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Thread: The cross-fingerpointing defense

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    If BPD knew without any doubt that PR and/or JR murdered their daughter, they would have probable cause and can therefore make arrests. They don't need DA permission. They simply need to convince a judge to sign an arrest warrant. Thats how it works.
    How are you going to find probable cause when things like the phone records go missing? Really! I read the phone records went missing. Is that true? Did that happen to everyone on that street or was it just them?

    You can't find probable cause because maybe the evidence went out the door with the Ramsey's.

    Now, I don't blame anyone for not doing there job because this case is Abby Normal.

    I have not voted on "who done it" yet.

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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reznor View Post
    Nice read, Dave, thanks!
    My pleasure.
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Reznor View Post
    How are you going to find probable cause when things like the phone records go missing? Really! I read the phone records went missing. Is that true? Did that happen to everyone on that street or was it just them?

    You can't find probable cause because maybe the evidence went out the door with the Ramsey's.

    Now, I don't blame anyone for not doing there job because this case is Abby Normal.

    I have not voted on "who done it" yet.
    I believe there were computers in 1996, and the phone company used them. Its not like phone records for one number just vanish. Maybe consider the source, or take it with a grain of salt?

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  6. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reznor View Post
    How are you going to find probable cause when things like the phone records go missing? Really! I read the phone records went missing. Is that true? Did that happen to everyone on that street or was it just them?

    You can't find probable cause because maybe the evidence went out the door with the Ramsey's.

    Now, I don't blame anyone for not doing there job because this case is Abby Normal.

    I have not voted on "who done it" yet.
    Yes, in a manner of speaking. At first, DA Hunter refused to issue a warrant for the phone records, saying LE should simply "ask for them". Right...
    Much later, when they were finally produced, all records for December 1996 were missing. It was said that NO calls were made that month. Right.
    Then a tabloid tried to obtain them fraudulently and a judge subsequently sealed them forever.
    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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  8. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    Yes, in a manner of speaking. At first, DA Hunter refused to issue a warrant for the phone records, saying LE should simply "ask for them". Right...
    Much later, when they were finally produced, all records for December 1996 were missing. It was said that NO calls were made that month. Right.
    Then a tabloid tried to obtain them fraudulently and a judge subsequently sealed them forever.
    Thanks. I think the phone records would have helped this case.

    I have to admit I'm having a hard time figuring out what happened because nothing makes sense. It's like "How can that be"?

  9. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reznor View Post
    I have to admit I'm having a hard time figuring out what happened because nothing makes sense. It's like "How can that be"?
    That's what I keep trying to tell people!
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  11. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reznor View Post
    Thanks. I think the phone records would have helped this case.

    I have to admit I'm having a hard time figuring out what happened because nothing makes sense. It's like "How can that be"?
    Well...it "can be" because the Rs had a powerful and politically connected defense team. The defense lawyers had both personal and professional relationships with DA Hunter and ties to the Governor's office. As soon as LE was involved, the DA got the word to "treat these people like victims, not as suspects". And so they did...
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

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  13. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDee249 View Post
    Well...it "can be" because the Rs had a powerful and politically connected defense team. The defense lawyers had both personal and professional relationships with DA Hunter and ties to the Governor's office. As soon as LE was involved, the DA got the word to "treat these people like victims, not as suspects". And so they did...
    Yes, I'm reading about that now. You have really helped me along. Thanks so much for helping this newbie!

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    Recent events have shown me that it may be time to re-examine this.
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  17. #36
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    So the phone records are there, just sealed? This is crazy. I hope the new cold case squad can work on this with no bias and no political influence on how they can perform their job. Sealed records can be opened if the ruling is overturned right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky319 View Post
    So the phone records are there, just sealed? This is crazy. I hope the new cold case squad can work on this with no bias and no political influence on how they can perform their job. Sealed records can be opened if the ruling is overturned right?
    The phone records were sealed for misuse in related case, weren't they? I seem to recall they were obtained illegally by the media and for that reason a judge sealed them permanently. Hmmm....How conveeeenient. Anything "improper" here?
    THIS time, we get it RIGHT!

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

  20. #38
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    For our friends who haven't seen it yet:

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    Well, I promised I'd start this thread, so here we go!

    When people ask me "why were the Rs never charged," whether rhetorically or not, I answer "the cross-fingerpointing defense." I get some pretty odd responses to that. Because most people don't know what I'm talking about. They've never heard of it.

    Simply put, with no legal-beagle mumbo-jumbo, the cross-fingerpointing defense is where two people are involved in a crime, one as the leader and one as the accomplice, but the evidence is structured in a way that LE can't be sure which one was in the driver's seat and which one was along for the ride. Under the law as it is in America today, a prosecutor cannot--CANNOT--go before a jury and say "one of these people killed such and such, the other helped cover it up. You make up your mind as to which is which." No way! A prosecutor MUST, MUST bring specific charges against each person.

    In other words, 2 suspects equals NO suspects.

    I'm not just pulling this stuff out of my nether regions. Three prosecutors, speaking about this case specifically, have said the exact same thing.

    One was ADA Pete Hofstrom: "So what if [Patsy] wrote the note. It doesn't prove she killed her kid."

    Vincent Bugliosi: "A prosecutor can't argue to a jury, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence is very clear here that either Mr. or Mrs. Ramsey committed this murder and the other one covered it up...' There's no case to take to the jury. Even if you could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Patsy Ramsey wrote the ransom note, that doesn't mean she committed the murder."

    And Wendy Murphy: "It‘s why the JonBenet Ramsey parents are both free, because you can‘t try the father, he‘ll blame the mother. You can‘t try the mother, she‘ll—so they both walk." She went a great deal further in her book, And Justice For Some.

    You can't charge JR, because there's too much evidence against PR. You can't charge PR, because there's too much evidence against JR. The only way to break that stalemate is for one of them to confess and give the other one up in exchange for immunity. And even then, accomplice testimony without further corroboration is inadmissable. Not to mention how that person would be ripped to pieces by the defense atty. as a "rat" trying to save their own skin, and as such a very likely suspect themself.

    And make no mistake: PR's death changes NOTHING about this. In fact, it makes it stronger. If JR were to be charged now, there's nothing to stop him from laying it all on her. She can't defend herself from the grave.

    Any questions?
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  21. #39
    "You can't charge JR, because there's too much "evidence against PR. You can't charge PR, because there's too much evidence against JR.

    Thats got to be tabloid junk. Nobody's complaining about excess evidence against either PR or JR. I'm surprised you fall in for this tabloid faire, usually thats for older women.
    Last edited by Holdontoyourhat; 04-18-2010 at 03:49 PM.

  22. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    She can't defend herself from the grave.

    Any questions?
    Yeah. How sick is this?

  23. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    "You can't charge JR, because there's too much "evidence against PR. You can't charge PR, because there's too much evidence against JR.

    Thats got to be tabloid junk.
    Don't you wish. After all, I've only got Pete Hofstrom, Vincent Bugliosi, Wendy Murphy and Henry Lee on my side, NONE of which from tabloid sources, I'll have you know.

    Still, I suppose I could have worded that better than I did. So, in this instance, I'll let someone else do the wording. Allow me to quote from Wendy Murphy's 2008 book, And Justice For Some specifically Chapter Ten, which shares its title with this thread:

    I call this the cross-fingerpointing trick, because each suspect has the potential to point the finger of blame at the other.

    SNIP

    Many people believe that one of the parents, John or Patsy, killed JonBenet; if this is true, the cross-fingerpointing trick, more than anything else, explains why neither parent was charged with a crime.

    If [John] forced Patsy to help with the cover-up, he could easily demonstrate reasonable doubt by implying that Patsy was the real killer. Patsy's seeming involvement would continue to frustrate prosecution efforts because of the very real risk that John could prevail at trial by pointing the finger at Patsy.

    SNIP

    The cross-fingerpointing trick in the Ramsey case is especially effective because the public is uncomfortable accepting the idea that people who look so nice on the outside can be dastardly on the inside. This feel-good bias makes it harder to conceptualize that a parent could commit a horrific crime against his or her own child or that an innocent parent could possibly want to help the killer-parent avoid prosecution.


    Nobody's complaining about excess evidence against either PR or JR.
    Yes, I'm afraid I should rephrase that. So, once again, I'll let Wendy do the talking:

    The defense bar loves this trick. They have a sarcastic saying that sums up this tactic: nobody talks, everybody walks. It works quite well when the two suspects are family members who live together because police can't gain sufficient access to either one, alone.

    I'm surprised you fall in for this tabloid faire, usually thats for older women.
    Even if it WAS tabloid faire, I'd resent your statement. Don't presume that you know anything about me.
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  25. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    Yeah. How sick is this?
    While I don't care in the least for your implication, HOTYH, I must admit that you just pegged it: it IS sick. What makes it even WORSE is that, from a legal standpoint, it's 100% true. Allow me to quote Wendy again:

    In a cross-fingerpointing situation, death of one suspect changes nothing. The prosecutor still has to deal with the very real problem that the surviving suspect can raise reasonable doubt by pointing at the dead suspect.

    You're right, HOTYH: it IS sick. The question is, what do we DO about it?
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  27. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    While I don't care in the least for your implication, HOTYH, I must admit that you just pegged it: it IS sick. What makes it even WORSE is that, from a legal standpoint, it's 100% true. Allow me to quote Wendy again:

    In a cross-fingerpointing situation, death of one suspect changes nothing. The prosecutor still has to deal with the very real problem that the surviving suspect can raise reasonable doubt by pointing at the dead suspect.

    You're right, HOTYH: it IS sick. The question is, what do we DO about it?


    Not to seem dense or anything, but what do we do about what?

    Do we do something about the parental fibers found on the daughter? Because that seems to be RDI's biggest and strongest link.

    Or, do we do something about JBR's SFF killer, who goes unchecked for handwriting, linguistics, fiber, DNA, motives, or alibis?

    BTW you had given me an idea:

    You said that the political angle was thin, so if I review political events from entire 1996-1997 time frame I'll come up empty, right? What do you think would be empty and what would be not empty? IOW what type of event would convince you of a possible link that should be investigated further?
    Last edited by Holdontoyourhat; 04-19-2010 at 12:14 AM.

  28. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    I believe there were computers in 1996, and the phone company used them. Its not like phone records for one number just vanish. Maybe consider the source, or take it with a grain of salt?
    Yes, there were computers in 1996. However, data back up architecture was pretty ancient back then and not all all following the protocols that we use today. And then there is that pesky problem of, IF there WAS a viable copy of the data, would it continue to exist today, in 2010?
    I exercise my first amendment right to share my opinions in every post.

    Brad Conway speaking about the Anthony’s: “They want the truth, but it’s going to be difficult when we get there.”

    George Anthony speaking about his suicide ideations: “Knowing that my granddaughter was gone, knowing where my daughter’s at and what she’s facing for the rest - possibly her life…”

    Cindy Anthony re: baby Caylee: “It wasn’t Casey’s child, it was our child. She belonged to all of us.”

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  30. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    Not to seem dense or anything, but what do we do about what?
    Well, what I meant specifically was "how do we prevent the cross-fingerpointing trick?" How do we take away its power?

    BTW you had given me an idea:

    You said that the political angle was thin, so if I review political events from entire 1996-1997 time frame I'll come up empty, right?
    Pretty much. Although, there is one thing: it was right around August of 1996 that regular people in the US started to hear the name Osama bin Laden. He'd been active much longer than that, but he didn't start to become the household name that he is today until then. And as far as I go, that may or may not have a bearing on the RN content. I've often said, only half-jokingly, that PR used the words "foreign faction" because she wasn't familiar enough with these Islamist groups to know how to spell their names. I don't think that's too far beyond the realm of possibility, since the government can't decide how to spell them, either.

    What do you think would be empty and what would be not empty? IOW what type of event would convince you of a possible link that should be investigated further?
    Darn good question. I'll have to think about it.
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  31. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    Darn good question. I'll have to think about it.
    Does this help?

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/16/ramsey.ransom.note

    "Mr. Ramsey:

    Listen Carefully! We are a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction. We respect your business, but not the country it serves.

    At this time, we have your daughter in our possession. She is safe and unharmed and if you want her to see 1997, you must follow our instructions to the letter.

    You will withdraw $118,000 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills. Make sure that you bring an adequate size attache to the bank.

    When you get home, you will put the money in a brown paper bag. I will call you between 8 and 10 a.m. tomorrow to instruct you on delivery. The delivery will be exhausting so I advise you to be rested. If we monitor you getting the money early we might call you early to arrange an earlier delivery of the money and hence and earlier pickup of your daughter.

    Any deviation of my instructions will result in the immediate execution of your daughter. You will also be denied her remains for a proper burial. The two gentlemen watching over your daughter do not particularly like you so I advise you not to provoke them.

    Speaking to anyone about your situation, such as police or F.B.I. will result in your daughter being beheaded. If we catch you talking to a stray dog, she dies. If you alert bank authorities, she dies. If the money is in way marked or tampered with, she dies. You can try to deceive us, but be warned we are familiar with law enforcement countermeasures and tactics.

    You stand a 99% chance of killing your daughter if you try to outsmart us. Follow our instructions and you stand a 100% of getting her back. You and your family are under constant scrutiny, as well as the authorities.

    Don't try to grow a brain John. You are not the only fat cat around so don't think that killing will be difficult. Don't underestimate us, John. Use that good, Southern common sense of yours. It's up to you now John!

    Victory!

    S.B.T.C."
    Last edited by Holdontoyourhat; 04-20-2010 at 11:54 PM.

  32. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    Does this help?
    It might. Meanwhile, have you given any thought to my question?
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  33. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    It might. Meanwhile, have you given any thought to my question?
    Presuming your question is on cross-fingerpointing:

    A cross-fingerpointing situation is only possible when there are at least two defendants who are each able to attribute the evidence to the other, right?

    If A is evidence against a and B is evidence against b then AB=total evidence against both, right?

    Step 1: Decide if an evidence item really belongs to a or b. You have to know for a fact that the evidence item does belong to either a or b. If it is known, then it is AB evidence item.

    Step 2: If AB represents a winning case against somebody, go to step 3 otherwise you're done.

    Step 3: If A>B then charge a. If B>A then charge b.

    Step 4: Pleabargain with the defendant for a lesser sentence if they rat out the other.

    ----------------------------

    Personally, I don't think you can get past step 2 in JBR's case.

    Now then, about those 1996 news events. What would be the criteria based on the RN?
    Last edited by Holdontoyourhat; 04-21-2010 at 07:56 PM.

  34. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdontoyourhat View Post
    Presuming your question is on cross-fingerpointing:
    It is. More specifically, how do we avoid (or at the least minmize) people using it in the future?

    A cross-fingerpointing situation is only possible when there are at least two defendants who are each able to attribute the evidence to the other, right?
    That's really good!

    If A is evidence against a and B is evidence against b then AB=total evidence against both, right?
    That's a good way to say it. The key here is that a prosecutor can't just say "AB=total against both" to a jury.

    Step 1: Decide if an evidence item really belongs to a or b. You have to know for a fact that the evidence item does belong to either a or b. If it is known, then it is AB evidence item.

    Step 2: If AB represents a winning case against somebody, go to step 3 otherwise you're done.

    Step 3: If A>B then charge a. If B>A then charge b.

    Step 4: Pleabargain with the defendant for a lesser sentence if they rat out the other.

    ----------------------------

    Personally, I don't thing you can get past step 2 in JBR's case.
    Ah, but that's just it: they COULD have gotten past it early on. Your chart is a fine one, but it seems to have left out one vitally important part: in cases such as these, what breaks it is not deciding if an evidence item belongs to a or b. Cases like this are very rarely solved on the forensic evidence. What breaks it is arresting the two suspects and tossing them into separate holding cells, letting them "get lost in the system" for a while, then seeing which one will crack first and "rat out" the other as you put it.

    Actually, I'd have listed that one first. In most places, that IS "step 1:" Arrest suspects a and b, throw them into jail, let their imaginations run wild a little, then wave a "get out of jail free" card under both their noses to see which one will take it.

    Now then, about those 1996 news events. What would be the criteria based on the RN?
    I guess in order for me to believe it, there would have to be a terrorist group with a history of kidnapping or killing little girls in America. What you have to remember is that groups like Al Qaeda did not turn their fury on the US until a very short time before 1996. We were the "far" enemy. They were concentrated on the "near" enemy: Israel and the secular Arab tyrannies like Jordan and Egypt.

    Other than that, I already made my feelings clear in the "bin Laden" posting.
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  36. #50
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    I want someone to explain to me, if you can, WHY in a case where two people are suspected of a murder, but it can't be proved which one actually committed the murder, why can't they both be charged? If they were both involved, aren't they BOTH responsible, regardless of which one actually did the killing?
    I don't mean specifically the Rs here, but in general.
    Is this just in Colorado? Because I know I have heard of cases where both people were charged as accessories.
    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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