DENVER, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had no other option under the law except to reverse the conviction of the IRP6," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "However, 10th Circuit judges Bobby Baldock, Harris Hartz and Jerome Holmes' deception and mischaracterization of facts regarding the missing transcript in the IRP6 case makes Machiavelli look like a saint," adds Banks. "Their opinion was a sham as I will explain below," says Banks.
Trial records show that on Day 11 of a federal criminal trial that took place in Denver, Colorado, six defendants known as the IRP6 repeatedly accused federal Judge Christine M. Arguello of violating their Fifth Amendment rights by compelling them to testify against their will under threat to terminate their defense. You told us during the sidebar to "put one of your witnesses on or one of you will have to testify," IRP6 defendant Gary Walker told Judge Arguello. Judge Arguello couldn't remember what she said and would not turn over the transcript.
"I don't know what my exact phrasing was, but the fact of the matter is, I didn't direct you to do anything," said Judge Arguello, according to the trial transcripts, which are public record. "For no purpose that I can see that would be served by having [the unedited transcript] at this time. I am not going to have... [it] delivered to the defendants," added Arguello. Instead of holding a hearing with the court reporter, Judge Arguello made excuses and speculated why her statements were not recorded. "For whatever reason, whether the parties spoke too far from the microphone or the court reporter took her headphones off, the court reporter did not hear everything that was said at the sidebar and therefore did not transcribe anything besides what is contained in the edited transcript," claimed Arguello.
"Unedited transcripts are generated simultaneously with edited ones and court reporters just don't stop transcribing," says Banks. "It's very suspicious that Judge Arguello didn't want to clear the serious allegation against her by checking the transcript," says Banks.
"The failure to have a record of that conversation must be laid at the feet of the court or the government," said former federal appeals Judge H. Lee Sarokin in the Huffington Post. The absence of this critical conversation, the transcript of which was called for and ordered that very day certainly creates justifiable suspicions," added Sarokin.
"According to 10th Circuit case of U.S. v. Haber a conviction must be reversed when the 'unavailability of a transcript makes it impossible for the appellate court to determine whether or not prejudicial error was committed'," says Banks. "And the U.S. Supreme Court said in the 1971 case of Mayer v. Chicago that claims of prejudicial misconduct by court officials cannot be fairly judged without a 'verbatim transcript'," adds Banks. "The appellate judges' perversion of the law and facts to cover for Judge Arguello is disturbing," says Banks.
The 10th Circuit opinion (Case no. 11-1487) said that IF Judge Arguello stated to the defendants "Put one of your witnesses on or one of you will have to testify", it was a "purported directive" for the defendants to call "non-defendant" witness FBI Special Agent John Smith to the stand and their failure to comply with the "purported directive" was a voluntary agreement to testify.
Trial transcripts show that federal prosecutor Matthew T. Kirsch mentioned Agent Smith after the defendant's lodged their complaint about being forced to testify. "Judges Baldock, Hartz and Holmes can't arbitrarily conjure up what was in the mind of Judge Arguello or what she meant when she made coercive statements," says Cliff Stewart, A Just Cause. " Nor can these judges conjure up that Arguello issued a purported directive to call Agent Smith when Kirsch suggested it after the defendants took the stand against their will," adds Stewart. "And how could the defendants possibly know what she was purporting to say?" questions Stewart. "Concocting this scheme to deny constitutional rights and send innocent men to prison may be the most despicable and impeachable judicial misconduct in the history of U.S. jurisprudence," concludes Stewart.
The IRP6 case concerns six information technology executives (David A. Banks, Clinton A. Stewart, Gary L. Walker, Kendrick Barnes, David A. Zirpolo and Demetrius K. Harper) of the IRP Solutions Corporation that have spent 4 years in prison on a 2011 wrongful-conviction for mail and wire fraud charges.
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SOURCE A Just Cause