ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Trials and Errors
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags "A Wilderness of Error" , "Fatal Vision" , errol morris , Jeffrey MacDonald , Joe MacGinniss , murder cases

Reply
Old 2nd June 2013, 02:44 PM   #161
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,306
Murtagh seems to have been very heavily involved in the MacDonald case. "Competent advocate successfully prosecutes man with a shedload of evidence against him" isn't much of an accolade in general though.

His involvement in Lockerbie was quite peripheral, although he did hang around at the trial and groom the relatives into believing that the Crown had the right men.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 2nd June 2013 at 02:45 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 02:49 PM   #162
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 61,537
Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
No. As always, you take what people say and twist it into something it isn't. It's dishonest and tiresome. I'm out.
I don't know why I'm bothering but I'll give it one go. What does "valid path to the facts of the Macdonald" mean if not what I interpreted it to mean?

I never claimed to have those facts. I commented on the Book TV episode and found searching for controversial evidence turned up a fair amount.

What is it you are complaining about? I found Morris credible and don't believe the claim "he's a con artist". I found the issues Morris brought up were important, mainly that police and prosecutors latch on to a single narrative and it affects their objectivity. I also found credibility in what Morris had to say about the belief the public has was tainted by a number of things.

Why did the author of "Fatal Vision" lose a lawsuit to MacDonald if that book was such a credible source of information on the case.

You have not addressed those issues. Instead you chose an ad hom argument claiming I hadn't read the books on this case therefore what I posted need not be addressed.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 2nd June 2013 at 02:51 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 03:49 PM   #163
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't know why I'm bothering but I'll give it one go. What does "valid path to the facts of the Macdonald" mean if not what I interpreted it to mean?
I'm not sure why I'm bothering either, except that I once respected your opinions, so I'll give it another go.

I never insisted that reading all the literature was the only valid path to some facts of the MacDonald case. If that is how it came across, I apologize. But it is, certainly, a better way to familiarize oneself with ALL the facts, pros and cons, than watching a single televison show with an author whose book has been widely criticized as less than credible.

Quote:
I never claimed to have those facts. I commented on the Book TV episode and found searching for controversial evidence turned up a fair amount.
That does not take into account how much or little of that controversial evidence is validly controversial. Did you research that?

Quote:
What is it you are complaining about? I found Morris credible and don't believe the claim "he's a con artist".
Yet, you are willing to believe Joe McGinniss is a con artist without reading and comparing any of the pertinent literature? You don't find that just a little hypocritical?

Quote:
I found the issues Morris brought up were important, mainly that police and prosecutors latch on to a single narrative and it affects their objectivity. I also found credibility in what Morris had to say about the belief the public has was tainted by a number of things.
Did you stop to question, or research, how valid Morris' comments were, or just take them at face value? Do you know?

Quote:
Why did the author of "Fatal Vision"…
His name is Joe McGinniss. Fatal Vision is universally considered to be one of the most comprehensive accounts of a single crime ever written, and it took McGinniss years of research and effort to accomplish it. Whether you agree with him or not, being dismissive of anyone's hard work by refusing to call them by name is simply childish. How many comparable books have you written?

Quote:
…lose a lawsuit to MacDonald if that book was such a credible source of information on the case.
And therein you reveal your own wilfull ignorance, because McGinniss DIDN'T lose a lawsuit to MacDonald. MacDonald's lawsuit cited an alleged breach of verbal contract, and did not address the validity of either the content of the book, McGinniss' conclusions or the jury's verdict. The trial resulted in a hung jury, and McGinniss' publisher elected to reach an out of court settlement with MacDonald instead of paying the possibly much higher expense of further trials.

IOW, the lawsuit was not about the credibility of the information in the book. It was MacDonald throwing a legal hissy fit because McGinniss didn't write the "I Luvs Me Some Jeffy" tome MacDonald wanted him to.

And not once during any legal proceeding, including that trial, have MacDonald or his attorneys cited a single factual error in Fatal Vision, a book MacDonald otherwise publicly screamed buried him. Not once, even when they had ample opportunity to discredit McGinniss' conclusions. Don't you have to ask yourself why not?

Quote:
You have not addressed those issues. Instead you chose an ad hom argument claiming I hadn't read the books on this case therefore what I posted need not be addressed.
Meh. Having a balanced view of the subject is helpful to any debate. You have to look at it from all sides to get there, though. It's called critical thinking.

JTF, I have to agree with Rolfe. Your posts are very difficult to read, and it discourages people from reading them. Use of the quote function would be a big plus.

Last edited by desertgal; 2nd June 2013 at 05:29 PM.
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 05:02 PM   #164
Charlie Wilkes
Illuminator
 
Charlie Wilkes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,177
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I don't know why I'm bothering but I'll give it one go. What does "valid path to the facts of the Macdonald" mean if not what I interpreted it to mean?

I never claimed to have those facts. I commented on the Book TV episode and found searching for controversial evidence turned up a fair amount.

What is it you are complaining about? I found Morris credible and don't believe the claim "he's a con artist". I found the issues Morris brought up were important, mainly that police and prosecutors latch on to a single narrative and it affects their objectivity. I also found credibility in what Morris had to say about the belief the public has was tainted by a number of things.

Why did the author of "Fatal Vision" lose a lawsuit to MacDonald if that book was such a credible source of information on the case.
McGinniss began the Fatal Vision project with the idea that MacDonald was innocent, or might be innocent, and pitched himself as the right person to help get the story out. He won MacDonald's trust and the access that came with it.

At some point during the project, McGinniss realized that MacDonald is guilty, but he continued to exploit MacDonald's trust so he could complete the book. He therefore solicited MacDonald's cooperation under a false pretext. That's what the lawsuit is about, and it is why McGinniss is under a cloud with regard to ethics. But that has nothing to do with MacDonald's guilt or innocence.

From everything I have read, MacDonald's supporters are in the same position as Amanda Knox's haters. They have constructed a vague theory from conjecture and unreliable information, but it doesn't add up, and they never try to make it add up. They avoid a detailed analysis of the crime scene. They don't claim to know what happened. Their position is that the obvious story told by the most reliable evidence must be wrong because other evidence seems to contradict it.

I watched the CSPAN clip. I notice that Morris talks about police errors and confirmation bias. These are a problem in many cases, and they are a problem in the MacDonald case. He is on safe ground.

What he doesn't talk about are the details of the crime scene, particularly the blood evidence, because that would lead him onto unsafe ground. Despite investigative blunders, and despite the fact that the investigation took place before DNA evidence became available, the police caught a huge break in the MacDonald case. All four members of the MacDonald family had a different blood type. Investigators could match every bloodstain to a specific family member. And when they did so, they were able to piece together a plausible reconstruction of what happened that night, one that matches the blood evidence, which completely undermines MacDonald's account.
Charlie Wilkes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 05:25 PM   #165
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
McGinniss began the Fatal Vision project with the idea that MacDonald was innocent, or might be innocent, and pitched himself as the right person to help get the story out. He won MacDonald's trust and the access that came with it.

At some point during the project, McGinniss realized that MacDonald is guilty, but he continued to exploit MacDonald's trust so he could complete the book. He therefore solicited MacDonald's cooperation under a false pretext. That's what the lawsuit is about, and it is why McGinniss is under a cloud with regard to ethics. But that has nothing to do with MacDonald's guilt or innocence.
It's worth noting that McGinniss does not, in Final Vision, deny that he continued to exploit that trust. BUT he does, and has always, insisted that he never promised MacDonald the book would be favorable to MacDonald, and he did have waivers signed by MacDonald that allowed him full editorial control. Of course, only he and MacDonald know the truth of the matter, but McGinniss HAS been upfront about his dubious ethics on that one point. Which lends to his credibility.

Last edited by desertgal; 2nd June 2013 at 05:37 PM.
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 08:03 PM   #166
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Kiss

This case is frequently described as being overly complex and MacDonald advocates have used this tag to jump all over the map when presenting their arguments for inmate's innocence. The reality is that this case is quite simple. As soon as MacDonald told CID investigators that he took off his pajama top after "finding" Colette on the master bedroom carpet, the ballgame was over. Why?

1) Twenty Four fibers sourced to MacDonald's torn pajama top were found under Colette's body.

2) One of those fibers was found directly under her head and was protruding from the carpet in pigtail fashion.

3) Twenty Two fibers sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on top of the master bed.

4) Six pajama fibers sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on the master bed pillow.

5) A pajama fiber was found by the headboard of the master bed. The word PIG was written on the headboard in Colette's blood. No ridge lines were found which indicated that the autor wore gloves when constructing the word.

6) A bloody pajama fiber was found entwined with a bloody head hair from Colette on a multi-colored bedspread. This bedspread was found bundled with a blue bedsheet near the closet in the master bedroom.

7) A finger section of a surgeon's glove was found in this bundled bedding and it was stained with Colette's blood.

8) Multiple pajama fibers and massive blood stains from Colette and Kimmie were found on the blue bedsheet.

9) Three bloody pajama cuff impressions sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on the blue bedsheet. MacDonald claims he never touched the blue bedsheet.

10) Two bloody pajama cuff impressions sourced to Colette's pajama top were found on the blue bedsheet. Massive blood stains from Colette and these bloody fabric impressions indicated that she had been carried in that bedsheet from Kristen's room to the master bedroom.

11) Fourteen pajama fibers were found under Kimmie's blankets. MacDonald claimed that he was not wearing his torn pajama top when he "found" Kimmie in her bed.

12) A 20.5 inch warp yarn sourced to MacDonald's pajama top was found on top of Kimmie's pillow.

13) A pajama fiber was found under Kimmie's pillow.

14) Two pajama fibers were found under Kristen's blankets. MacDonald claims he was not wearing his torn pajama top when he "found" Kristen in her bed.

15) A bloody pajama fiber was found embedded under Kristen's fingernail.

16) Four Type A blood stains that continued across a tear on MacDonald's pajama top demonstrated that Colette bled on that pajama top before it was torn.

17) Six Type A blood stains found on the face of the pocket of MacDonald's torn pajama top demonstrated that Colette bled on that pocket before it was torn from the garment.

18) The torn pajama top was found on Colette's chest and subsequent analysis determined that the stab wound pattern in Colette's chest matched the pattern of puncture holes in the pajama top. The only viable conclusion that could be drawn from this analysis is that the ice pick pierced the pajama top as it lay on Colette's chest.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd June 2013, 11:48 PM   #167
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Great Article

Enjoy.

http://www.cjr.org/critical_eye/wild...rol.php?page=1

Last edited by JTF; 2nd June 2013 at 11:51 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd June 2013, 03:12 AM   #168
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by JTF View Post
This case is frequently described as being overly complex and MacDonald advocates have used this tag to jump all over the map when presenting their arguments for inmate's innocence. The reality is that this case is quite simple. As soon as MacDonald told CID investigators that he took off his pajama top after "finding" Colette on the master bedroom carpet, the ballgame was over. Why?

1) Twenty Four fibers sourced to MacDonald's torn pajama top were found under Colette's body.

2) One of those fibers was found directly under her head and was protruding from the carpet in pigtail fashion.

3) Twenty Two fibers sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on top of the master bed.

4) Six pajama fibers sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on the master bed pillow.

5) A pajama fiber was found by the headboard of the master bed. The word PIG was written on the headboard in Colette's blood. No ridge lines were found which indicated that the autor wore gloves when constructing the word.

6) A bloody pajama fiber was found entwined with a bloody head hair from Colette on a multi-colored bedspread. This bedspread was found bundled with a blue bedsheet near the closet in the master bedroom.

7) A finger section of a surgeon's glove was found in this bundled bedding and it was stained with Colette's blood.

8) Multiple pajama fibers and massive blood stains from Colette and Kimmie were found on the blue bedsheet.

9) Three bloody pajama cuff impressions sourced to MacDonald's pajama top were found on the blue bedsheet. MacDonald claims he never touched the blue bedsheet.

10) Two bloody pajama cuff impressions sourced to Colette's pajama top were found on the blue bedsheet. Massive blood stains from Colette and these bloody fabric impressions indicated that she had been carried in that bedsheet from Kristen's room to the master bedroom.

11) Fourteen pajama fibers were found under Kimmie's blankets. MacDonald claimed that he was not wearing his torn pajama top when he "found" Kimmie in her bed.

12) A 20.5 inch warp yarn sourced to MacDonald's pajama top was found on top of Kimmie's pillow.

13) A pajama fiber was found under Kimmie's pillow.

14) Two pajama fibers were found under Kristen's blankets. MacDonald claims he was not wearing his torn pajama top when he "found" Kristen in her bed.

15) A bloody pajama fiber was found embedded under Kristen's fingernail.

16) Four Type A blood stains that continued across a tear on MacDonald's pajama top demonstrated that Colette bled on that pajama top before it was torn.

17) Six Type A blood stains found on the face of the pocket of MacDonald's torn pajama top demonstrated that Colette bled on that pocket before it was torn from the garment.

18) The torn pajama top was found on Colette's chest and subsequent analysis determined that the stab wound pattern in Colette's chest matched the pattern of puncture holes in the pajama top. The only viable conclusion that could be drawn from this analysis is that the ice pick pierced the pajama top as it lay on Colette's chest.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
The crux of the case. Can you thoroughly comprehend this, SG, and then still argue that "controversial evidence" less relevant to the bare question of whether MacDonald killed his family supports his innocence?

Of course, Norris doesn't argue that MacDonald is innocent. He argues that MacDonald is falsely imprisoned because he was "railroaded". Norris refuses to address the existence of the evidence above at all. Don't you have to ask yourself why not?

Jeffrey MacDonald has been given more opportunities to prove his case than probably any other convicted felon in America. It's staggering, the amount of times he's tried and failed. I'm curious as to what else you believe the justice system (not to mention the taxpayers paying for this ridiculous ongoing farce), in America should do to accomodate MacDonald?

And to what end? A new trial? The evidence listed above would still stand, and almost certainly guarantee a guilty verdict. Why? Because the original jury cited him guilty because of this evidence, which does not lie, not because of what you have deemed "controversial evidence". That same verdict has been consistently upheld because of this evidence, which does not lie, not because of what you have deemed "controversial evidence". He was not railroaded.

And Joe McGinniss did not attempt to con anyone with the contents of Fatal Vision and Final Vision. Maybe you could try, you know, actually reading both before passing judgement on the contents? Just a thought.

How about Colette MacDonald? Maybe we should accomodate her version of the case-the evidence cited above-instead? Seems only fair at this point.

The truth does not lie. Jeffrey MacDonald did it. He really, really did.

Last edited by desertgal; 3rd June 2013 at 04:07 AM.
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd June 2013, 11:24 AM   #169
Charlie Wilkes
Illuminator
 
Charlie Wilkes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,177
Originally Posted by JTF View Post
That is indeed an excellent summary, perfect for SG or anyone who wants to understand why the case against MacDonald is solid despite the fumbles of police and first responders.

Why do educated, intelligent people continue to support MacDonald? It's an interesting phenomenon that I have seen in a number of cases, one being that of Michael Peterson, a novelist. The evidence shows clearly that he murdered his wife, and he probably got by with murdering another woman many years earlier. But he is charming and well-schooled, just the kind of man who can beguile people like Edward Jay Epstein or Errol Morris. Peterson's supporters have secured his release from prison pending another trial. They explain the blood evidence at the crime scene as the result of an owl attack that caused the victim to fall down a flight of stairs.

Another example is Jack Unterweger, an erudite sex killer who convinced intellectuals he had reformed, and got them to support him in a successful bid for clemency. He celebrated his new lease on life by ending the lives of several women.

The most famous example of course is Roman Polanski, the poor, misunderstood rapist. But he is such a fine movie director!

It's not quite so easy to understand why highbrows rallied to the defense of James Hanratty, a cockney misfit. In that case, I think, the motivation was political. Hanratty was one of the last men to be hanged in the UK. His supporters were opponents of the death penalty who aimed to show it had claimed the life of an innocent man.

They had quite a lot to work with. The case against Hanratty was based on witness testimony, and another suspect had confessed repeatedly to the crime. Hanratty's supporters waged a campaign to clear his name, and the controversy persisted for many decades.

Finally, in 2002, Hanratty's corpse was exhumed for the purpose of obtaining a reference DNA sample. It matched semen from the rape victim's panties as well as DNA found on a handkerchief used to wrap the murder weapon. Hanratty was well and truly nailed.

But, his supporters refused to accept this finding as valid. They had invested too much in their effort to clear him.
Charlie Wilkes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd June 2013, 11:40 AM   #170
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
The most famous example of course is Roman Polanski, the poor, misunderstood rapist. But he is such a fine movie director!
I believe the continued support of Polanski has less to do with his occupation, and more to do with the fact that he is Sharon Tate's widower.
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd June 2013, 11:57 AM   #171
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,306
That linked article has a pertinent quote. MacDonald's story about the drugged-up hippies was an excuse of "the dog ate my homework" school. That's what I thought when I looked at JTF's web site, and I have to say I haven't seen anything to change my mind.

Some people need to realise that just because some police procedure wasn't correct, that doesn't mean the suspect was factually innocent.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd June 2013, 05:17 PM   #172
yodaluver28
Muse
 
yodaluver28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
I believe the continued support of Polanski has less to do with his occupation, and more to do with the fact that he is Sharon Tate's widower.
I think most people who remember Sharon Tate's murder feel for her mother, who fought hard to get the law passed allowing victim impact statements at sentencing and parole hearings in California, and her sister, who personally shows up and testifies against the release of Sharon's murderers every single time they come up for parole. RP never did any of that, he was too busy on the lamb for drugging and raping a 13 year old girl. Most if not all of the sympathy people felt towards Polanski after the murder evaporated as soon as they discovered what he'd done to that girl, which was far worse than his supporters are usually willing to admit.

The vast majority of those who support him now seem to do so because of his work as if that alone should make him above the law. Read the letters and petitions from people like Martin Scorcese and Frédéric Mitterrand, who defended him after he was finally arrested in Switzerland in 2009. All they talked about was the effect the arrest would have on an "international art icon", "artistic culture" and what not. They never said a word about Polanski's rape victim nor about Tate and her baby's murder. It was all about him. It's the same with MacDonald's groupies, the victims don't matter. They might as well have never existed, it's only the sociopath that matters because the groupies get something, however nebulous and indefinable, from them.
__________________
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. We must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind-Jedi Master Yoda.
yodaluver28 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2013, 06:05 PM   #173
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Exculpatory, My Foot

In the past 15 years, the only "new" forensic evidence put forth by the defense has been the DNA tests on 28 hair exhibits in this case. The test results were basically a wash with 5 inculpatory exhibits and 3 exculpatory exhibits. At the September evidentiary hearing, the defense was short and sweet in regards to the exculpatory nature of the 3 hair exhibits. The defense argued that unsourced hairs equals hippie home invaders. There are several problems with that specious argument.

1) None of the hairs matched the DNA profile of an intruder suspect.

2) All 3 hairs contained a club root which indicates that the hairs were naturally shed.

3) One of the hairs was a pubic hair, yet Colette was not sexually assaulted.

4) One of the hairs was allegedly found under Kristen's fingernail, but the hair was not observed at her autopsy nor was it a part of her fingernail scrapings during the original hair/fiber analysis conducted by the CID. The lone documentation of this 5mm hair occurred 6 months after the murders by CID lab technician Janice Glisson. This strongly indicates that the presence of that hair in Kristen's fingernail scrapings was due to contamination.

5) None of the hairs were bloody indicating that they were naturally shed.

6) The MacDonald residence had prior tenants.

7) The MacDonald family allowed their neighbors to use their washer and dryer.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th June 2013, 07:52 AM   #174
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,239
Originally Posted by yodaluver28 View Post
...
The vast majority of those who support him now seem to do so because of his work as if that alone should make him above the law.
....
I am in no way defending Roman Polanski. But it seems pretty clear that at the time of his crime, he had reached a plea deal that spared the victim from testifying in court. He had spent time in jail for evaluation, had been released, and expected to be sentenced to probation in exchange for a guilty plea. But he learned that the judge was planning to throw out the deal and send him to prison for years, then deport him. It shouldn't surprise anyone that he ran. Consider it "self-deportation." It's pretty clear that the case should have been handled differently from the beginning, and almost certainly would be handled differently today. Polanski later apologized to the victim and settled a civil suit with her. She herself has said she doesn't think he should go to prison. At some point a case like this -- where the victim herself is saying "Enough!" -- has to be over.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Geimer
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th June 2013, 10:58 AM   #175
Charlie Wilkes
Illuminator
 
Charlie Wilkes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,177
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I am in no way defending Roman Polanski. But it seems pretty clear that at the time of his crime, he had reached a plea deal that spared the victim from testifying in court. He had spent time in jail for evaluation, had been released, and expected to be sentenced to probation in exchange for a guilty plea. But he learned that the judge was planning to throw out the deal and send him to prison for years, then deport him. It shouldn't surprise anyone that he ran. Consider it "self-deportation." It's pretty clear that the case should have been handled differently from the beginning, and almost certainly would be handled differently today. Polanski later apologized to the victim and settled a civil suit with her. She herself has said she doesn't think he should go to prison. At some point a case like this -- where the victim herself is saying "Enough!" -- has to be over.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Geimer
I would agree that extraditing Polanski should not be a priority for US law enforcement. It's not a good use of resources at this late date.

But I can't stomach the Hollywood hotshots who shill for this guy. A lot of ordinary people have spent 30 years in prison for what he did. Polanski's supporters seem to be arguing for a special dispensation on the basis of his talent, and I don't agree with that.
Charlie Wilkes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th June 2013, 03:44 PM   #176
Ampulla of Vater
Master Poster
 
Ampulla of Vater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North of the White Line of Toldt
Posts: 2,836
I agree about the use of the quote function; it makes the posts much more readable.

JTF, what is the deal with that bloody palm print? I read Fatal Vision years ago and have always been of the belief that MacDonald is as guilty as they come, but I have never heard of that palm print before.
Ampulla of Vater is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th June 2013, 04:02 PM   #177
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
No Evidence Of A Bloody Palm Print

In 1997, MacDonald's advocates put forth the claim that an unidentified bloody palm print was found on the footboard of the master bed. CID Exhibit D-270 states "Red-brown stain from left edge of bed footboard in east bedroom," and Exhibit W-5 states "one partial latent palm print on the footboard." There is not a single lab document that describes the unidentified print as a bloody palm print and if the print had any discernable ridge lines, it would have been labeled as a patent palm print. Considering that palm print samples obtained at autopsy from Colette MacDonald were of poor quality, there is a reasonably good chance that the palm print found on the footboard was Colette's.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th June 2013, 09:17 PM   #178
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Conflation

The first public mention of this alleged bloody palm print was in the updated version of Fatal Justice. Two years after the release of this book, I corresponded with FJ co-author Fred Bost via letters and phone contacts.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com/ht...ions_bost.html

In 1999, his explanation for the bloody palm print seemed reasonable to me, but the government quickly squashed that claim when they charged Bost and co-author Jerry Allen Potter with conflating two separate CID exhibits (e.g., CID Exhibits D-270 and W-5). To this day, the defense has been unable to produce a single document that states that a bloody palm print was found on the footboard of the master bed.

Last edited by JTF; 7th June 2013 at 09:20 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th June 2013, 11:05 AM   #179
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,306
Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
Yes. It's also true that anyone can be right most of the time simply by endorsing whatever allegations the authorities make.

It's true that most convictions are sound. Most criminals aren't very clever. And I think that includes MacDonald. What I find so peculiar, especially in a sceptics' forum, is the number of people who approach any discussion of a possible miscarriage of justice from the position that because most convictions are sound they can simply declare that the conviction being challenged is sound.

I mean, I've had the conversations. It comes down to, no, I don't know anything about the case or the evidence, but since most convictions are sound I'm absolutely going to call you a raving conspiracy nutter if you have doubts about one specific case.

What's that all about? "Most" is not the same as "all".

I even get the feeling that part of the purpose of this thread is to have a dig at the people who are specifically questioning the guilt of Amanda Knox, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the West Memphis Three, Lindy Chamberlain, whoever. Oh look, here's a convicted person who actually did it, what do you say to that then? Just shows how wrong you are!

And still JTF fails to make an appearance to discuss the Lockerbie conviction in an appropriate thread, despite declaring a vehement opinion about it here, where it can't be challenged.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th June 2013, 01:14 PM   #180
Charlie Wilkes
Illuminator
 
Charlie Wilkes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,177
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's true that most convictions are sound. Most criminals aren't very clever. And I think that includes MacDonald. What I find so peculiar, especially in a sceptics' forum, is the number of people who approach any discussion of a possible miscarriage of justice from the position that because most convictions are sound they can simply declare that the conviction being challenged is sound.

I mean, I've had the conversations. It comes down to, no, I don't know anything about the case or the evidence, but since most convictions are sound I'm absolutely going to call you a raving conspiracy nutter if you have doubts about one specific case.

What's that all about? "Most" is not the same as "all".

I even get the feeling that part of the purpose of this thread is to have a dig at the people who are specifically questioning the guilt of Amanda Knox, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the West Memphis Three, Lindy Chamberlain, whoever. Oh look, here's a convicted person who actually did it, what do you say to that then? Just shows how wrong you are!

And still JTF fails to make an appearance to discuss the Lockerbie conviction in an appropriate thread, despite declaring a vehement opinion about it here, where it can't be challenged.

Rolfe.
I can understand how MacDonald incites deep revulsion. He is the epitome of a lying, manipulating, self-serving sociopath. It's easy to cast Murtagh as a hero, a man whose principles and integrity are above reproach. But he might be just another lawyer who wants to win, who only cares about the truth if it serves his purpose.
Charlie Wilkes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th June 2013, 08:26 PM   #181
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
JTF also indicated that Murtagh has since exerted himself to keep MacDonald in jail. This always makes me uncomfortable. If the case is sound, it shouldn't need that level of support. There is however a danger that an unsafe case may be bolstered by enthusiastic support from a well-regarded authority figure,and an injustice perpetuated. However, as you say, MacDonald appears to be a real scumbag, so I can understand the attitude.
In fairness to Murtagh, he hasn't had much choice. MacDonald has tried every legal maneuver in the book and a few new ones to get himself freed. Murtagh made a vow to keep that from happening, and as a result, he's been forced to repeatedly exert himself in response to MacDonald's legal maneuvering. I'm sure Murtagh himself would have far preferred to see the case rest many years ago.

I know very little about the Lockerbie case, so can't comment about Murtagh's involvement, but in the MacDonald case, he does have an incredibly thorough knowledge of the myriad details of the case, and, as a result, has been the primary force behind putting MacDonald in prison and keeping him there. I don't think I'd canonize him, but he's done a fine job.

I don't have a problem with someone who questions MacDonald's guilt or innocence if they do so honestly. I do have a problem with someone like SG, who seemed to be trying to establish that McGinniss was a con artist and that Errol Morris made a solid case of wrongful conviction. She watched a single television show that favored Errol Morris, but didn't address the blood evidence Morris continues to ignore, and a few other details. In effect, she armed herself with only a portion of the facts, some erroneous, which is never a good way to debate an issue, and then scoffed at the certainty of others about the justness of the verdict.

That didn't sit well with me, admittedly.

Last edited by desertgal; 11th June 2013 at 08:32 PM.
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th June 2013, 11:23 PM   #182
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Legal Machinations

I never stated that Brian Murtagh was my idol and have been clear about my view of Murtagh as a lawyer and a victims advocate. I'm not wasting any more time on this nonsense.

It's ironic that the issue of why Murtagh is still involved in this case has been a recent topic of discussion. The defense filed a Substitute Post-Hearing Memo on 6/10/13. The defense admitted that their original post-hearing memo was filled with, "technical, formatting, and grammatical errors and omissions in the pleading."

The defense has a history of including healthy doses of "grammatical errors and omissions," in their briefs and memos. The government was supposed to file their response to the original defense memo on 7/1/13, so the defense continues to play their little games just weeks before the government can put the final legal nail in MacDonald's coffin.

This is what the government has had to deal with since MacDonald began scrubbing toilets in 1979. Murtagh has co-authored every government legal brief since MacDonald's conviction and he went before the parole board in 2005. Murtagh has won ALL of the main legal battles in this case and MacDonald was denied parole. He cannot apply again for parole until 2020.

This is simple, really. Brian Murtagh is THE most qualified DOJ lawyer to respond to the legal machinations of the MacDonald defense team. John Stuart Bruce and Leslie Cooley are outstanding lawyers, but Brian knows this case inside and out.

It will be interesting to see if the government asks for an extension on their response memo. My guess is that they want this thing to be over with and will file their memo on 7/1/13. At the September evidentiary hearing, John Stuart Bruce reminded Judge Fox that in their 1998 decision, the 4th Circuit Court stated that this case needs to come to an end.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th June 2013, 10:37 AM   #183
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Quality Of The Evidence

The good news is that Brian, John, and Leslie "get it." They were not happy with the 4th Circuit's 2011 decision, but they understand what the 4th Circuit is looking for and they want to make sure that ALL of the defense claims are thoroughly rebutted in their response memo. When Gordie threw the kitchen sink in his memo, the government was forced to debunk these claims for the 100th time because "evidence as whole" wipes out the FACT that most of those claims have been previously litigated. The government is basically saying, "Fine, you want to play that way, let's play."

In addition to Judge Fox's limited knowledge of what was presented at the 1979 trial, the government's rationale for presenting the trial evidence at the evidentiary hearing was to demonstrate the huge difference between the QUALITY of their evidence and the disjointed/unproven claims put forth by Gordie in his defense memo. The "evidence as a whole" doesn't lessen the high burden placed on the defense by the 2255, and the government has continually reminded Judge Fox that the burden of proof is on the defense. IMO, the defense failed miserably in meeting that burden.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 12th June 2013 at 10:38 AM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th June 2013, 05:18 PM   #184
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,306
Is there no facility in the USA for an independent review of a case? No alternative but to keep on setting adversaries to go up against each other?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th June 2013, 08:07 PM   #185
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Legal History

After MacDonald was convicted of three counts of murder, he has had more chances at obtaining a new trial than any murderer in history. The following is an incomplete timeline of the legal process since MacDonald's conviction in 1979.

- MacDonald spent 11 months in prison before his conviction was overturned by the 4th Circuit Court due to speedy trial issues

- MacDonald had 18 months of freedom before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 4th Circuit's decision

- In 1985, MacDonald went before the District Court to argue for a new trial and he was denied relief

- In 1990, MacDonald again went before the District Court to argue for a new trial and he was denied relief

- In 1992, MacDonald went before the 4th Circuit Court to argue for a new trial and he was denied relief

- In 1998, the defense filed several motions to the 4th Circuit Court, but MacDonald was again denied relief

- In 2005, MacDonald attempted to garner parole, but the parole board denied his request

- In 2006, the defense filed several motions to the District Court

- In 2008, the District Court Judge denied MacDonald relief

- In 2011, the 4th Circuit Court overturned the District Court's decision and ruled that the case must be judged on "evidence as a whole"

- In 2012, an evidentiary hearing took place on the issues contained under the "evidence as a whole" umbrella

- The government's post-hearing response memo is due on 7/1/13, and most legal experts feel that this is MacDonald's last shot at a new trial

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 12th June 2013 at 08:11 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2013, 11:58 AM   #186
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
The Final Legal Nail

Brilliant stuff. Time to throw away the key.

http://www.crimearchives.net/1979_ma...aring_memo.pdf
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2013, 01:40 PM   #187
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Comments on the Government's 200 page response memo.

The Government hammers away at the credibility and reliability of the claims presented in the Defense memo. They also cover the trial evidence in detail and emphasize the decisions made by Judge Dupree during the 1984-1985 appellate hearings. I found the following pieces of information to be quite interesting.

1) Jimmy Britt produced FIVE statements/affidavits. The details contained in the statements are inconsistent.

2) In his book, Errol Morris made numerous errors when referring to trial/court testimony.

3) Clarence Stoeckley had a heated discussion with Eugene Stoeckley and Kathryn MacDonald outside of the nursing home where Mrs. Stoeckley resided. Clarence did not want Eugene and Kathryn to speak to his mother about the MacDonald case, but Eugene/Kathryn persisted.

4) Britt twice lied about circumstances involving his two ex-wives. In regards to his 1st wife, he lied when he denied having a former living spouse to whom a court order had given an annuity. In order to receive a family inheritance, Britt's 2nd wife filed for divorce in 2000, but Britt lied when he maintained that he no longer had a relationship with her. Nancy Williams resided with Britt until his death in 2008.

5) The Government handled Jerry Leonard with kid gloves at the hearing, but went for the throat in their memo. They pointed out that in 1995, Leonard was censured by the North Carolina Supreme Court for his ongoing alcohol dependence issues.

6) The irony of the "evidence as a whole" is that the Defense couldn't stop the affidavit of the late Vernoy Kennedy from being introduced at the hearing or in the Government's memo. Kennedy transported Stoeckley from Pickens County Jail to Charlotte.

7) The Government wisely stressed the importance of the evidence that led to MacDonald's conviction. They combined the trial evidence, the evidence presented at the 1984-1985 appellate hearings, and William Ivory's testimony at the hearing to formulate a complete picture of the Government's massive case.

8) The Government argued that the Ken Mica sighting was overblown and used several examples to prove their point. Bernie Segal attempted to manipulate Mica into claiming that the woman on the corner was only a few blocks away, but Mica stuck to his guns by stating that she was "at least 5 country blocks away." To Mica, this translated into over half a mile. Mica also admitted that although seeing a woman alone at that hour was unsual, it was not uncommon.

9) Two unsourced black synthetic fibers used in the manufacture of wigs used for human wear were found in one of the hairbrushes, but the Government argues that the Defense ignored those fibers for several reasons. Stoeckley claimed she wore a blond wig and if the blond saran fibers were the result of Kimmie and/or Kristen brushing a doll, then one could argue that they brushed a doll with black hair. In regards to the saran fiber issue, the Government added the following 1997 quote from Judge Fox...

"MacDonald histrionically mischaracterizes both the nature and magnitude of the dispute now before the court."

10) At the September hearing, Gordon Widenhouse admitted to Judge Fox that none of the 3 unsourced hairs were bloody or showed signs of forcible removal. Widenhouse, however, claims the opposite in his memo to Judge Fox. Widenhouse presented no hair or DNA experts at the hearing nor does he provide any citations to back this flip-flop in his memo.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2013, 01:42 PM   #188
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Further commentary...

1) In regards to MacDonald's excuse for how his broken and bloody arm hair found its way in his dead wife's left hand, the Government states...

"It is hard to conceive how checking for a pulse on a dead body would result in a limb hair being broken off at the root."

2) The bloody palmprint claim was finally put to rest when the Government pointed to photos taken by the CID of the master bed footboard. The unsourced partial latent palmprint was photographed (GXP 1003) as were the two blood stains (GXP 41-42) and the photographs clearly show two contiguous, but different areas on the footboard. In other words, the palmprint and the blood stains were in different locations on the footboard.

3) The Government has rarely used the following explanation for the candle wax drippings in prior briefs, but they argue that since the MacDonalds liked candles, the wax deposits were the result of...

"candles previously lit, and either consumed entirely or discarded the remnants."

4) The statement that MacDonald's pajama top was identical in composition to his pajama bottoms is not a fact, but a hypothetical. In 1982, the Supreme Court treated it as a settled issue when pointing out that pajama fibers were found in all 3 bedrooms, but no pajama fibers were found in the living room.

5) The Government argues that when Greg Mitchell was not under the influence, he was a reliable witness, but when under the influence...

Mitchell's behavior was akin to Stoeckley and Perry in what the Government deemed a "Fatal Attraction." They knew each other, abused substances, had bouts of depression and paranoia, and were attention seekers. The relentless publicity of this case exacerbated this attraction and created a phenomenon that even MacDonald attorney Brian O'Neill acknowledged was very real. During oral arguments in 1985, O'Neill stated...

"aberrant mental patients, people who read about an event and are looking to take part in this event through this bizarre phenomenon of claiming. Wacky as it is, we know it exists."

6) In terms of the unsourced body hair found on Kristen's bed, the Government quotes Brian Murtagh at the hearing...

"the defense has failed to prove when this hair got on the bedspread. And I think that's the key issue with respect to all of the unsourced hairs, when did they get there...And it's their burden."

The MacDonalds did not have a dog, but several black dog hairs were found on the bedspread leading the Government to state that if one uses the logic put forth by the Defense, one of the intruders was a black dog.

7) For the first time, the Defense stated in their memo that the unsourced hair allegedy found under Kristen's fingernail could have been located in her hand. The Government also points out that the sourced hairs strengthen their case and are a part of the "evidence as a whole."

8) The Government concludes their memo on a powerful note stating that the Britt claim does not meet the gatekeeping standards of the 2255 and that the constitutional violation has not been proven on the merits. In addition, the unsourced hair claim does not meet the gatekeeping standards of the 2255 and has not met the "extraordinarily high burden as to merits and as a free standing claim of actual innocence..."

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2013, 03:44 PM   #189
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
More Cognitive Tidbits

1) The Government argues that the Defense, "fails to reckon with the fact that, in some instances, whether the thread or yarn came from the pajama top or the bottoms, its presence is equally inculpatory." Examples used were Colette's bloody head hair entwined with a bloody pajama fiber and the pajama fiber found embedded under Kristen's fingernail.

2) The Government also argues that adhering to the philosophy that all of the pajama fibers found in the bedrooms came from MacDonald's pajama bottoms defies logic. The Government states, "a pajama top that has approximately 5 feet of torn seams and approximately 2 feet of torn fabric, demands an explanation as to where the seam threads and fabric yarns from the top went, if not in the bedrooms."

3) Stoeckley confessed to Ted Gunderson and Prince Beasley numerous times, yet she NEVER made mention of confessing to a U.S. Marshal and/or James Blackburn. In addition, Stoeckley NEVER made mention of Blackburn threatening her.

4) The Government contends that the Defense mislabels many of their evidentiary claims in regards to the arguments put forth at the 1984-1985 appellate hearings. They add that categorizing these claims as "newly discovered evidence" does nothing to alter Judge Dupree's original rulings on these claims.

5) In regards to Cathy Perry's 1984 confession to the FBI, Judge Dupree states, "this statement is yet another example of the bizarre behavior that the case has evoked from people who for some reason find it fascinating and see themselves as having played a part in the gruesome story."

6) Since 1990, the Defense has flip-flopped several times in regards to the fibers found on the club. In some briefs, they claim that the CID misidentified two dark woolen fibers as being purple cotton threads from MacDonald's pajama top. In other briefs, they claim that BOTH dark woolen fibers and pajama fibers were found on the club. The Government contends that the latter position is the only position that is backed by documented fact.

7) In terms of the saran fiber issue, the Defense can't even get the little things right. In their post-hearing memo, they state that the hairbrush containing the saran fibers was found in the kitchen of the MacDonald home. The brush was found next to Colette's purse in the dining room.

8) The only saran wig exemplar ever produced by the Defense was a black wig found on a manikin of an Indian woman. This manikin was found in the Mexico City Museum of Anthropology and History in 1993. The Defense was unable to obtain expert testimony in regards to whether saran wigs were exported to the United States in the period 1955-1970.

9) Great quote regarding the Britt claim, "It borders on the absurd to claim now that success on the Britt claim does not require proof of a constitutional violation."

10) The only intruder suspects whose known DNA the Defense asked to test by the AFIP were Mitchell and Stoeckley. The Government argues that since no hair exhibit matched the DNA profile of either suspect, the test results were actually inculpatory. This is due, in large part, to the hair found clutched in Colette's left hand that matched the DNA profile of Jeffrey MacDonald.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th July 2013, 03:41 PM   #190
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Snakes In The Grass

I love how the Government took the time to point out that the authors of two MacDonald Was Railroaded books were prone to exaggerations, distortions, and mistakes. Fred Bost and Errol Morris were clearly authors with an agenda and the truth meant very little to them. Both men were clearly envious of Joe McGinniss as evidenced by their pot shotting chapters on FATAL VISION. McGinniss' true crime masterpiece sold over 3 million copies and was made into a television movie whereas both FJ and WOE were huge flops.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2013, 04:50 PM   #191
GT/CS
Illuminator
 
GT/CS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Inland NW
Posts: 4,751
Originally Posted by JTF View Post
The good news is that Brian, John, and Leslie "get it." They were not happy with the 4th Circuit's 2011 decision, but they understand what the 4th Circuit is looking for and they want to make sure that ALL of the defense claims are thoroughly rebutted in their response memo. When Gordie threw the kitchen sink in his memo, the government was forced to debunk these claims for the 100th time because "evidence as whole" wipes out the FACT that most of those claims have been previously litigated. The government is basically saying, "Fine, you want to play that way, let's play."

In addition to Judge Fox's limited knowledge of what was presented at the 1979 trial, the government's rationale for presenting the trial evidence at the evidentiary hearing was to demonstrate the huge difference between the QUALITY of their evidence and the disjointed/unproven claims put forth by Gordie in his defense memo. The "evidence as a whole" doesn't lessen the high burden placed on the defense by the 2255, and the government has continually reminded Judge Fox that the burden of proof is on the defense. IMO, the defense failed miserably in meeting that burden.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
Sorry, but I don't want to reread this entire thread.
John who and Leslie who?
__________________
Normal in a weird way.
GT/CS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th July 2013, 07:40 PM   #192
GT/CS
Illuminator
 
GT/CS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Inland NW
Posts: 4,751
Was Jeff McDonald's chest wound too narrow to have been made by the paring knife?
__________________
Normal in a weird way.
GT/CS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th July 2013, 08:29 PM   #193
desertgal
Illuminator
 
desertgal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,192
Originally Posted by GT/CS View Post
Was Jeff McDonald's chest wound too narrow to have been made by the paring knife?
MacDonald didn't claim the wound was made with the paring knife, but with the icepick. Actually, he didn't claim even that - just that he felt a blow to his chest, thought to himself that the intruder had thrown a good punch, and looked down to see the glint of the icepick blade in the intruder's hand. I don't believe the wound was compared to the paring knife. It was, however, a very neat, precise, and clean incision that could have been done with the icepick...or a scalpel. Uncannily precise for an intruder stabbing wildly with an icepick.

Given the relative dullness of a paring knife, wouldn't the incision have been more ragged?
desertgal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th July 2013, 09:35 PM   #194
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Types Of Cuts

At the 1974-1975 Grand Jury hearings, Paul Stombaugh testified that it was his opinion that the dull, bent Geneva Forge knife caused most of the superficial lacerations on Jeffrey MacDonald's upper body. MacDonald's torn pajama top contained only two cuts and Stombaugh concluded that both cuts were made with the Geneva Forge knife.

All of the cuts in Colette's and Kristen's pajamas were made with the straight, sharp Old Hickory knife. Colette, Kimmie, and Kristen were all stabbed with the Old Hickory knife. Colette and Kristen were both stabbed with the ice pick. The evidence suggests that Colette attempted to defend herself with the Geneva Forge knife.

In terms of the chest wound that resulted in a 20 percent collapse of Jeffrey MacDonald's lung, the depth and morphology of the wound suggests that neither the Geneva Forge/Old Hickory knife nor the ice pick was the instrument used to inflict that wound.

Three smears formed in Jeffrey MacDonald's blood type were found on the door of a closet that contained drugs, syringes, and scalpel blades. MacDonald's blood was also found on the edge of the bathroom sink leading investigators to surmise that he obtained a scalpel blade from the closet, went to the bathroom sink, and stabbed himself in the chest.

The chest wound was the only serious wound on Jeffrey MacDonald's body. His vital signs were normal upon arrival to the Womack ED and none of his other words required a single suture. The autopsy reports paint a completely different picture as Colette, Kimmie, and Kristen were killed in a brutal fashion.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 14th July 2013 at 09:38 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th July 2013, 09:47 PM   #195
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Sur-Reply

Gotta luv the legal history of this case. Despite the order from Judge Fox specifying that the Defense would file a post-hearing response memo followed by the Government filing their response memo, the Defense requested that they be allowed to file a response to the Government's 200 page memo.

Judge Fox granted their request, but stated that the Government has the opportunity to file a Sur-Reply by September 8th. The Government most certainly will file a Sur-Reply and as they did with their original response memo, John Stuart Bruce, Brian Murtagh, and Leslie Cooley will thoroughly destroy the dubious claims leveled by the Defense.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th August 2013, 07:46 PM   #196
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
History Of The 4th Circuit Court

The recent Defense delay (e.g., reply memo now due on 8/14 with Government Sur-Reply due 30 days later) reminded me of the long and winding road that is the legal phase of the Jeffrey MacDonald case. Considering that the 4th Circuit Court has allowed this nonsense to continue, I wanted to look back at their decision-making process in this case starting in the early 90's.

On February 5, 1992, oral arguments were presented to Judge Murnaghan, Judge Butzner, and Judge Russell. It was Judge Murnaghan who expressed an unease with this case, but that comment was made 12 years prior to oral arguments. The 1980 comment was in response to Judge Dupree's decision to not allow the "Stoeckley witnesses" to testify before a jury. He then added that Stoeckley's memory may have been more clear if this case went to trial in the early 70's. Freddy Kassab was so furious with the 2-1 decision rendered by the 4th Circuit Court, he constructed the following document.

http://www.thejeffreymacdonaldcase.c...980-12-19.html

Outside of Murnaghan's comment, there is no clear indication that other 4th Circuit judges continued to have an issue with the Government being able to convene a Grand Jury and/or force MacDonald to face the music at a jury trial. The reactions of Murnaghan, Butzner, and Russell to the histrionics of Silverglate/Dershowitz seemed to demonstrate that any potential unease with this case was long gone. The following is an excerpt from Fatal Justice.

Now Russell interrupted. "You don't mean to say you're charging that Mr. Murtagh told a lie, are you?" he demanded. "We are charging, and we have charged in our papers, that Mr. Murtagh engaged in a conspiracy to deflect attention away from this material," Dershowitz retorted angrily. Judge Russell tossed up a hand in apparent anger, rolled his eyes, and threw back his head in an expression of disgust. As Dershowtiz continued to argue this charge, the judge held his angry gaze steadfastly on the ceiling.

Since MacDonald returned to prison in 1982, the 4th Circuit Court has sided with the Government on all but two occasions. In 1997, they concurred with all but one of Judge Fox's rulings on a variety of issues. This lone victory for the Defense involved MacDonald being allowed to DNA test evidence in this case. The other victory was the 4th Circuit's 2011 decision to remand the case back to Judge Fox. The small victory in 1997, didn't result in MacDonald's freedom and IMO, the 2011 decision will not alter MacDonald's housing situation one bit.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 11th August 2013 at 07:49 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2013, 06:04 AM   #197
Henri McPhee
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,579
There were at least three supreme court judges who were in disagreement with the decision to prosecute Dr. MacDonald during the MacDonald appeal in about 1980/81, and not only on the grounds of him not having a speedy trial. He had the case hanging over his head ever since the Article 32 proceeding in 1970 when he was correctly cleared. This led to severe financial anxiety for him with things like legal fees, and other worry and anxiety. That's just because you are assumed to be guilty in America, and the police are too lazy and incompetent to solve difficult murders. The police are not very bright.

The North Carolina judges were biased, and so was the jury. The prosecution was dishonest and involved in forensic fraud. One of the prosecutors served time for dishonesty It was not an impartial judge and jury, and the judges were not competent and just. They had pajama fibers on the brain.

What is needed is for some good and astute detectives to investigate the real culprits, even at this late stage, and even though some of the suspects are now dead. The Army CID just disregarded leads and suspects. Dr. MacDonald can no longer afford any private detectives to do it for him. If the real culprits started squealing, and detectives found out exactly what happened, I think that would be grounds to release him from prison.

The FBI is not much help. Their investigation of the real culprits in the MacDonald case by the FBI was very superficial and cursory and amateurish. It all reminds me so much of the time the British double agent Popov warned Hoover of the FBI that Pearl Harbor was about to be attacked, and he was then disregarded by Hoover because Hoover didn't like foreigners.
Henri McPhee is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2013, 06:57 AM   #198
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 40,306
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2013, 07:34 AM   #199
coalesce
Illuminator
 
coalesce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,588
Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The FBI is not much help. Their investigation of the real culprits in the MacDonald case by the FBI was very superficial and cursory and amateurish. It all reminds me so much of the time the British double agent Popov warned Hoover of the FBI that Pearl Harbor was about to be attacked, and he was then disregarded by Hoover because Hoover didn't like foreigners.
Maybe Hoover mis-heard Popov about the the attack on Pearl Harbor and thought that Popov said the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Bailey.

Michael
__________________
"I want the kids in bed by nine, the dog fed, the yard watered and the gate locked. And get a note to the milkman NO MORE CHEESE!"

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”
coalesce is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th August 2013, 01:15 PM   #200
JTF
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 746
Henriboy's Lack Of Critical Thinking Skills

Hey, Henri. Where have you been the past several months? Your conspiracy related posts and unsubstantiated claims never get old. Not surprisingly, the Defense asked for another delay in filing their response memo. This is the 8th Defense-related delay in the past 2 years and speaks to the wide competence gap between the Defense and the Government.

The Government is always prepared and they rely on documented fact whereas the Defense relies on assumption, distortion, half-truths, and falsehoods. The merits of the evidence presented by the Government at the 1979 trial, have never been disputed by any appellate court. The only significant victories by the MacDonald camp involved speedy trial issues.

The facts speak for themselves. MacDonald was convicted due to a mass of inculpatory evidence which includes blood, fiber, hair, bloody footprints, bloody fabric/non-fabric impressions, and fabric damage. In 2006, DNA testing by the AFIP resulted in 5 inculpatory test results. MacDonald is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he is guilty beyond ALL doubt.

http://www.macdonaldcasefacts.com

Last edited by JTF; 16th August 2013 at 01:17 PM.
JTF is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Trials and Errors

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:36 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.