Lacy lied in documents to Supreme Court & we can now request Ramsey Grand Jury files!

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by cynic, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. cynic

    cynic Member

    This is amazing.

    I don’t know if this is down to corruption or what exactly is going on here, but if there was a Grand Jury indictment, and I don’t see anyone contradicting it (including Bill Wise), then everything changes.

    The biggest change is that I believe the public can now request files of the GJ proceedings through the FOIA.
    I also believe that the participants in the proceeding are free to speak openly.
    Additionally, I want to know why litigation relating to PUGH v. KEENAN went all the way to the Supreme Court on the premise that there was no indictment at the Grand Jury.
    Are we to believe that none other than Mary Keenan Lacy did not know that there was an indictment???

    338 F.3d 1136
    Linda HOFFMANN-PUGH, Plaintiff-Appellee,
    Mary T. KEENAN, as District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District of the State of Colorado, Defendant-Appellant.

    No. 01-1385.

    United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

    August 6, 2003.

    William F. Nagel, Assistant District Attorney (Andrew Ross Macdonald, Assistant County Attorney, with him on the briefs), Boulder County Attorney's Office, Boulder, CO, for Defendant-Appellant.
    Darnay Robert Hoffman of New York, NY, submitted a brief for Plaintiff-Appellee but did not appear for oral argument.

    Before SEYMOUR, HOLLOWAY and EBEL, Circuit Judges.

    SEYMOUR, Circuit Judge.

    This case concerns the constitutionality of a Colorado statute governing the secrecy of grand jury investigations. Plaintiff Linda Hoffmann-Pugh worked as a housekeeper for John and Patsy Ramsey prior to the highly publicized murder of their daughter, JonBenet Ramsey. Due to her association with the Ramsey household, Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh was involved in the grand jury investigation of the murder. She now wishes to write a book about her experiences. Colorado requires a grand jury witness to take an oath not to disclose her testimony, except to discuss it with her attorney or with the prosecutor, until and unless an indictment or report is issued. The oath thereby precludes the witness from divulging her testimony even after the term of the grand jury has ended if the investigation of the crime continues. Fearing prosecution under Colorado law for contempt if she discloses her grand jury testimony, Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh sought and was granted a judgment declaring she could not be prosecuted for revealing that information. The district court held that the Colorado secrecy rules violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The state appeals and we reverse.

    * Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure 6.2 and 6.3 provide that the proceedings of the grand jury shall be secret and the grand jury witnesses must take an oath to keep their testimony secret. In pertinent part, Rule 6.2 states:

    All persons associated with a grand jury and its investigations or functions should at all times be aware that a grand jury is an investigative body, the proceedings of which shall be secret. Witnesses or persons under investigation should be dealt with privately to insure fairness. The oath of secrecy shall continue until such time as an indictment is made public, if an indictment is returned, or until a grand jury report dealing with the investigation is issued and made public as provided by law.

    Rule 6.3 provides,


    Violations of the grand jury oath are punishable by contempt proceedings. Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh testified under the Rule 6.3 oath before the grand jury that investigated the murder of JonBenet Ramsey from 1998 until October 1999, when its term ended by law. No indictment or grand jury report concerning that murder has been issued. Because there is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder under Colorado law, however, a new grand jury could consider evidence and continue the investigation. Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh wants to write a book describing her grand jury testimony about this unsolved murder, discuss it with the media, and answer questions about it from members of the public. She has not done so for fear of facing contempt proceedings for violation of the grand jury secrecy requirements.

    Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh claims, and the district court agreed, that the Colorado secrecy rules violate her First Amendment rights by requiring her to remain silent even after the grand jury ended its term without issuing an indictment or report. The district court determined that the Supreme Court's decision in Butterworth v. Smith, 494 U.S. 624, 110 S.Ct. 1376, 108 L.Ed.2d 572 (1990), was controlling and granted summary judgment in favor of Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh. The court cited Butterworth as holding that to the extent a rule or statute "prohibits a grand jury witness from disclosing his own testimony after the term of the grand jury has ended, it violates the First Amendment." Aplt.App. at 128 (quoting Butterworth, 494 U.S. at 626, 110 S.Ct. 1376).

    We review the district court's grant of summary judgment de novo. Simms v. Okla. ex rel. Dep't of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Servs., 165 F.3d 1321, 1326 (10th Cir.1999). In doing so, we view the evidence and draw reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Id. More specifically, the district court's interpretation of state rules of criminal procedure is an issue of law we review de novo. United States v. Maher, 919 F.2d 1482, 1485 (10th Cir.1990). Likewise, challenges to the constitutionality of a statute as well as the district court's conclusion as to the constitutionality of a rule are issues requiring de novo review. United States v. Bolton, 68 F.3d 396, 398 (10th Cir.1995); United States v. Castillo, 140 F.3d 874, 879 (10th Cir.1998).


    In our judgment, Butterworth does not require invalidating Colorado's grand jury secrecy rules. In Butterworth, the Court considered a Florida statute permanently prohibiting a grand jury witness from disclosing not just his "testimony" but also the "content, gist, or import" thereof. Because that prohibition encompassed information the witness possessed prior to participating in the grand jury investigation, the Court determined the statute was unconstitutional. See Butterworth, 494 U.S. at 631-32, 110 S.Ct. 1376. In making its determination, the Court distinguished its decision in Seattle Times v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 104 S.Ct. 2199, 81 L.Ed.2d 17 (1984), where it concluded the First Amendment was not infringed by a protective order prohibiting the disclosure of information obtained through judicially compelled discovery of otherwise private information. Comparing the situation in Butterworth, the Court said:

    Here, by contrast, we deal only with respondent's right to divulge information of which he was in possession before he testified before the grand jury, and not information which he may have obtained as a result of his participation in the proceedings of the grand jury.

    494 U.S. at 632, 110 S.Ct. 1376. Butterworth makes clear that the state cannot, by calling a person as a witness, prohibit her from disclosing information she possessed beforehand, that is, the substance itself of the information the witness was asked to divulge to the grand jury.

    The Colorado statute is more narrowly drawn than the Florida statute at issue in Butterworth. The Florida statute specifically precluded disclosing the "gist or import" of the testimony, which clearly encompassed the substance of the knowledge the grand jury witness had before entering the grand jury process. The Colorado statute, by contrast, speaks only in terms of "testimony". The Colorado Supreme Court has explicitly referred to this distinction in discussing Rule 6.2: "Grand jury secrecy is intended only to prevent disclosure of what transpires or will transpire before the grand jury." State v. Rickard, 761 P.2d 188, 192 (Colo.1988).

    The policy of secrecy is intended only to protect against disclosure of what is said or takes place in the grand jury room. But if a document is sought for itself, independently, rather than because it was presented to the grand jury, there is no bar to disclosure. The respondent... here is not inquiring into any facet of what is taking place within the grand jury room. Indeed, some of the documents have not yet been presented before the grand jury. Respondent asks only to see documents which have been, or may at some time be shown to a grand jury. The request is to see these documents for an unrelated and independent purpose. The secrecy of the grand jury would not be violated by this procedure.

    Granbery v. Dist. Court, 187 Colo. 316, 531 P.2d 390, 393-94 (Colo.1975) (citation omitted). Thus, the Colorado statute does not prohibit disclosure of information the witness already had independently of the grand jury process.

    Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh apparently wishes to disclose more than information she possessed prior to her grand jury testimony. In her complaint, she refers to publishing a book that "will include her appearance before the Boulder grand jury ... and recount her testimony." App., tab 2 at 3. She also refers to "questions addressed to her before the Boulder grand jury, and her answers." Id. She says she wants to relate publicly "her experience and testimony before the grand jury." Id. at 5. But as the Court recognized in Butterworth, "grand jury secrecy remains important to safeguard a number of different interests" to preserve its proper functioning. Id. Reading Butterworth in light of Rhinehart, we are convinced a line should be drawn between information the witness possessed prior to becoming a witness and information the witness gained through her actual participation in the grand jury process.

    As one treatise explains: "Butterworth does not necessarily preclude a permanent disclosure prohibition ... where that prohibition is limited to a discussion of the specific content of the witness' testimony before the grand jury as opposed to the witness' knowledge of events discussed in that testimony." 3 WAYNE R. LAFAVE, JEROLD H. ISRAEL, & NANCY J. KING, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, § 8.5(d) at 78 (2d ed.1999) (discussing Butterworth and its application in State v. Heltzel, 552 N.E.2d 31 (Ind.1990)). The treatise clarifies: "Full disclosure of the testimony could encompass information learned through the testimony, such as prosecution strategy (as indicated by the questions of prosecutors or grand jurors) and the differing perspectives of other witnesses (as indicated by those questions)." Id. at 78 n. 109. In our judgment, drawing the line at what Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh knew prior to testifying before the grand jury protects her First Amendment right to speak while preserving the state's interest in grand jury secrecy.

    We note, moreover, that there is a way for Hoffman-Pugh to free herself even from this restriction. Rule 6.9 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure permits a witness to apply to the court overseeing the grand jury for a copy of the witness' testimony and a determination that secrecy is no longer required. Colo. R.Crim. P. 6.9(b)(c). This rule provides a mechanism for Hoffman-Pugh to free herself of the restriction on her disclosure of her grand jury testimony at such time as the investigation is truly closed and the state no longer has a legitimate interest in preserving the secrecy of that testimony.

    In sum, we agree with the state that the Colorado grand jury secrecy rules, as limited by the Colorado Supreme Court in Rickard, do not preclude Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh from disclosing information she possessed prior to her grand jury appearance. Contrary to the district court, we hold that the Colorado secrecy rules do not violate the First Amendment by prohibiting the disclosure of matters Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh learned from her participation in the grand jury process, at least so long as the potential remains for another grand jury to be called to investigate an unsolved murder.

    Accordingly, we REVERSE the district court's grant of summary judgment to Ms. Hoffmann-Pugh and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

    Edited To Add...
    The path to the Supreme Court:
    SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Hoffmann-Pugh v. Keenan, 157 L. Ed. 2d 894, 2004 U.S. LEXIS 92 (U.S., Jan. 12, 2004)
    PRIOR HISTORY: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. (D.C. No. 00-D-1597).

    January 12, 2004
    Also today, the Supreme Court:
    Refused to hear a case involving the former housekeeper for the JonBenet Ramsey family who has sought to tell about her grand jury testimony in a book. The justices, without comment, refused to consider Linda Hoffmann-Pugh's free-speech challenge of Colorado grand jury secrecy rules.
    Hoffmann-Pugh worked for John and Patsy Ramsey when their 6-year-old daughter was found strangled and beaten in the basement of their Boulder, Colo., home on Dec. 26, 1996. She testified before a grand jury that ended its term in 1999 without issuing an indictment, but is prohibited from disclosing details of the testimony.
    Hoffman-Pugh has written a book, The Death of an Innocent. But her attorney told the Court that the secrecy rules have interfered with the publishing of it. Colorado lawyers told justices in a filing that the former housekeeper could still publish a book about her experiences, she just can't reveal what she told the grand jury.
    The case is Hoffman-Pugh v. Keenan, 03-661.\news.aspx?id=12448
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  2. OpenMind4U

    OpenMind4U Member

    Can I kiss you Cynic? You're mine sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. cynic

    cynic Member

    Thanks OpenMind4U, while I believe that the public has the option of making a FOIA request, it may be quashed because the case is technically still open, BUT, I can’t see any reason why those connected with the Grand Jury process would not be able to speak openly at this time.
  4. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    OMG, Cynic! My head is spinning!!!

    In 2003, four years after the Grand Jury handed down their indictment of the John and Patsy Ramsey, Mary Keenan Lacy STATED, "No indictment or grand jury report concerning that murder has been issued."

    I am speechless. Seriously. What can you say when you have caught the DA of Boulder, CO in an absolute LIE that went all the way to the US Supreme Court?!!!

    But here's the good news! We can officially request copies of the Grand Jury proceedings! OMG, OMG, OMG!!! Do you know what this means?

    Ha ha ha, get ready for some more "drama," John Ramsey! If you think the GJ leak was bad, you're in for the time of your life!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  5. OpenMind4U

    OpenMind4U Member

    Dear Tricia!!!!

    You've asked 'what to do next'? Here is your answer. Please invite legal experts to your Monday radio show and let's kick the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cynic, you are our HERO!!!
  6. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

  7. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    OK. Here is what We need to find out...since hunter did not sign the
    Indictment does that fact give Lacy an out?. I don't know.
    Thank you so much Cynic. You never cease to amaze me.
  8. OpenMind4U

    OpenMind4U Member

    Here what I found so far. Not sure if it's related to GJ specifics.

    Nowhere it's saying that omission of SIGNATURE shall be ground for dismissal of indictment. In another word, the indictment should be valid document with or without signature.

    ***** I'm sure Kolar knew about GJ indictment. And if Kolar knew then ML knew for sure. I cannot see how officer of the LAW could provide false information to the Supreme Court!!! At the minimum, ML should admit that indictment has been issued but not signed...yet. IMO, we're dealing here with FRAUD by former Bolder DA officials!!!! ******************

    Something else...

    Does BBM means that JR's camp can 'obtain transcripts of grand jury proceedings' now?!!!!!!

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2013
  9. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    But...didn't Mark Beckner state TO THE MEDIA that the case is now officially a cold case?

    Seems I remember that when Kolar's book came out, that was Beckner's response.

    I have no doubt that a private citizen has a FOIA case to obtain the same case evidence/files which Smit hauled off with Hunter's blessing some 14 years ago.

    The problem is the DA/BPD have to follow the law on that, and if they refuse, you have to take them to court. That means having legal representation and appearing in front of a Colorado judge to make your case. I.e.: money.

    I speak from experience here.

    So...anyone up for a few trips to Boulder? :gavel:
  10. OpenMind4U

    OpenMind4U Member

    KK, I wouldn't be the best candidate to appear and TALK afront of the judge:)...however, it would be my honor to help financially for someone who can travel to Boulder as our representative. I couldn't see problem if members of WS and FFJ donate to such an important task. Count me in for trip expences.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  11. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    If this has already been posted lately, sorry in advance. Seems relevant.

  12. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    I would think Charlie Brennan, as a member of the fourth estate, could file an FOIA to obtain the Grand Jury proceedings.

    However, if we're getting a group together to file it ourselves, count me in!

    I'm still gobsmacked that Mary Keenan Lacy had the nerve to state, in legal documents, that the Ramsey Grand Jury handed down no indictment. Whether Hunter signed off on the indictment means nothing. A true bill was issued by the Ramsey Grand Jury. It would be part of the case file.
  13. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    I would have no problem going to Boulder but we need to find a decent lawyer willing to help because she/he feels it is the right thing to do.
    We need to get solid legal advice before we do anything.

    Guys this could be really big.

    Oh cynic you very well could have blown this wide open.

    I LOVE IT :headbang::headbang::headbang:
  14. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    Cynic can you also post this on Websleuths?

    We have verified lawyers that post there. They might be able to help.
  15. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Ideally, someone already nearby would be the best candidate to do this. I have NEVER understood why the media hasn't gone after this already. Charlie Brennan MUST know. Carol McKinley surely knows she has standing to do so, as should Peter Boyles, etc. Once someone goes to court to force the issue, then anyone should be able to make a request for the same materials if a judge ruled in favor of the FOIA--and it's Boulder, Co., so god knows what it takes to get anyone in the justice system to actually FOLLOW THE LAW there.


    See what I mean? It's not believable that NO member of the media would already have realized the sheer INJUSTICE of that alone.
  16. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Can you call Carol McKinley and ask her about these issues? How about Doc Miller--a lawyer who knows this case well, maybe through Cookie/Judith Phillips?
  17. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    Tricia & KK, we were posting at the same time. I suggested Charlie Brennan, but I'm sure there are others who would file, like Doc Miller. I don't think anyone, who wasn't in on the Ramsey fix, knew they COULD file to get the GJ proceedings before now!

    Ha ha ha, you hear that giant sucking sound? That's 16 years of Ramsey lies and spin going down the drain! :D
  18. koldkase

    koldkase FFJ Senior Member

    Here's one article where Beckner and Garnett said...well, you can read exactly what they said:

  19. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

    Lin Wood has repeatedly lied through his horse teeth ...

    From the article KK posted:

    "There are a number of very interesting legal issues regarding the grand jurors," Wood said. "Needless to say, I intend to fully explore these issues in an effort to establish publicly the truth that the grand jury voted and voted against an indictment."

    That statement should read Lin Wood wanted to "establish publicly THE LIE that the grand jury voted and voted against an indictment."

    Now that we know the truth, why doesn't the media ask Lin Wood about his above statement regarding the Grand Jury? As the Ramsey's attorney, he would have known they WERE indicted by the Grand Jury, but Wood was determined to subvert the truth by intimating otherwise.
  20. Karen

    Karen Member

    He said he was going to look in to it but then we never heard another word about it. He must have not liked what he found.
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