Saturday, June 14, 2014

Prosecution, Guilt and Missing Justice

As readers know well, failure to prosecute does not mean innocence.  It means that, for whatever reason, the prosecutor has not filed charges, even in cases where both police and prosecution are certain the subject "did it."

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?

Baby Lisa. 

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.

Hailey Dunn

If ever there was a case that lacked the mystery of "who done it?", it was the Hailey Dunn case, in which the 13 year old was reported "missing" by her mother, who not only was deceptive repeatedly, but kept right back rushing to the national audience to pile on her deceptive answers.  Billie Jean Dunn, and her then boyfriend, Shawn Adkins, had all the elements of murder in a nice neat package:

Drugs, violence, sexual perversion and...

the nerve to lie to the 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.

Baby Ayla 

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.

Casey Anthony.

We are all, as a nation, scarred by this case, just as we were in the OJ jury.


Tania Cadogan said...

It is tragic and a damning indictment of our society that there are so many cases where there has been no prosecution yet the evidence both forensic and their own words and deeds indicate guilt and guilty knowledge.

How is it you can bring up a multitude of cases without thinking and use them to teach the principals of statement analysis, where it is clear to even the most novice reader that we know whodunnit, wheretheydunnit and more often than not whytheydunnit and even in some cases howtheydunnit, yet a prosecutor ums and ahs and twiddles their thumbs wondering if they stand a chance of winning in order to make themselves look good, rather than trying to get justice for the vitim and their family.

How many times, i wonder, has a prosecitor not gone forward with a case and the guilty party has then gone on to commit further and often more serious crimes?

perhaps we should have it so that any parole board that releasdes a rapist or killer when the indications are they will promptly do the same crime again or worse, be prosecuted for aiding and abetting.

a prosecutor when presented with evidence that shows that a jury has a good prospect of finding the person guilty and who fails to do so without good reason ( they have an expensive lawyer/ he drives a big car do not count as valid excuses) should be prosecuted.

We cannot force a jury to do the right thing or reach a logical verdict as we saw with casey anthony.
We cannot legislate against dumb juries, though it would be real tempting, perhaps have a judge only trial as done in many countries where the judge is presumed to be impartial and not swayed by fame or fortune.

Could it be we have professional jurists in the future, proven to be impartial in all things, smart enough to understand basic common sense and logical thinking.

it would prevent jury shopping so to speak where a jury is picked solely on race or gender or favorite tv show or soda or sports team.

I feel i could be an impartial jurist, i would rely only on the evidence and the words used, something statement analysis would be great for.

Anonymous said...

Mark Redwine.

GeekRad said...

You hit it on the head Peter. Prosecutors who won't take the chance on a loss. Attorneys are very skilled at selecting ignorant and emotion driven juries. Defence attorneys seldom select jurors with analytical skills.

Anonymous said...

This is OT, but when more of this story is told and the grandmother of the little girl who was allegedly asked to leave KFC because her face was "scaring other customers" talks more, can you analyze this? If Grandma has been quoted verbatim in this news article, I get the feeling that Grandma isn't telling the story the way it happened. But then again, this did happen in Mississippi, so who knows. Here's the story:

JACKSON, Miss. - A 3-year-old girl who was attacked by pit bulls in April was asked to leave a restaurant in Mississippi because her scars scared customers, the girl's grandmother told a television station there.

The family of Victoria Wilcher took to social media to call out KFC because of the treatment the family said it got in a Jackson, Mississippi restaurant.

"Does this face look scary to you?" accompanied a picture of Victoria Wilcher on the Facebook page Victoria's Victories , which documents the child's recovery from an attack at her grandfather's home in which three dogs mauled the girl, police said.

"The right side of her face is paralyzed. She's got a lot of surgeries to go through and she won't even look in the mirror anymore," Victoria's grandmother, Kelly Mullins, told WAPT-TV . "When we go to a store, she doesn't even want to get out (of the car). She's 3 years old and she's embarrassed about what she looks like. She's embarrassed, and I hate it because she shouldn't be. It ain't her fault."

Victoria hadn't felt that way until last week, when she was turned away from a KFC, Mullins said.

"I ordered a large sweet tea and her some mashed potatoes and gravy because she was hungry. She was on a feeding tube at the time, but I figured she could just swallow (the potatoes)," Mullins said. "They said, 'We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers.' (Victoria) understood exactly what they said."

Mullins said she put Victoria in the car and left and that Victoria cried all the way home.

"No matter what's wrong with a person, if a person's different, if a person's scarred, or is a different color or anything, people shouldn't be discriminated against," Mullins said. "Her being 3 years old and already being discriminated against, it makes me mad, because I know for the rest of her life it's going to be like that."

KFC officials sent an email to WAPT in response to the incident.

"KFC launched an investigation as soon as we were made aware of this report. We take this very seriously, as we have zero tolerance for any kind of hurtful or disrespectful actions toward our guests. Our investigation is ongoing, but we have been in touch with the family and are committed to doing something appropriate for this beautiful little girl and her family. We will also work with the franchisee to take appropriate action at the restaurant once the specifics of the incident are determined," said KFC spokesman Rick Maynard.

Victoria is on antibiotics and still has more surgeries ahead of her, but she's doing well, her grandmother said.

"She surprised us. I think she surprised everybody. She's a fighter," Mullins said.

Anonymous about KFC said...

I posted the KFC comment and want to clarify that I am very sympathetic to the little girl's situation. I pray this did NOT happen the way it has been presented in this side of the story, and if it did, the employees at KFC should be punished/fired. But ... I just feel like there's more to the story. Something's missing here.

Anonymous about KFC said...

And one more thing ... the comment about it happening in Mississippi was meant to be humorous -- I hope I didn't offend anyone. hehehe

elf said...

Peter, I notice you said "...and eventually he turned his back towards me, and continued to smile to the detective. " I was just wondering why you said the subject smiled TO the detective rather than smiled at?

Paul Flanagan said...

Excellent post!

Q: "Well, how reliable are those things?", he asked.

A: "The President of the United States relies upon them to keep him safe."

Brilliant answer, but you'd mark as sensitive, no? ;)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

elf said...
Peter, I notice you said "...and eventually he turned his back towards me, and continued to smile to the detective. " I was just wondering why you said the subject smiled TO the detective rather than smiled at?
June 14, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Exc pick up.

He was manipulative.

To smile "at" the detective would imply the detective was communicating something. He smiled "to" the detective; emotional attempt only from him to the detective for the purpose of being "charming."

He was not.

The detective was as disgusted by him as I was. He had a lengthy history of violence, drugs and exploitation of women.


Anonymous said...

OT: Did Miss Nevada cheat to win Miss USA by claiming residency in Nevada while living/working in California? Here are 2 quotes from Nia Sanchez, currently Miss USA regarding the accusations:

"Nothing could have been more thrilling for me than to have won the Miss USA title. I have lived in Nevada since the fall of 2012 and it was an honor for me to represent the state at Miss USA."

"[LasVegas] is my home,” she told FOX411 Thursday. “I have a house there with a friend.”

"I actually had an agent that was working me in Nevada a lot so I figured why not work in that state, and then I looked into the pageant program because I had done pageants before."

What do you think? Is she lying?
Anon J

Anonymous said...

The quote Should say working *with* me. My typo.

Anon J

elf said...

Thanks for clarifying, Peter :) I thought it might be something like that. I think its also interesting that the subject moved his body in a way to exclude you from the conversation. A subtle disparagement to you while trying to allign hisself with the detective. It would have been interesting to how the subject would have responded to an interview if you would have been working with a female detective.

shmi said...

Which one of these explains why no charges have been brought against Mark Redwine? I have not heard of any lawyer speaking for him, so I don't know if he has one.

I think Terry Horman has a high priced lawyer with connections, and that is why she isn't being prosecuted. But isn't Desiree's husband a police officer? You would think there would be someone in law enforcement that would help them.

Also, In Ayla's case, I think too much corruption, and she has dirt on someone with power.

I really want to know why M.R. is getting away with murder.

John Mc Gowan said...

Kudos to Elf :-)

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Anon J,

I find that it can be difficult at times to apply SA to a statement that has been quoted (as above) and i don't know if it is a response to a question, or, it is in the Free Editing Process.

Q. Peter, how do you address media statements, when all you have you go on is just quotes, without not know the question asked to elicit there response.?

elf said...

Thanks john :)

elf said...

On the subject of justice delayed/denied I offer the case of the BTK strangler Dennis Rader, a United States serial killer who's killing spree began in Wichita KS in 1974. His last killing was in 1991. He committed 10 murders in that 17 year period. He loved to taunt the police, who despite having mountains of evidence obtained from the crime scenes including DNA evidence, only lacked a viable suspect. Over 1300 DNA samples were taken in the search for the BTK strangler. Dennis Rader was apprehended February 25,2005. 31 years after his first set of murders (the Otero family).
31 years.
So we can't give up hope. Sometimes it just takes the right detective, or the right technology, or the right prosecutor to come along and make a difference.

Katie said...

Protecting the future and longevity of one's career probably applies across the board when injustices are overlooked. I was watching the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" with my husband. The female heroine who pinpoints the location of bin Laden told the president that she believed 100% that he was where she said he was and was ultimately found. Many men were asked, some her superiors, and they gave much lower percentages of certainty. I told my husband it was because they were in their jobs for the career and not the justice and they were protecting their careers. Whereas, she was committed 100% to the justice and put her beliefs and herself on the line.

Anonymous said...

Elf, Very true about Dennis Radar. His story shows that sociopathic repeat offenders eventually slip up and make a mistake that leads police to them. In Radar's case it was his delusional idea that the cop he had been communicating with actually wanted to be his friend and that Radar could trust him to answer him honestly when he asked if he sent them a disc made on his computer could they trace whose computer it came from? The cop said "no". Dennis believed the cop and sent him the disc which the police were able to have some information decrypted on it that showed it was made on Dennid Radar's church's computer where he was head of the congregation!!!
Very sick individual and thank God Dennis Radar "believed" the cop. John Douglas wrote that Radar had a delusional belief that that cop wanted to be his friend. Very strange.

elf said...

Like many of the criminals we analyze on this blog, rader isn't some criminal genius. He's a perfect example of dumb luck not lasting forever. Just like Billie Dunn, Shawn Adkins, Justin DiPietro, mark redwine, Terry hormam, Deborah Bradley, the mccanns, etc. -all have just had dumb luck. The lead detective of the btk task force knew that btk had left DNA evidence at the otero family slaughter in 1974 but they chose to sit on it until better technology could be used as the methods they had available then would have destroyed the only sample in evidence. Everything the detective said to btk in the years before his capture was contrived with the help of an FBI profiler to lure btk into believing he (btk) could trust that detective. That rader fell for it is a little comical, its true to the type of person he was.

Skeptical said...

May I play devils advocate. There are also the prosecutors who overstep the bounds of justice and refuse to acknowledge when they have made a mistake. If justice were always served, there would be no need for undertakings like the Innocence Project.

The arrogant Jeff Ashton comes to mind. The Tommy Ziegler case was presented on TV sometime back and there were enough indications of corruption and mishandling that it should at least be looked at. Mr. Ashton always refused to investigate.

iareaclown said...

the nerve to lie to the least Billie Jean did.
Note* You admit Shawn has not lied.

her mother, who not only was deceptive repeatedly, but kept right back rushing to the national audience to pile on her deceptive answers.
But why was she "deceptive"? For example, The cops don't want me to say certain things, but they said I could say this, blah blah blah. It was LE's lies, not her's.

the "child porn was sent to fbi to study, apparently there wasn't any child porn that could be prosecuted. And because Shawn hasn't ever *lied, we can believe him when he says it wasn't his child porn and he had no knowledge of child porn being on his electronics.

"Perverts who hide behind masks are not brave."
Shawn faced the cameras even though he was the accused and number one suspect hated by many, didn't wear a mask on tv, he was brave. He did not mask his perversions, therefore he cannot be a "pervert" by your definition.

Is wearing clown face paint considered as "wearing a mask"?

elf said...

Billie wasn't ever in the loop as far as the investigation was concerned. Especially at the beginning of the investigation AFTER the detectives caught Billie lying for Shawn saying he wasn't at her house. She got arrested for that, remember?
Billie Dunn is an old washed up murderer of her own flesh and blood. Shawn is a cowardly pervert.
Its only a matter of time.