The cross-fingerpointing defense

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by SuperDave, May 29, 2009.

  1. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    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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  3. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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    Brilliant post, Dave. Makes so much sense, too.

    Quick question (possibly stupid question). Would a prosecutor have been able to charge them with lesser offences - e.g. conspiring to pervert the course of justice (or whatever you guys call it) if the greater offences weren't prosecuted?
     
  4. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    What really is unbelievable is that married couples can't be forced to testify against each other, so theoretically parents can kill their kids as long as they are BOTH in the room and get away with it.

    That what your saying?
     
  5. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    I'm very glad you asked. I used to wonder that same question myself. But as henry Lee said, you can't prosecute someone in Colorado for lesser charges as long as the murder charge is still open.

    In short, Colorado law does not permit them to do that. So, no, Sophie.
     
  6. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    No, that's not necessarily what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if you have more than one suspect and there's nothing concrete to say which one did what specifically, without a confession, you're stuck. Married couples are just one combination.
     
  7. madeleine

    madeleine New Member

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    My thoughts exactly SD.
    I always said that they probably won't be able to say which one of them it was in case they can prove beyond a resonable doubt that it was a parent.
    JR will probably blame P,she's no longer among us to defend herself etc.
     
  8. Holdontoyourhat

    Holdontoyourhat Former Member

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    I can tell you that if BPD knew beyond doubt that either one or the other parent in fact murdered their child, there would've been an arrest warrant issued for both. They would've been held for the maximum amount of time allowed, and a confession is just what they would've tried to extract from one of them.There's nothing that would've prevented BPD from doing this. Of course LE didn't have such knowledge , so no arrest was made.
     
  9. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    It seems like I keep reminding folks that the police WANTED to arrest them. But the DA's office wouldn't issue them specifically for the reasons I listed up top.

    HOTYH, that's what I'm saying! That's exactly what the BPD WANTED to do. That's HOW the police break a stalemate like this. That's how the NYPD solved the Lisa Steinberg murder, don't forget.

    Wrong; the DA's office prevented it. Hunter felt it was too "police-state-ish." That information is widely available, BTW.

    I have an interview with AH I think you should read.
     
  10. Holdontoyourhat

    Holdontoyourhat Former Member

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    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.
     
  11. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    Apparently not. Alex Hunter himself has said that he put the kibosh on that idea. Probable cause was never an issue in this case. They wanted Hunter to do exactly what you say. He wouldn't do it.
     
  12. Holdontoyourhat

    Holdontoyourhat Former Member

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    You've claimed all along that BPD had probable cause but the DA squelched the idea out of some corrupt or misguided authority.

    Thats not how it works.

    Police decide if they have probable cause, and if they do they go to a judge who signs an arrest warrant if the judge agrees with probable cause. Then the suspects are caught off guard, jailed for a few days of intensive cross examination.

    BPD never had probable cause. That the DA tied BPD hands or told them what to do or not to do just seems to be your own characterization.
     
  13. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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    Would a judge be that amenable to signing a warrant if the DA didn't support the police's request? In fact, I'm pretty sure the BPD discussed this possibility with their own legal people who doubted that a judge would agree. Having said that, there's at least one judge mentioned in PMPT who claims to have routinely taken an anti-Hunter stance so maybe they could have pursued this possibility more aggressively. In any event, neither Koby nor later Beckner seem to have had any appetite for rocking the boat and you can't really expect a detective to go to a judge without even his own boss's support?


    Generally, it looks to me as though AH was paralysed by fear. I seem to recall that one of his first actions was to call prosecutors in the Jeffrey Dahmer case to discuss managing a high profile case. I'm also pretty sure that people close to him have commented on his fear of being involved in another 'OJ.' This fear was compounded by his own department's lack of trial experience. Equally, can you imagine the controversy had this case gone to trial? His own faith in, and history of, plea bargains would have been at total odds with the public pressure to prosecute this case to the utmost. How would he and De Muth and Hofstrom have reconciled this conflict? Indeed, the defence could probably have made an issue out of his traditional laxity had he tried a hardler line in any JBR trial. Much easier to twabble on about one's utter belief in the presumption of innocence and to suggest that it's this precept that is informing your inactivity. With any luck, the case will never get to trial and the BPD's early errors will pre-dispose a critical public to blame them rather than the DA's office.

    If you read any true crime book, you will see prosecutors getting on detectives' nerves and demanding more and more evidence but they normally facilitate the acquisition of this evidence by supporting requests for warrants etc and normally accept that, once the police have established probable cause, it's the job of prosecutors to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. AH wanted the police to establish guilt beyond any doubt - or at least wait until he was no longer around to have to prosecute the case.

    Separately, going by what I understand probable cause to be, the BPD had more than established that. In fact, that the BPD had got probable cause is one of the few undisputed aspects of this case - I don't think even AH seriously contested this. Certainly, LE all over the US seems to have agreed that they had probable cause.

    Or am I going loopy?
     
  14. Holdontoyourhat

    Holdontoyourhat Former Member

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    Maybe.

    Slightly less ambiguous than RDI's pocket-guide to probable cause, LE and judges are probably looking for stuff like this:

    PR files for divorce, weeks prior to the murder, or
    JBR's pediatrician notes suspicious injury prior to the murder, or
    a hundred other things prior to the murder that would establish any kind of motive, or
    sharpie ink stain, blood stain, or paintbrush shard anywhere on R skin or clothing, or
    scratch injury to JR or PR face, arm, or hands.

    See what I mean?


    .
     
  15. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    We've been over the "prior" issue a hundred times. There is always a FIRST time. JB's vaginal injuries WERE a prior. But her own pediatrician admitted he never performed an internal pelvic exam. So he wouldn't have seen them.
     
  16. JMO8778

    JMO8778 ..at the beach!

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    SD,after JR passes on,can one or either parent be declared the killer,and the case closed?? (based on what evidence LE has now, irregardless of whether anymore is discovered or not).

    barring that,would confessions from one or more of those with inside knowledge be enough to close it,after JR passes on?? obviously there are others with inside knowledge (like ppl whom were called before the 911 call),who may be afraid to come fwd at this point.
     
  17. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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  18. JMO8778

    JMO8778 ..at the beach!

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    as far as pen marks go,Patsy would have had plenty of time to wash those off.and the house was said to smell like bleach..it's not hard to think she might have used some to get what,if any,residual marks might be on her.IMO she likely wore gloves to write it anyway.
     
  19. Holdontoyourhat

    Holdontoyourhat Former Member

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    Hard evidential stuff is what got all those other kidnappers. It was typewriters, glasses, dead ringer handwriting, marked bills, and stuff like that. It wasn't fiber from somebody's clothing who lived in the same house. It wasn't how they behaved after they were placed under 'an umbrella'.
     
  20. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    Damn right I have.

    Oh, yeah??? I figured that would be your answer. So I came prepared. ALex Hunter himself has said why he refused, and he agrees with me. The way he phrased it was "yes, they could have arrested, but once an arrest is made, the clock is ticking."

    Look, HOTYH, I don't deny that what you say is probably true in most places in America. But that's kind of the point I'm trying to make: comparing the DA's office in Boulder to the DA's office in, say, Los Angeles, Miami, or even my home town is like comparing pig droppings to chocolate ice cream.
     
  21. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    They DID, Sophie.

    THANK you!

    Exactly right.

    Right, again.

    You're hitting them out of the park, today.

    :clap::clap::clap:

    :clap:

    :clap::clap: Sophie, even I am in awe.
     

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