also would give witnesses an opportunity to see reports and file opposing motions if they object to their release.

    Such reports could go a long way toward dispelling doubts and by providing all witnesses with safeguards against disclosures that might damage or embarrass them, still preserve the confidentiality that is both the armor and the engine of the grand jury process.'

    The original draft of the bill was presented to the House Judiciary Committee by Representative Kaufman at a hearing on January 21, 1997, long after the Ramsey case had exploded into a national news story amid growing suspicions of police mishandling of the case. Speaking in favor of the bill before the committee were district attorneys Ritter, Thomas, and Grant. All of these district attorneys, along with Jim Peters, would be named publicly as advisers to Alex Hunter on the Ramsey case a few weeks later on February 14,1997.

    [...]

    On March 5, 1997, Senator Perlmutter presented the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Appearing once again to speak in favor of the bill were Bill Ritter, Marge Easton, and John Dailey. Also speaking for the bill were Ray Slaughter and Stu Van Meveren of the Colorado District Attorneys Council.

    The final bill was passed on March 21, 1997. Included in the bill were specific criteria to be used by grand juries and prosecutors in determining what constitutes the "public interest'' for the purpose of a grand jury report.

    [...]

    The original intent of the Colorado District Attorney Council draft and that of Representative Kaufman was to make it easier for grand juries to issue reports in cases where there is not an indictment returned but where, in the public interest, the grand jury wishes to address allegations of misconduct by public employees falling short of criminal conduct. The final bill made it possible for a grand jury to address allegations of 1st and 2nd degree murder and the two classes of child abuse resulting in death. The new statute would enable a Boulder grand jury investigating the death of JonBenet Ramsey to publicly exonerate someone who has been alleged to have of committed one of these crimes but only in the event an indictment was not returned. The bill was signed into law by Governor Romer on April 8, 1997.

    [...]

    During the Senate Judiciary Hearing on March 5, 1997, and after the bill had been amended to include the criteria defining the public interest, Senator Perlmutter stated that he had "...contacted several defense attorneys I know in Denver and they were all supportive of it (the bill). They thought it was a good idea.'' According to records at the Secretary of State's Office, Sen. Perlmutter received a 1994 campaign contribution from Hal Haddon, defense attorney for John Ramsey.

    * * *

    The May 6, 1998 issue of the Colorado Journal, a publication for the legal community, presented an article flattering to Alex Hunter entitled "D.A. Winks At This One-With or Without a Grand Jury Indictment Boulder's Prosecutor Will Still Shine.'' The article is written around comments received from Senator Perlmutter and district attorney Bill Ritter. It reads:

    "If Hunter does take the matter to the grand jury and that panel manages to wrestle the evidence it needs to hand down an actual indictment, Hunter will appear the hero for going that route.

    But if they fail to do so, Hunter could still come out smelling like a rose with the help of a little-known state law that went into effect last fall: That grand jury reports may be released to the public if no indictment results from its probe.

    That way, a prosecutor facing pressure to file charges can say, "See even the grand jury couldn't find anything,'' said Sen Ed Perlmuner, D-Golden, who co- sponsored the law in the 1997 Colorado Legislature.

    The law, which only applies to Class 1, 2, and 3 felony cases, was intended to help ease the public's mind in certain investigations where a prosecutor fails to file charges, despite pressure from the police to do so as in the JonBenet case, he said.''

    In the article Sen. Perlmutter indicated that he sponsored the bill because he "didn't want the grand juries to be abused, especially in high-profile cases as this one (the Ramsey case).''

    For his part, Mr. Ritter said:

    "I don't think Alex Hunter would go to the grand jury for political cover, that's just not how Alex Hunter operates,'' said Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter.

    "The reason you go to a grand jury is because, as DA you do not have the ability in the state of Colorado to compel testimony or compel the production of documents.''

    But then the article speculates:

    "But no matter what the grand jury decides, its probe could help vindicate the impugned reputations of many members of the Boulder police and district attorneys office.''

    The article was misleading in that it stated that the new grand jury statute designed by Mr. Ritter and Senator Perlmutter to protect and exonerate people and "vindicate'' the reputations of public servants was "effective'' and therefore available for use by a Boulder grand jury on October 1, 1997. It also inaccurately described what allegations the statute deemed of public interest.

    * * *

    For the purpose of assisting them in the Ramsey investigation, the Boulder Police Department in July 1997 accepted the pro bono legal services of Daniel S. Hoffman with the firm of McKenna & Cuneo, Robert N. Miller with the firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Green, and MacRae, and Richard N. Baer with the firm of Sherman & Howard. All are prominent Denver attorneys. Responding to our public information request, the Boulder city attorney's offce supplied us with copies of the final agreement between the city and these attorneys dated July 30, 1997 and an earlier draft of that agreement dated July 28, 1997. In the draft, these attorneys jointly made the following disclosures to the city: "As we indicated to you, our respective firms have or had certain relationships that we feel obligated to disclose to you. Specifically:

    1. Sherman & Howard L.L.C. ("S. & H.") represents Lockheed Martin in various matters. Lockheed Martin currently owns Access Graphics, the company that employs the father of the deceased. In addition, in 1994, S. & H. represented Access Graphics in a lawsuit brought by a terminated employee...

    2. Mr. Hoffman is outside counsel for Lockheed Martin in a number of litigations, one of which is currently pending. It is reasonable to assume that during our representation of you, Mr. Hoffman may be retained by Lockheed Martin. Additionally, Mr. Haddon represents Mr. Hoffman personally, in a case against Mr. Hoffman, his former law firm, and a number of Mr. Hoffman's former partners at the firm.

    3. Robert Miller is currently co-counsel with Mr. Haddon on a litigation in which they obtained a significant verdict for their client and which will proceed on appeal.''

    John Ramsey was the president and chief executive officer of Access Graphics, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation. In the fall of 1997 Access Graphics was sold by Lockheed Martin to GE Capital in a complicated transaction reported in the news media to be valued at $2.8 billion. The value attributed to Access Graphics was likely in excess of $200 million. Prior to the sale, John Ramsey left Access Graphics under adverse circumstances after attempting to purchase Access Graphics from Lockheed Martin. Mr. Hoffman was identified in the April 18, 1997 issue of Colorado Journal to be the "lead attorney'' for Lockheed Martin in an age discrimination case which days before had resulted in a $7.6 million settlement. The "Mr. Haddon'' referred to in the disclosures is Harold Haddon, the criminal defense attorney currently representing John Ramsey. The final agreement that was executed by the city and these three attorneys did not contain these disclosures. According to Mr. Baer, they were deleted at the request of the city attorney. The city attorney has recently indicated to us that he has no knowledge of the role these attorneys have played in the investigation.

    On March 10, 1998, the Boulder Daily Camera reported that "DA hints Ramsey case headed for grand jury.'' Two days later, the Boulder police made their request for a grand jury on the advice of these attorneys and transferred the case to the district anorney.

    On April 22, 1998, the Boulder grand jury was convened.

    * * *

    It is certain that Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter; the metro area district attorneys advising Mr. Hunter; the current leadership of the Boulder Police Department, the three attorneys advising the Boulder Police Department, and Ramsey defense attorneys have known since HB97-1009 was signed by Governor Romer on April 8, 1997, that to take advantage of the new statute, it would be necessary to delay a grand jury investigation of the Ramsey case until April, 1998. In retrospect, it is clear that the case was delayed for that purpose. It is hard to imagine that Governor Romer and members of the office of the Attorney General and the Colorado Judiciary Department have not also long known this.

    * * *

    The Boulder County District Attorney and members of his office have delayed the investigation of the death of JonBenet Ramsey in order to take advantage of a statute which will, if an indictment is not returned, enable him to persuade a grand jury to issue a report telling the public that the case was delayed and that an indictment was not returned as a result of police misconduct and the noncooperation of witnesses. It will also enable him to publicly exonerate anyone alleged to have murdered JonBenet Ramsey. If he wishes such a report to be made, and of course he does since it would contain precisely what he has been saying throughout the investigation, he must first cause the grand jury not to return an indictment.

    This, then, is how politics will have been allowed, finally, to trump justice.

    * * *

    Delaying the case in this manner simply to serve the selfish interests of a relatively small number of public servants and wealthy and powerful people has destroyed the case's infrastructure which consists of the confidence and trust of witnesses and thpublic in the criminal justice system and the hard work done in good faith by police detectives. That he has allowed this destruction is compelling evidence that Alex Hunter and those advising him have no intention of seeking an indictment from a grand jury. By their actions, these people have demonstrated cynical and callous disregard for the people of Colorado, the criminal justice system, and the well being and safety of the Boulder community and its citizens.

    What distinguishes the investigation of JonBeneœt's death from all others, and what has so seriously handicapped the investigation, is the extraordinary number of people that it has affected and influenced. The people of Colorado wish to see justice for JonBenet. They must not accept the "conclusion'' to the case now being offered by the Boulder County District Attorney and Governor Romer. We will not.

    After further assessing public opinion and reviewing the contents of this letter and that of Mr. Thomas, we hope it will occur to Governor Romer that evidence in this case must be reviewed by those who have no interest in seeking anything other than justice for JonBeneœt. Any further involvement of the Boulder County District Attorney, his prosecutors, or anyone else responsible for the delay of the case is totally unacceptable. The people of Colorado must demand that Governor Romer resist the advice of interested parties, including the district attorneys advising Alex Hunter, and immediately order the Attorney General to take over the investigation and any future prosecution. He must then must excuse himself from any further involvement. He is simply too close to people whose lives and careers may hinge on what becomes of the case.

    Taking this action will be difflcult for both Governor Romer and Attorney General Gale Norton who are serving the last months of their terms and are term limited from seeking re-election. They must nevertheless set politics and personal considerations aside and conscientiously deal with this problem now. It is unacceptable for them to further erode public confidence by passing that responsibility to their successors.

    The people of Colorado are entitled to be frustrated and angry with those public offlcials and other persons who have brought this case to its current status. We must be mindful, however, of the first cause of the investigation's failure - the refusal of John and Patsy Ramsey to cooperate fully and genuinely with those offlcially charged with the responsibilty of investigating the death of their daughter, JonBenet.

    - Fleet Russell White, Jr. and Priscilla Brown White August 17, 1998, Boulder, Co



    All of that work, and the GJ just didn't cooperate now did they?

    Lord it would be great to get their opinion of the GJ True-bills. No doubt they would be further disheartened to see how AH duped the public for so long.

  13. #13
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    Ciss Boom Bah!! Way to go otg!

    IMO, this just supports my conviction that JR has been smearing his "innocence" in the face of society for far too long. And doing it all while continuing to further his good Christian character, and making a statement to the release of the GJ information as being "just more drama". Simply sickening.

    Would your lawyer pal have any info about any ways for normal citizens to shake things up? Civil suit, some kind of petition to the DA, standing on our heads on the state capital steps? Anything? Something!!!
    We want the truth, but can we handle the truth?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Southern Utah
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    1,688
    thank you for posting that, Betty

    I swear, the Whites' letter and Steve Thomas' letter ... how can that much logic and information go ... nowhere?

    Welcome to Boulder! Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap!
    _____________
    You may touch the dust but please don't write in it.
    _____________
    The way I see it is: if you are making a decision that will affect someone else's life, prepare for public scrutiny.
    ~ VICE journalist Tim Pool
    _____________
    Beware Of The Dog. The Cat Is Not Trustworthy Either.
    _____________
    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.
    Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    30,910
    Quote Originally Posted by gramcracker View Post
    thank you for posting that, Betty



    I swear, the Whites' letter and Steve Thomas' letter ... how can that much logic and information go ... nowhere?



    Welcome to Boulder! Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap!

    Makes ya wonder how they sleep at night.


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    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

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