WEEK 50, DAY 173






I was only able to attend the morning session today because of an important board meeting I need to attend this evening. Today, I witnesses a very desperate Marlisa Ferreira trying to find a way to discredit the work of world renowned false confession expert Dr. Richard Leo. She failed miserably, and Dr. Leo was able to defend his work while withstanding her tyrannical cross examination.

We start out this morning at 9:48AM with Marlisa Ferreira asking Dr. Leo about his Doctoral Dissertation. Dr. Leo testifies that he has witnessed around 122 interrogations that were part of his research that went into his dissertation. Dr. Leo states that all of these interrogations involved criminal investigations and is unsure of the exact number that involved homicides. Dr. Leo states that the title of his Doctoral Dissertation is Police Interrogation Techniques in the 20th Century. Marlisa Ferreira asks Dr. Leo to answer yes or no if these techniques have changed over the years. Dr. Leo states that he can’t answer the question yes or no. Marlisa Ferreira asks Dr. Leo if police interrogation techniques are often taught in college. Dr. Leo: “No.” Dr. Leo states that it is atypical for a college to offer such a course. Dr. Leo testifies that the interrogations that he witnessed in Hayward and Vallejo were all from recordings of the interrogations. He states that all of the interrogations that he witnessed in Oakland were not recorded, and he witnessed them personally. Marlisa Ferreira talks about police conduct during the interviews that Dr. Leo had witnessed that could have gotten the officers fired. She tells Dr. Leo that the police officers had become habituated by his presence and had shared with him conduct of co-workers that was questionable. Marlisa Ferreira is getting all of this from the pages of Dr. Leo’s dissertation. She tells Dr. Leo that he had written that some of the investigators had shared with him details of their own discretions. Marlisa Ferreira: “Did you publicly reveal these discretions to their superiors?” Dr. Leo: “No.” Dr. Leo testifies that he had orally promised the officers that he would maintain their confidentiality. Marlisa Ferreira digs up a line from Dr. Leo’s Doctoral Dissertation where he mentioned about a detective that had worked on a sexual assault case who had been demoted. Dr. Leo could not recall this from his dissertation. We now have a side bar.

After the side bar, Marlisa Ferreira tells Dr. Leo that he had written in his dissertation that most of the sexual assault detectives working that case had been demoted or disciplined. Dr. Leo states that he does not know exactly how many detectives were affected. Marlisa Ferreira asks Dr. Leo if he answered the telephone calls for the Criminal Investigative Department (CID.) Dr. Leo testifies that he took messages for the detectives. Marlisa Ferreira talks about how a rooky patrolman had been placed on unpaid administrative leave. Dr. Leo states that he does not remember writing about that in his dissertation. Marlisa Ferreira speaks about how Dr. Leo had written about a preliminary hearing that had been held concurrently with the trial in a certain case. Dr. Leo does not remember writing that in his dissertation. Dr. Leo tells Marlisa Ferreira that she is misstating what he had said.

Marlisa Ferreira tells Dr. Leo that the other day he had talked about Social Psychology being a branch of Psychology. She asks Dr. Leo if a Social Psychologist is still bound by the same code of ethics that a regular Psychologist is bound to. Dr. Leo: “Yes.” We now have a side bar. It is obvious that this is going to be an extended argument, and the jury is initially sent to sit by the elevators at 10:25AM. Marlisa Ferreira asks Dr. Leo when he had joined the American Psychological Association. Dr. Leo states that he joined the organization in 1998, and been a member of the association between 2017 and 2019. He states that there is no proof of educational qualifications required to join the organization. He states that he joined the organization because he wanted to attend their conferences. Marlisa Ferreira: “Do you agree that the Ethical Code of Conduct applies to you?” Dr. Leo: “No.” Judge Zuniga asks Dr. Leo why the code does not apply to him. Judge Zuniga: “As a member doesn’t the code apply to you?” Dr. Leo: “Yes.” Judge Zuniga: “Does the code apply to you in all circumstances?” Dr. Leo: “My recollection is that the code is very broad, and something about not applying in all situations.” Judge Zuniga: “Under what circumstances does the code apply to you?” Dr. Leo: “I can’t answer that question.”

Defense Attorney Hans Hjertonsson has Dr. Leo read from a section of the code. Hans: “What is your understanding of this section?” Dr. Leo states that the code applies to psychologists that administer tests. Dr. Leo states that the code applies only after a psychologist has conducted examinations. Hans Hjertonsson: “Have you provided opinions about Robert Woody?” Dr. Leo: “No.” Dr. Leo states that he does not use techniques or instruments in his work.

Marlisa Ferreira takes over and tells Dr. Leo that the code states that it applies to psychologist in educational and professional roles. She mentions a long list that includes clinical practice, research, social intervention, and forensic activities. Dr. Leo agrees that he does research. Marlisa Ferreira: “Show me anywhere in the code where it says “Clinical.” Dr. Leo states that the word “Clinical” is not literally stated in the code. Hans Hjertonsson asks Dr. Leo if the code mentions “Clinical Opinions.” Dr. Leo: “Yes.”

It is now 10:40AM, and Judge Zuniga has Dr. Leo step out of the courtroom. She instructs the bailiff to tell the jury to go downstairs to the basement to wait till they are called back up to the courtroom. Marlisa Ferreira argues that Dr. Leo said that he was involved in research, and forensic activities. She states that none of his work is therapeutic or clinical in nature. Judge Zuniga: “What point are you trying to make mam?” Marlisa Ferreira: “He should have examined Robert Woody. She states that because he did not do so this is unethical. She states that Dr. Leo doesn’t deal with the effect of interrogation on Robert Woody. She tells Judge Zuniga that she wants to tell the jury: “Look people, he doesn’t even follow his own conduct guidelines.”

Hans Hjertonsson takes over. He agrees with the preamble in the code. Hans cites pages 7 to 14. Hans states that the code states that it is not applicable to clinical evaluation. Hans states that Dr. Leo is not providing psychological characteristics of Robert Woody because he is not a Clinical Psychologist. Hans Hjertonsson states that Dr. Leo is not providing a clinical assessment of Robert Woody. Marlisa Ferreira tries to interrupt Hans Hjertonsson. Judge Zuniga yells at her: “STOP, WE ARE DONE WITH THIS.” I was watching Marlisa Ferreira. She looked like she was going to explode. Judge Zuniga asks Marlisa Ferreira where she got this code. Marlisa Ferreira: “Off the internet.” It is now 10:55AM, and Judge Zuniga tells everyone that we need to take an extended break.

It is now 11:21AM, and Judge Zuniga makes her ruling on this issue. Judge Zuniga: “Ms. Ferreira, what this code says does not apply just to clinicians.” Judge Zuniga: “It applies to research, therapy, and it applied to Dr. Leo when he was doing his study for his Doctoral Dissertation.” Judge Zuniga: “What Dr. Leo did here I disagree with you where you said he did an evaluation of Robert Woody.” Judge Zuniga: “You get tunnel vision.” Judge Zuniga: “He did not do an evaluation of Robert Woody.” Judge Zuniga sustains the objection that was made by Hans Hjertonsson. I could see Marlisa Ferreira slump in her chair.

It is now 11:25AM, and the jury is ushered into the courtroom. Marlisa Ferreira has a glum face as the jury enters past her to take their seats. Dr. Leo takes the stand. Marlisa Ferreira tells Dr. Leo that he had earlier testified that he did not inform the superiors of the detectives about the indiscretions because he had orally committed to them that he would protect their confidentiality. Dr. Leo admits that he had said this on the stand. Marlisa Ferreira: “So later on you actually published this.” This was objected to, and the objection is sustained. Dr. Leo testifies that the Doctoral Dissertation had been archived by the University of Michigan, and was not actually published like a book would be published. Marlisa Ferreira tries to tell Dr. Leo that the Doctoral Dissertation is available for $40.00 online. Dr. Leo tells Marlisa Ferreira that the book was not available for sale when he wrote the book decades ago. Marlisa Ferreira asks Dr. Leo about being on a background research committee for the City of Long Beach. Dr. Leo agrees he was on that committee. Marlisa Ferreira tells Dr. Leo that he had been issued a letter by the Chief of Police requesting him that he resign from the committee because he had a conflict of interest. Dr. Leo states the reason for this letter is that the Chief of Police had found out that he had worked for the defense in a case. Marlisa Ferreira finally gives up the ghost and has no further questions.

Defense Attorney Hans Hjertonsson takes over. He tells Dr. Leo that he had just said that it was the Chief of Police’s opinion that he had a conflict of interest. Hans: “What is your opinion?” Dr. Leo: “I had no conflict of interest.” Dr. Leo testifies that he wrote a letter to the Chief of Police and explained why he disagreed with him. He states that the committee was all about policy and was not about specific cases. Hans Hjertonsson: “Did you testify for the defense?” Dr. Leo: “Yes.” Dr. Leo testifies that the DA in Long Beach had written a letter to the Chief of Police about Dr. Leo, and he had seen the letter. Hans: “What did the letter say?” Objection, sustained. Hans: “You disagreed with the assertion that you had a conflict of interest?” Dr. Leo: “Yes.” Dr. Leo testifies that he worked for three years on this committee. Dr. Leo testifies that he did not mention any names in his Doctoral Dissertation about the officers in Oakland that he felt had committed indiscretions. Hans: “Marlisa Ferreira had stated that Robert Woody had an attorney present for his interrogation?” Dr. Leo: “Yes.” Hans starts questioning the competency of Robert Woody’s attorney Martin Baker. Hans states that Marlisa Ferreira had mentioned about Bruce Perry, who was Robert Woody’s other attorney. Hans goes into how Robert Woody had denied any involvement in the killing of Korey Kauffman and had Martin Baker with him during the interrogation. Hans brings out how Martin Baker was present on the next interrogation, and how Martin Baker had watched another interrogation through a one-way window in an adjoining room. Hans points out how Robert Woody had denied any involvement until 08/14/2015. Hans states that on this date, Dr. Leo had determined that the investigators were being accusatory and were using interrogation techniques to get Robert Woody to change his story. Hans Hjertonsson brings out how Martin Baker had made statements to CHP Officer Domby about being happy that he was not going to be forced to endure a lengthy trial, and that CHP Officer Domby had told Martin Baker that: “You have been great.” It is my opinion that Martin Baker was not acting in the best interest of Robert Woody, and simply wanted to be done with everything. It seems to me like he was willing to do anything to make his involvement in this case go away. It is my opinion that Marin Baker is a terrible lawyer. I will let my readers decide on their own about this issue. Hans gets Dr. Leo to agree that Marlisa Ferreira had asked him if Robert Woody’s interrogation had been recorded. Hans brings up the infamous bathroom break. Hans points out that before the bathroom break, Kirk Bunch had stated that they were not going to discuss the case while on the break. Hans points out that 20 minutes later, Kirk Bunch states that Robert Woody had made a statement during his bathroom break. Hans Hjertonsson: “Was the bathroom break recorded?” Dr. Leo: “No.”

Hans Hjertonsson now gets Dr. Leo to admit that he has received a career achievement award for early career achievement from the American Psychological Association. Hans now goes into an article that was written in a publication called the Death Penalty Focus. Dr. Leo had said something about police not intentionally causing false confessions, but how they get invested in the case and blind themselves to what they are doing. Dr. Leo agrees that in some cases he disagrees with that. Dr. Leo states that he has worked on up to 10,000 cases where he reviewed recorded interrogations. Dr. Leo speaks about something called illusionary corroboration that is something that is corroborated by something that is not true or real. Marlisa Ferreira has made a big point in saying Robert Woody’s statements have been corroborated by the testimony of other witnesses. When you look at the credibility of these witnesses, they do not seem to be credible at all to me. Liars, drug addicts, murderers, and thieves. That is what the prosecution’s case is all about. It is now 11:55AM, and the judge sends the jury out for our lunchtime break. She instructs the jury to be back at 2:00PM. I will be in the courtroom tomorrow afternoon to report on what I see and hear.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)



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