Good Evening Everybody! This Marty from Dawg’s Blog. If you listened to the noontime report you know what happened on the Bail Hearing. I want to talk about that but will get the afternoon session out of the way first.
The afternoon session was kind of monotonous. Dr. Richard Leo was on the stand testifying. He wrote some information about false confessions, but he’s not able to talk about whether Robert Woody gave a false confession. I think he’s only going to be allowed to give his opinion on why people give false confessions. If you search Dr. Richard Leo and false confessions, he will come up on some TV shows where they talk about crimes. He is highly educated, he has a couple of doctorates and PhD. They haven’t finished this evidentiary hearing, this 402 hearing. They will finish it next Tuesday morning, they pushed the jury back one-half of a day to finish this hearing.
Dr. Leo has written a large amount of books, journal articles and there is a scientific standard for him. It was refreshing to see an expert get up there and answer questions intelligently on both sides. He is intelligent, articulate. I think he has a good basic knowledge of things. I talked to him briefly in the hallway and he seemed like a down to earth guy. He’s not afraid to be challenged, have someone ask tough questions, and he doesn’t look like he has anything to hide (like our last expert).
He talked about the methods of interviewing and interrogating. Now those are two different things. You may be doing an interview talking to a police officer out on the street. If you are in custody or at the station that is an interrogation after you’ve been arrested. He based his criteria on that. He discussed high risk interrogations where they feed the suspect questions which is happened in this case (but he can’t talk specifically about that). His research is false confessions and he has written 19 books. He was asked by Marlissa Ferreira if any of his literature is on truthful confessions? He said yes, and he went through many of them and they finally stopped him, because large parts of some of his books go into that. He started working with Oakland PD prior to them doing recordings (audio or video) he did 122 interviews where he observed the interviews in person and he’s done a large number since watching video or listening to audio. He has been cited by SCOTUS four separate times. In some of the cases that he’s been involved with, he’s testified 350 times as an expert, 250 times in California, he’s done work on thousands of cases. Some cases he was consulted, he looked at the case and didn’t want any part of it. He has testified for prosecution three times. The studies he does are common knowledge to the general public, I took that to mean he was talking about publications, internet articles and his books that are available to anybody. He talked about manipulative interviews or interrogations. He says there are different ways for officers, techniques that they use, to obtain confessions. Sometimes to beat it out of them, finesse it out of them, lie to them, it is called a ruse. Police Officers are allowed to do that (Remember that!) It’s what allows them to lie while working undercover, so it’s definitely used for that, but it is more widely used than that. It has been tested by law many times, but Police Officers are allowed to lie to you. They can say many things it doesn’t mean it’s true.
Dr Leo has studied psychological coercion, where they use psychological methods. Said some people may feel forced to make a statement, which does not necessarily lead to accurate statements.
I watched “Making of a Murderer” this weekend, all 10 episodes. Yes, I was a couch potato this weekend. It was interesting that relate to this in their interview with a 16-year-old boy, Brandon. Many people feel that boy wasn’t part of it, but he was 16 years old, wasn’t allowed to have a parent, took him out of school, lied to him and he made statements that didn’t help him. His lawyer’s kind of set him up and didn’t help him out.
His studies show people that make false admissions and why they make false admissions. One technique is over exaggeration, where they say something might happen, like in this case they told Robert Woody you’re going to get the death penalty, you are going to prison for the rest of your life, these guys are trying to put you away for the rest of your life, etc. etc. etc.
He talks about containimation. I thought this was important. Contamination is the leaking of non-public knowledge during the interrogation or interviews of the suspect. Police don’t release all information to the public, they hold details back so only people that are involved would know certain things. For instance, if someone was shot, a nonpublic detail might be the caliber gun that was used. There are certain things that only the police and the person responsible would know. So, if they are releasing that information to a subject of an interrogation that is contaminating.
He looked the Robert Woody interview, he looked at the techniques used in the interview and said they are almost all high risk. He was asked how he would know that and he said there have been studies since 1980s when there were developments in DNA testing that led to learning that people were giving false confessions.
He reviewed the transcripts and recordings used in the Robert Woody interview and he said they were high risk and he would consider them coercive. He said there were numerous statements by law enforcement officers that were high risk. There was some that he identified techniques, but he needed context, so he looked at transcripts to give him context.
I’m not going to go through all of it, it was really drawn out and long. When we came back from lunch, Marlissa Ferriera asked many questions that were confusing, and she took a very long time doing her cross examination. Dr. Leo told her at one point that these are bizarre questions, because I’m already not allowed to testify in Robert Woody’s confession. I think that set Marlissa Ferriera off, so she went into a little more question, she was asking questions within a question, and she wasn’t letting him finish his answers. So, I’m not going into all of it, but much of what she said didn’t make sense to me, so I’m sure it won’t make sense to you. The Judge looked confused often and asking her to clarify. The witness was constantly confused and asking her to clarify.
Marlissa Ferriera asked about Robert Woody, if he talked to his family. He only read the transcripts, he didn’t interview Robert Woody or his family. But he was able to work up a profile from what Robert Woody did from the transcripts. Dr. Leo’s report was in December 2017. They talked in general terms about Robert Woody’s first three interviews, 6/25/17, 7/17/12, the Body wire worn by Informant 14.3 (Miranda Dykes), but nothing specific.
Dr. Leo did look at some of the videos. He said they did use some of these techniques that could raise a false confession. Marlissa Ferriera asked if he used case law in his report (he is attorney too – highly educated guy and very willing to answer questions). He didn’t recall the case law that Marlissa Ferriera referred to, he says he does refer to case law in his reports but doesn’t recall right now if he used the cases she cited. He did talk about Robert Woody how it was involuntary. He said Marlissa Ferriera wants him to make a legal conclusion and he’s not going to do that. They discussed counsel not being present during Robert Woody first interview on March 2014. During the polygraph his attorney was in the next room, but then they lied to him about the results of the polygraph. Even though polygraphs are not allowed in court. Robert Woody thought the polygraph would exonerate him and it did, it showed Robert Woody was telling the truth. But then they lied to him and his attorney about the results.
Remember, there is nothing illegal about what those officers did. They are allowed to lie, but you cannot lie to them.
The hearing is not over and they will finish it up next Tuesday. The Jury will come in at 1:30 next Tuesday. There is no court for the rest of this week. They will finish a few other things up too. They may move Mike Maunakea back, because they have some questions they need to discuss. The defense is saying he was used as an informant to work off some “beefs” including one for his son. I don’t know details, but that is what the defense is saying.
Before I get into the motion hearing, I want to talk about one other thing. I make an effort to try to give you an even-handed review of what happened in court. I try to keep it honest and straight up, I really do. With Jim Cook I was not able to do that and let me tell you why. Jim Cook, I felt, was willing to totally sacrifice his integrity to make the amount of money that he did. My personal opinion was that Jim Cook is a “wanna be cop” who says he believes in truth, justice and putting people in jail in his mind only.
What he was willing to do in his testimony and mapping, showing different things at different points of interest. It’s why eyeballing and using a protractor are misleading, In my opinion. There are tools he could use through Google Maps that would give precise locations through GPS.
My problem with Jim Cook is what he was willing to do, plus they briefed him in so deeply to the case. (they even showed him autopsy report of Walter Walter’s Dad. Why?) This fed what he was trying to do, he was willing to do whatever they wanted him to do or say whatever they wanted him to say and so he fudged his work. I’m not going to say he committed perjury that is for someone else to decide. Maybe we should call it poor work, but he proved himself wrong. He impeached himself. What he did was improper. What he did was unethical, it was inappropriate. I’m not putting him down for lack of education in general, but he doesn’t have any experience in the proprietary field of cell phone expertise. All he did is read CDR’s and map with protractor and eyeballing it. And these are the results we get? I have a real problem with someone like that. He’s not an expert, he’s a whore, he is doing it for the money. He has no integrity, he’s arrogant, and he won’t answer questions by the defense. Jim Cook was doing it for the money. That is my opinion. So I was not unbiased with Jim Cook. I try to run it down the line on these reports. I cannot do it with Jim Cook. Dr. Leo was such a breath of fresh air. He answered defense questions and then answered Marlissa Ferriera questions on cross, when he could understand them. So that is my issue. I’m going to leave it there. It really is unbelievable that Jim Cook could even be declared an expert. There is no reason that man should ever be called to testify for anyone ever again. Hopefully when people google Jim Cook, cell phone expert, a lot of this information will come up.
So, I covered the Bail Hearing in the noontime report, but I think it’s important that we talk about it now.
So, the issues that the DA was complaining about, first came up when Marlissa Ferriera got caught talking to Mike Cooley in the hallway, during a break, when he was testifying. Nobody knew that she had talked to the Judge about it first. Cooley said he didn’t like the way they were talking to him and he wanted to leave. But they hadn’t talked to him yet, because he was still on direct examination from the DA. He was being a drama queen. When she got caught talking to Cooley in the hallway, Jai Gohel watched this happen, she threatened Jai Gohel and it started a sh** storm when he got into the courtroom. Marlissa Ferriera went on one of her patented rants. First thing she said and Judge Zuniga noted it today, that these are the most unprofessional attorneys she has ever worked with. I don’t know why she’s allowed to say these sorts of things, but no one else is. In my opinion, when Marlissa Ferriera gets caught on something, she goes into a full-on aggressive mode. When she was ranting, Judge Zuniga reacted positively when Marlissa Ferriera said the defendants OR should be revoked. Judge Zuniga is very expressive in her face and when Marlissa Ferriera mention revoking the OR, the judge perked up. So that is what Marlissa Ferriera did. They set a date for the hearing and Marlisa Ferriera filed a motion.
Judge Zuniga says Daljit Athwal was not cooperative with ABC when they came to investigate and search. She said he was passively resisting and they ended up handcuffing him, but he made a few phone calls. Judge Zuniga held that against him and said it was a violation.
When Baljit Athwal walked up and talked to Frank Carson on one or two occasions at the courthouse, she found Baljit Athwal to be in violation. There is no evidence they’ve had any personal contact outside the courthouse, no phone calls, meetings, etc. She also mentioned in Dec 2016 everything that had happened and how the DA had screwed up and she (Judge Zuniga) saved her case for her, but she didn’t mention the sanctions she promised and didn’t do. She went off a little on Daljit Athwal and Baljit Athwal.
Then she came to Frank Carson and some of things she says it is obvious she does not like Frank Carson. She kept saying thing “….cause that’s what he does”. She went on and on about Frank Carson. He is intimidating witnesses, he is trying to intimidate Kirk Bunch and she said: “I believe that, because that is what he does, he is always doing that.”
She split the baby in half like she always does. She revoked their OR (no-bail release) but did not remand them into custody. Frank Carson now has a $600,000 bail, Baljit Athwal has $250,000 bail and Daljit Athwal has $200,000 bail. They have to post bail by next Tuesday, before court.
I don’t’ think the violations were that severe, it didn’t rise to the level of giving them bail. This was more of an issue that has been created. They didn’t write reports on a year or two later on some of these so-called violations. They wrote these reports after Marlissa Ferriera mentioned them in a rant to Judge Zuniga.
Tune into the podcast at the 37 minute mark to listen to the calls that came in to the podcast tonight.