There are various reasons why a prosecutor may not prosecute and each case is unique.
This week, I spoke to a former prosecutor who has a razor sharp intellect. We spoke about an assault case I had investigated. For me, it was open and shut: the subject beat the victim to near death. The interview was just under two hours and in all that time, he was unable to produce a single "I didn't do it", instead, he attempted to utilize his charm and smile to disarm the detective with whom I did a joint interview with.
The detective did not buy it.
The interview came close to eliciting a confession, particularly when I focused in upon the deception, something a sociopathic personality relishes the opportunity to explain away any "seemingly" deceptive response. Liars hate to be called out on lies and since they have been relying upon quick wit to explain away any lie, since childhood, they often reach down into their arsenal of replies to quench the fire of the accusation of deception. In this case, he was unable to, and eventually turned his back towards me, and continued to smile to the detective. He was willing to cast blame upon anyone but himself, but finally I corned him with:
"Are you willing to polygraph?'
Before he had the chance to answer, the detective said, "Hey, this would be a great way to prove your innocence and help me move on to another suspect. We could prove your innocence and you would be free from this. " Since the suspect had been smiling at the detective, the detective thought this would be a good time to use the word "we" to the suspect.
"Well, how reliable are those things?", he asked.
I chimed in.
"The President of the United States relies upon them to keep him safe."
"I'll have to give that some thought", he said.
I knew from the word "that", that he was distancing himself from the polygraph and would not take it.
Eventually, the case went 'cold' in the sense that police finished the investigation, knew who did it (the suspect who refused the polygraph) and took the interviews, the forensic evidence, along with expert opinions on the inflictions of the wounds (etc) and left it to the prosecutor to get justice for the now recovering victim.
The prosecutor never did. The victim's mother was left bereft of criminal justice, which generally leads to the resolve to seek civil damages.
There are those, however, who believe that no prosecution "must mean" that he didn't do it. It does not.
This former prosecutor said that as frustrating as it may be to the general public, the prosecutor has a reason why charges have not been filed. These reasons include:
1. The prosecutor thinks he or she cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. In the above case, the former prosecutor said that since two others had access to the victim, the prosecutor fears that the defense will pick a less than intelligent jury, and 'reasonable doubt' will be established by going after the character of the other two employees who had access to the victim: neither were upstanding citizens and had their own issues. The defense will attempt to confuse the jury and cloud the issue. Rather than protect against malicious prosecution, the defense will seek a "W", that is, a "win" for their record.
2. Another reason why a prosecutor may not go forward is fear of private attorneys.
There are those who are in the prosecutorial role simply because it was their first job out of law school. This is more common than some think.
The new graduate works in the DA (or Attorney General's office) and has a new title to be proud of:
"Assistant District Attorney" or "Assistant Attorney General" and is now given cases to try. He or she must pick and choose which ones are believed to be able to win and leave those that may not be won off to the side.
When a young ADA or AGA wins a few cases and shows talent in the courtroom, it is only natural that a law firm will offer them good money to come work in the private sector. As years go by, there are three types left to prosecute:
1. Those new out of law school
2. Those who have dedicated their lives to justice and accept the much lower pay to do so;
3. and those who have been by passed by the private sector because the private sector does not believe they possess the talent to generate revenue for their firm.
A great example of one who quaked before the private sector was the Jonbenet Ramsey prosecutor who was played for a fool by the Ramsey team, who sought to make him feel "one of us" some much so, that he literally sabotaged the case by leaking information to them. Alex Hunter stands as the example of why justice can be so terribly perverted. The police were utterly frustrated and the trail of broken careers was public knowledge.
I have been involved in cases where the very first thing a state's attorney asked was, "Who is their attorney?" even before knowing a single detail of the case.
"Oh, well, let's see if they want to make a deal."
It's a tough place to be.
We often think that The Nancy Grace Show is the best place to take a case because it might help pressure the prosecution to do something.
Sometimes it may be, but sometimes it backfires.
A small town prosecutor is suddenly given a case in which the entire nation is talking about it because of The Nancy Grace Show.
The exposure brings out the Joe Tacopina's of the world of lawyers, who, with heavy resources, will stop at nothing to win a case and publicly humiliate and possibly destroy the career of the prosecutor.
True enough, some cases bring fame and fortune to the losers: just look at the failed OJ Simpson prosecution team. But in other cases, the prosecutor fears this very thing happening.
Need some examples?
Deborah Bradley was indicated for deception, specifically, in what happened to Lisa. She not only showed guilty knowledge, but indicated that Lisa would not be found alive. When this case went national, Tacopina stepped in, and even the FBI was willing to meet with him! The end result?
The fast talking, Herman Goering-like lawyer took the case off the rails and sent them home, telling Deborah Bradley that she had nothing to worry about.
Indeed, she didn't.
Baby Lisa is a good case to search here, and learn principles of Statement Analysis in this blog.
Drugs, violence, sexual perversion and...
the nerve to lie to the world...at least Billie Jean did.
With the child pornography, came the most advantageous opportunity for the prosecution to split Shawn Adkins, the fearful masking wearing pervert, from the manipulative Dunn, who's own scandal plagued attorney was unable to muzzle.
Attorney Ray Guidice said that all prosecutors needed to do was send the child pornography case over to federal prosecutors and simply wait. He said that federal prosecution of child pornography was something that the feds were highly successful at.
Don't you think that Shawn Adkins would have not only given up Hailey's body in a New York minute while contemplating the fate of child perverts in prison, but would have given feds, in exchange for protection, exactly what Billie Jean's role in the murder was?
Perverts who hide behind masks are not brave.
For whatever reason, prosecutors have still not pulled the trigger on charges, and mutterings about different counties and different people who had access to their computers did not satisfy the public's demand for justice for Hailey.
The only positive that I can think of in this case is the mountain of training material Billie Jean Dunn provided for teaching deception detection. It is considerable.
An unemployed father of two babies by two different mothers, takes out a life insurance policy against one of the two babies.
He then signals to the mother of one that he worries someone might "take" her.
The one, while left in his care, has her arm broken, and has other bruises and injuries.
Less than 6 weeks after the life insurance policy is taken out betting against Ayla's life, the father, Justin DiPietro, reports her "missing."
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
When DiPietro speaks, he is indicated for deception. He "smokes" his polygraph.
We then learn of a trail of Ayla's blood found in the basement, on his shoes, on the floor, and so forth.
He challenges Nancy Grace publicly, who takes the challenge only to find DiPietro to retreat quickly.
Ayla's family bristles with frustration over the lack of prosecution, as prosecutors were left with three adults lying to them (public statement) fearing "reasonable doubt" cast by confusing a jury by defense attorneys.
I responded that a Maine jury would not be so easily fooled. An anonymous commentator then responded to me with statistics about the jury pool in Maine.
I was the one smoked.
Heather was called for jury duty recently. She sat with about 150 other local Maine citizens and for two days, watched as attorney picked jury after jury.
She was not picked for any.
She saw one young man who had to turn his t shirt inside out because of the vulgar saying.
She saw another young man be chided by the judge to remove his hat in the courtroom, while yet another young man told the judge, "It's not a hat, it is a bandana" and was permitted to keep it.
Still another, kept calling the attorneys there, "dude" while answering questions.
A woman, after being told about confidentiality of a case, asked if it was okay if she discussed it with her therapist.
All four were chosen for jury duty.
She was stunned at those targeted for duty.
I seem to have a much better understanding, just after this two day period that she experienced, as to why prosecutors have such a tough time.
It is not always fearful prosecutors, or tough cases.
It may be the jury pool they are left with.
We are all, as a nation, scarred by this case, just as we were in the OJ jury.