Respect Must Be Earned
Eighteen year old Jordan Davis was gunned down and murdered in Florida by a racist Michael Dunn. Dunn was offended by loud rap music being played in a Dodge Durango occupied by four black teenagers, one of which was Davis. When Jordan mouthed off to Dunn and refused to turn the music down, Dunn retrieved a gun from his glove compartment, took it out of the holster and fired 10 times at Jordan and the other teens in the SUV. Jordan died from gunshot wounds. Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted murder on the other teens in the car but the jury failed to come to a consensus on the charge of murder for Jordan because three depraved-minded jurors bought into Dunn's ridiculous claims that he was defending his life. These jurors should be labeled as accomplices for aiding and abetting Dunn in the murder of Jordan. Predictably, legal analysts and many in the news media stated the overused cliché that we should "respect the verdict". While we can respect the hard work and effort of the jury, we cannot respect the fact that three jurors could not reconcile that if Dunn was depraved enough to attempt murdering three other teens that he didn't intentionally murder Jordan. This verdict leads to the conclusion that if Jordan was alone in the SUV, like Trayvon was when George Zimmerman murdered him, the jury still would not have reached a verdict of guilty for the murder of Jordan. Another life of a black teen snuffed out by a depraved white man with racial hatred in his heart. Please don't ask us to respect a verdict that did not respect the life of Jordan Davis. Jordan is DEAD! He is DEAD! Jordan's mother and father are desperately grieving the loss of their DEAD son! Any rationalization or recommendation that we should respect a verdict that did not render justice for Jordan is akin to respecting wrong. Sorry, but many of us just can't do that!
By saying that we respect a wrong verdict is virtually admitting that the jury got it right even when Dunn admitted to killing Jordan. His self-defense argument was a complete and utter joke. Another famous and fallacious U.S. cliché' that is commonly stated is that "We have the best justice system in the world". Give me a break! That is absolutely comical. Are they selling snake oil or something? I would like someone to tell me how that determination was made. What performance metric did they use to achieve the measure of best? Was there a justice system Olympics and the United States won gold? How can we improve our justice system if we are so narcissistic and arrogant to think we have the best justice system in the world when we respect a verdict where a teen is murdered over playing loud music and the perpetrator is not convicted? Wrongful convictions abound in the United States and I have yet to see a commission or congressional judiciary committees investigate why innocent American citizens are wrongfully losing their life and liberty or even why our justice system is failing people like Trayvon, Jordan and the IRP6.
Our press doesn't have the courage to even question why these wrongful convictions are occurring or hold government officials accountable. Our lawmakers, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder really aren't concerned in dealing with the failings of our justice system, wrongful convictions or errant verdicts. Perpetrators are getting away with murder, prosecutors and judges are maliciously abusing the judicial process to gain wrongful convictions and jurors don't fully understand their role and responsibility. The U.S. needs to get off of its self-righteous soap-box and make changes to our justice system to actually make it the best in the world. I and my friends of the IRP6 are wrongly convicted and currently sit in prison thanks to the "best justice system in the world". The jury didn't get it right in our case but they are not to blame. Judge Christine M. Arguello, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch orchestrated our wrongful conviction through their manipulations at our trial. Juries need to be informed of their authority, their rights and their responsibilities to avoid being wrongly influenced by masterful legal thespians and showmen that perform daily in many of our courtrooms.
I believe many juries, as in Trayvon's and Jordan's trials, are too busy over-analyzing granular facets of the letter of the law until they choke out their responsibility to consider the spirit of the law --- considerations like the reasonableness of the conduct of the defendant and common sense. Post-trial interviews and/or the verdicts in Trayvon's and Jordan's trials indicated that the juries concluded that the behavior of the Zimmerman and Dunn was not reasonable given the facts and evidence presented. Jurors are supposed to render a verdict based on their conscience after hearing the evidence and fact's and applying it to the law in a common sense fashion as they understand it. They should not be engaging in a deep technical analysis of the letter of law. I believe jurors in the IRP6 case were overwhelmed by the amplification of incongruent and irrelevant information brought by the prosecutor until they got confused and lost focus on what the case was actually about and what needed to be proven. It didn't help matters that Judge Arguello did not allow us to present a complete defense and refused to allow our evidence into the jury room.
Government staffing company witnesses repeatedly stated during the IRP6 trial that they were induced into doing business based on alleged false statements from the IRP6 that they had a government contract, but on cross-examination they were not personally responsible for making the decision to do business with IRP --- their credit department's based on business credit reports and credit applications made the decision do business with IRP. Many witnesses also alluded to the fact they were not certain a false statement was made about having a contract, but they assumed or thought IRP had contract. The law states that for a false statement to be material, it must be capable of influencing the decision of the decision-making body. Why did staffing company witnesses lie that they were induced into making a decision when they were not even the decision-maker? Why did jurors convict when court records show these inconsistencies and outright lies by government witnesses? A Just Cause spoke to a juror who admitted he didn't really understand the staffing industry but was overwhelmed by the number of staffing company witnesses the government put on the stand.
A guilty verdict rendered when a juror doesn't fully understand the facts and evidence is a failing of our justice system. Why do jurors tend to award verdicts in favor of the government when they don't fully understand prosecution's presentation when the defendant has a presumption of innocence? Isn't it the burden of the prosecutor to clearly present the facts and evidence where a lay juror can understand and if they don't, didn't the prosecution fail to satisfy their burden of proof? I don't blame the jurors in the IRP6 case. Judge Arguello and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Kirsch denied us a fair trial and did not allow us to present our complete defense. Not only did they compel us to testify but Judge Arguello would not let our expert witness Andrew Albarelle to testify. Albarelle, who is a CEO of a staffing company, could have explained how the staffing industry actually works to the satisfaction of the jury. It would be an embarrassment of epic proportions to the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office if six pro se defendants were able to prevail over the government. Walsh, Kirsch and Arguello were not going to let that happen. They were going to gain a conviction at any cost, even if they had to willfully and intentionally violate our 5th Amendment rights, deny our 6th Amendment right to a fair trial, and conspire to conceal court transcripts where judicial misconduct is implicated. The IRP6 brought irrefutable facts and evidence of misconduct by Arguello and Kirsch to the media, but they refused to bring any attention to the government's abusive actions.
Isn't it interesting how the media quickly reports when the government brings charges against a citizen who committed a crime against another citizen? However, when a citizen alleges charges that the government is committing a crime against them or another citizen, the media turns a blind eye and closes their ears. Once again the government is given the benefit of the doubt in the court of public opinion in the same way juries give the government the benefit of the doubt in trial. Wasn't the freedom of the press established as a check and balance to government abuse, keep the public informed and protect the citizenry? If the media will only report government allegations against citizens and not citizen's allegations against the government, one can only conclude that much of our mainstream media is state-controlled. It has been reported that 2013 was a record year of exonerations for the wrongly convicted. As I watched the news coverage of these exonerations, I can say I didn't see a single news person ask who in the government was responsible for these innocent people losing years and decades of their freedom. They don't care! They are state-controlled and will not report unfavorable news about the government. There is absolutely no other conclusion that can be drawn.
The United States does not have the best justice system in the world and I challenge any judge, prosecutor, lawyer or legal scholar to present evidence that substantiates that claim. It is my understanding that Federal Judge Junell from the Western District Court in the 5th Circuit recently received an award/plaque for handing out 1 million years of prison time over the course of his career. I am certain there are plenty of wrongful convictions as a part of that. Bravo Judge Junell! You definitely did your part to contribute to the exceptionalism of the U.S. Justice system as the world's incarceration king and their grandiose accomplishment of housing 25% of world's prison population. The federal government also touts a 98% conviction rate as proof of the being the best in the world. Nobody is that good in any business or career without doing something illegal. Bernie Madoff was found to be fraud when his returns were too good to be true and so is the U.S. justice system. To obtain high conviction rates federal prosecutors use threats, fear and intimidation of citizens, entrapment, bribing of witnesses for favorable testimony, concealing exculpatory evidence, concealing transcripts as in the IRP6 case, denying defendant's their right to present a complete defense as in IRP6 case, excusing illegal conduct for prosecutors and judges and more. I hope American's take a closer look at what is actually happening in our justice system and don't get drawn in by justice cliché’s that we should respect verdict' no matter what and that the U.S. has the best justice system in the world when there are no facts or evidence to substantiate that claim. It is simply not true and wrongful convictions and wrong verdicts prove that. Our justice system, judicial officials and juries aren't entitled to respect --- it must be earned.