The Whites seek the release of the Ramsey indictment in its entirety

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by cynic, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. cynic

    cynic Active Member

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    Their objective is to force public disclosure, without redactions, of ALL 18 pages that Garnett submitted to the court in Brennan v Garnett last fall. Only 4 of the 18 pages were ordered released by the court, with the remainder, redacted. They are also trying to force the DA to disclose any additional records of official action in the form of indictments by the 1998-99 Boulder grand jury. On its own, the complaint may bea bit hard to follow, therefore, the pleadings and orders in Brennan v. Garnett are included with the file. Also attached is the Colorado Supreme Court's 2008 ruling in People v. Thompson.
    People v. Thompson is the law in Colorado on mandatory public disclosure of indictments in their entirety. A portion of that ruling says, “Neither does Crim. P. 7 containany requirement that only the “essential facts” be made public; to thecontrary, the entire indictment is presented in open court.”
     
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  3. bettybaby00

    bettybaby00 New Member

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    Thank you!!!

    They remain champions!

    Eta: whoa! Makes for interesting reading!!!
     
  4. Mama2JML

    Mama2JML New Member

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    The remaining 14 pages do not consist of charges brought forth by the GJ.
     
  5. Mama2JML

    Mama2JML New Member

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    Why aren't the Whites represented by legal counsel?
     
  6. Meara

    Meara New Member

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    Outstanding!! Thank you for bringing the White's Complaint + Request to the board and for posting People v. Thompson along with it so that we can appreciate just what resistance they're running into. What the heck is Garnett sitting on, and who stands to gain from keeping his backside glued to the chair? If I understand People v. Thompson, the law will ultimately compel the release of the indictments in their entirety, glue be damned. We have a right to see all 18 pages, and JonBenet deserves for us to see them. My gratitude to Fleet and Priscilla White is immense. Is there any way we can express our support or assist them, do you know?
     
  7. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    Is this the same GJ report the Ramsey's were criticizing because the whole report wasn't released. They were claiming that the stuff released was cherry picked. If so, it sounds like a be careful what you wish for situation.

    :emu:
     
  8. renah

    renah Member

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    "Mere sophistry" my asp!
     
  9. chlban

    chlban New Member

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    Well then, couldn't John just add his voice to this, even unofficially, just a statement of support? It would seem with that along with this action by the White's the DA's hand would certainly be forced.
     
  10. Charterhouse

    Charterhouse New Member

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    It sounds to me also, that they are sooner or later going to have to release the whole thing.
    Why are they still covering things?
    Yes, why doesn't JR help out here. They wanted it all released.
    Thank you Fleet White and family for sticking with this and not giving in to the system.
     
  11. questfortrue

    questfortrue Member

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    Nicely done response, Renah! People actually have to read the document to know where your reference came from.

    IIRC, JR and his criminal defense team (Letter from the big gun himself HH of the H law firm) suggested "release all of the testimony, all exhibits, all colloquy discussions between prosecutors and the GJ members." No one expected that to happen. (CO GJ secrecy statutes.) However, perhaps based on the letter to the DA from HH the judge felt it prudent to only release the 4 counts (2 each for PR and JR) to the public, IDK. http://www.forumsforjustice.org/for...dictment-must-be-released&p=195442#post195442 (post 98)

    For background, there were 9 counts presented to the GJ by the prosecuting attorney for each of the adult Rs. (18 total) The GJ had enough votes (requires at least 9 GJ members out of 12) to create a TB on 2 of the counts for each of the Rs. This was handed off to DA AH. Of course, people know the rest of the story from there. If I understand the filing correctly, it’s these other counts that the Ws are asking to review, with consideration that they are also part of an official public record, having been introduced to the GJ by a publicly appointed prosecuting attorney and considered by the GJ, even though not agreed upon. (Had it gone to trial, could some of those other counts been introduced to a jury? Perhaps that is at the discretion of a DA?)

    No one knows what other possible counts MK, prosecuting attorney, gave to the GJ to consider. These other counts have been speculated upon by some media including Peter Boyles and Craig Silverman as well as some WS posters. . .

    Anyone who doesn’t feel the agony the W family has gone through, has not listened closely to the words spoken by the children of FW and PW to City Council. Daughter D professes that JB was her best friend at the time of this crime. Also particularly poignant was their son’s explanation about starting out his life and knowing that a potential employer who googled his name would pull up disgusting websites.

    Since our opinions here vary, guessing some may dismiss the Ws as foolish in this endeavor, but no one can belittle their resolution to follow through.

    MHO
    ____________________________

    “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
    - Atticus Finch to his daughter, from To Kill a Mockingbird
     
  12. Mama2JML

    Mama2JML New Member

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    I may be mistaken, but this is my interpretation:

    There's a difference between what Mr. & Mrs. White have requested & what Mr. Ramsey requested. Ramsey sought full disclosure of the GJ proceedings with regard to this case, whereas the Whites are seeking the release of GJ records of "official action", i.e. indictments/true bills, reports, etc.

    The court ruled in favor of Brennan and the press, thus, the true bills were released. The remaining 14 (of 18) pages do not consist of charges for which the GJ indicted the Ramseys. ...according to the DA, judge Lowenbach, and the county attorney. Mr. & Mrs. White seem to believe otherwise, indicating other "official actions" of the GJ have been withheld &/or redacted.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, as I wouldn't be surprised. My discombobulated mind is still trying to sort this all out...:blushing:
     
  13. Darlene733510

    Darlene733510 New Member

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    What if they don't have those records because they were destroyed? Could it be possible? The way some of the people conducted themselves, anything is probable. This brings to mind DR. Boeuf, who refused to
    give access to certain medical records. I wouldn't put anything past these crooks.....what are they hiding that Fleet and Priscilla can't have access?
    I still have hopes that the Whites write a book, or have they been threatened with harmful circumstances if they do write one?
    What could be in the missing pages?
     
  14. Tawny

    Tawny Bye

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    Do you happen to have a source for this?

    Also, IMHO, even if they aren't more charges, each page is relevant and should be released.
     
  15. Mama2JML

    Mama2JML New Member

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    The first attachment in the OP includes the exhibits on which I relied. (I specifically attributed my statement as such, ""...according to the DA, judge Lowenbach, and the county attorney.".)

    I don't understand what you're saying, please elaborate?...
     
  16. Tawny

    Tawny Bye

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    It's a 14 page GJ document. We only saw 4. What are on the other 10 pages? They're relevant, IMO.
     
  17. Steely Dan

    Steely Dan Former Member

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    Sounds reasonable

    :emu:
     
  18. Mama2JML

    Mama2JML New Member

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    18 pages, 9 pertaining to Patsy Ramsey, 9 pertaining to John Ramsey. The 4 released pages, each signed by the foreman, represent the GJ's "official actions" in this case. As for the remaining 14 pages...

    "Curiously, the charges in each parent's unsigned indictment are listed as Count IV(a) and Count VII. Recht said that shows the district attorney presented multiple possible charges to the grand jury — likely including murder — and that these two were the only ones the grand jury could agree upon. And that, Recht said, shows why Hunter was reluctant to go forward with any of the charges."

    http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_24385866/jonbenet-ramsey-grand-jury-indictment-unsealed
     
  19. gramcracker

    gramcracker Indentured Cat Servant

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    Hunter couldn't find his backside using both hands

    as a holder of elective office he was obliged to perform the duties he sought responsibility for while campaigning. having breakfast downtown every morning with your fans and sycophants (local defense attys) is not enough. during a 4-year period with homicide charges filed in 23 cases, something is terribly wrong when all 23 homicide cases are plea-bargained

    the chief deputy DA Pete Hofstrom said it best, in '96: "I haven't tried a case this year, and I don't intend to unless absolutely necessary."

    [^^^ Steve Thomas' IRMI]

    as I've posted before: doctors, nurses, teachers, firemen, LEOs, and so many other productive members of society don't have the same luxury of refusing to do what they were hired to do (and keeping their jobs)

    the Boulder DA's office didn't care for being in courtrooms unless they were accepting pleas that were the result of backroom bargaining. obviously, they did not possess (and they feared having to rely on) courtroom skills and experience

    pfffftttttttt!
     
  20. otg

    otg Reports of my death are greatly exagerated... but

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    There are several issues here that will affect the outcome of this suit brought by Fleet and Priscilla White.

    The first challenge to making the Ramsey Grand Jury indictments public was establishing in court that, even though charges were not pursued by the DA, the charges considered by the RGJ were an "official action". This became kind of a gray area because of the situation created when Hunter refused to sign the True Bills and hid that fact behind the claim of the secrecy of GJ proceedings. Once it was learned that the RGJ did indeed return TBs, Charlie Brennan’s suit for release of the “official actions” of the RGJ was difficult for a judge to deny because of the laws in Colorado. In any event, Judge Lowenbach’s ruling established that they were (with one caveat that I’ll get to later in this post). The CO statutes specifically state that any “official actions” that are maintained by any "criminal justice agency" (in this case, the DA’s office) are subject to public disclosure -- unless there are grounds for denial. Those grounds would be if public disclosure would be “contrary to the public interest”, or if disclosure would violate another conflicting state law or court order (C.R.S. 24-72-305). Once requested, the burden of proof then falls on the custodian of the records (the DA’s office) to prove grounds for denial.

    As to what is an “official action”, C.R.S. 24-72-302 defines it as:

    (7) "Official action" means an arrest; indictment; charging by information; disposition; pretrial or posttrial release from custody; judicial determination of mental or physical condition; decision to grant, order, or terminate probation, parole, or participation in correctional or rehabilitative programs; and any decision to formally discipline, reclassify, or relocate any person under criminal sentence.

    Annotations in C.R.S. 24-72-303 (Records of official actions required - open to inspection) and in C.R.S. 24-72-304 (Inspection of criminal justice records) both specifically address whether a GJ indictment is an “official action” because the issue had been settled in the People v. Thompson case (attached above in cynic’s first post). Those statutes each state:

    A grand jury indictment is a criminal justice record of official action presented in open court, the full release of which, save the identifying information of any alleged victims of sexual assault contained therein, is not contrary to public interest. People v. Thompson, 181 P.3d 1143 (Colo. 2008).

    The mere fact that an indictment contains detailed factual allegations that would otherwise be subject to grand jury secrecy does not warrant that the indictment be sealed. People v. Thompson, 181 P.3d 1143 (Colo. 2008).Thompson, 181 P.3d 1143 (Colo. 2008).

    The only thing in the above statute that I see which may a source of contention is the wording “criminal justice record of official action presented in open court”. Since Hunter didn’t sign and present the indictments in open court as is the normal procedure, he created this hinky, gray area that will have to be determined by a judge.

    When Judge Lowenbach’s order (http://extras.mnginteractive.com/li... Release of Official Action of Grand Jury.pdf) was released, I expected the entire RGJ indictment document to be released. But instead he decided to release only the “charges” within the document that were found by the RGJ to be “true bills”. However what I questioned in his ruling was what he stated he felt (in this specific case) was what established them as “official actions” of the RGJ. In his ruling, Lowenbach says that “the only pages that are ‘official actions of’ the Grand Jury are those that are signed by the Foreman of the Grand Jury.” The problem here is that each charge is signed by the Foreman -- either in the space for “A TRUE BILL” or the space for “NO TRUE BILL”. So even though no True Bill was found on the other charges, the charges themselves were actually signed by the Foreman making them (IMO) “official actions” of the RGJ (according to Lowenbach's stated definition).

    Some may recall that I had asked a lawyer friend of mine about this specific issue in another thread (http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...enet-Ramsey%92s-death&p=10449740#post10449740). That lawyer wrote the following in response to my question:

    I do not know why Judge Lowenthal chose to release only those portions of the indictment that he did. There is really not much law in Colorado about the status of grand jury materials when the GJ votes to indict but the DA chooses not to prosecute. He may have felt that the partial release was a reasonable compromise between the competing arguments for total secrecy and total disclosure. But only he knows why he ruled precisely the way he did.

    But the issue is even more complicated in the fact that the entire document is the “indictment” regardless of whether one of its pages is signed or not; and as such, it should have been released in its entirety because the entire document is the result of the GJ’s investigation and is its only “official action”.

    Also, I should point out, while it seems at first that the emails and letters between White and the DA’s office are being “nit-picky”, all of the back-and-forth between them served a purpose. White is trying to establish several positions and facts that are required before proceeding. These things are detailed in statutes 24-72-301, 302, 303, 304, and 305. The DA’s office probably knows that and is trying to avoid giving him what he needs to proceed. But because of his persistence, White succeeded in getting the information.


    I don’t know how the Whites’ suit will be settled (or even if it will make it to a courtroom without being dismissed). There are too many issues here that are simply not spelled out in the CO statutes. Technically, I think the statutes require that the other pages be made public. The Whites want it, journalists want it, the public wants it, and even the Ramsey lawyers say that he (JR) wants it. Why not release it? The portions that have been released already tell us what the RGJ probably concluded. The other charges would simply tell us what other possibilities were considered and probably make the RGJ conclusions more apparent to those who refuse to see it. And the fact that the other charges were not agreed to by a majority of the RGJ allows enough doubt about possible guilt that they shouldn’t be considered proof of guilt. IOW, no one would be maligned by the release of the entire document and it is therefore "not contrary to the public interest".
     
  21. bettybaby00

    bettybaby00 New Member

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    I'm pretty sure JRs "release it all" stance is Ramsey speak for, "sure release it," believing it will never happen. :dunno:
     

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