A Just Cause and Friends of Justice Examine Federal Court Appeal of African American Executives in Colorado; IRP6 Appeal Includes Denial of Expert Witnesses' Testimonies
A Just Cause and Friends of Justice, advocates for judicial reform to prevent wrongful convictions comments further on their investigation into the IRP6 case.
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May 10, 2013 (FPRC) -- A Just Cause continues to investigate a federal case in Colorado that involved six Colorado business executives who were convicted of mail and wire fraud charges in 2011. The six executives, who represented themselves pro se, have maintained their innocence throughout.
The six executives (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, David A. Zirpolo, Clinton A. Stewart and David A. Banks) were executives with the IRP Solutions Corporation, a software development company engaged in the development of criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement.
Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director, Friends of Justice, has been analyzing the case and compiling his findings. "The case is riddled with anomalies,” reports Dr. Bean.
"A Just Cause has looked at court records regarding expert witnesses not being allowed to testify. How did this influence the outcome of the trial and how did it factor into how the case was viewed by jurors," questions Sam Thurman, A Just Cause.
According to court records, expert witnesses for the defense were not allowed to testify during trial. Andrew Albarelle, Principal Executive Officer of Remy Corporation, a Denver-based staffing company, took the stand to testify on behalf of the defendants, but Judge Arguello dismissed Mr. Albarelle and would not allow him to testify citing the prosecution was not notified in a timely manner about his qualification and testimony. Kelli Baucom, a Denver-based recruiter, was also not allowed to testify as an expert witness on behalf of the defendants based on the same ruling of timeliness of notification.
Court records show that letters from Albarelle and Baucom were sent to U.S. Attorney John Walsh four months prior to trial. “The judge stated that the letters should have been sent directly to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirsch,” says David Banks, COO for IRP Solutions Corporation. “This demonstrates some of the challenges we had to try to overcome throughout the trial. We feel that we met the requirement by sending the list of experts witnesses to the U.S. Attorney's office,” Banks adds.
Albarelle states in his letter to U.S. Attorney Walsh (Denver), "I ask that this case be dismissed without prejudice as in review we see no activities outside the normal activities of operating a staffing firm." Baucom in her letter to Walsh stated, "...it is important to understand that the gentleman involved also lost -- these men have a dream to sell a product they created--this is the American way!...I urge you to look at this case from the perspective of a 'deal gone bad' BUT also a deal that has the potential to go right!”
Part of the defendants appeal addresses Albarelle and Baucom not being permitted to testify, as well as their letters not being permitted to be presented. "In a criminal case, the Sixth Amendment gives a defendant the right to present a complete defense," says Thurman. “The testimony and letters of Mr. Albarelle and Ms. Baucom could have been game changers,” Thurman emphasizes.
"The Court disallowed both Albarelle and Baucom’s expert testimony, finding that Appellants failed to disclose them in accordance with Fed. R. Crim P. 16 and Fed. R. Evid. 702. However, the Tenth Circuit has repeatedly recognized that the sanction of excluding a witnesses' expert testimony is almost never imposed in the absence of either a constitutional violation or a statute authorizing such exclusion. See U.S. v. Charley, 189 F.3d 1251, 1262 (10th Cir. 1999)," says Attorney Gwendolyn Solomon.
During jury deliberations the jurors asked if there was additional evidence to be reviewed. They were instructed that all evidence had been presented. "If the jury had been given the opportunity to view the letters from Albarelle and Baucom, it could have been a very different outcome," says Thurman.
“The jury didn't get to hear our expert witnesses and they didn't get to see letters that were submitted by these witnesses,” says Gary Walker, CEO, IRP Solutions. “And the jury was out of the courtroom during the arguments where we attempted to get this evidence introduced, so they didn't have the full story. It seems that their decision was based on partial information."
The case is currently under appeal based on Fifth Amendment Prohibition of Compulsory Testimony, Sixth Amendment Right to Present a Defense and Speedy Trial Act Violation.
"A Just Cause and Friends of Justice will continue our investigation into this case for the IRP6 to receive justice," adds Thurman.
For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org . For more information on the ongoing appeal or A Just Cause, contact Sam Thurman at (877) 573-5554 or visithttp://www.a-justcause.com.
Related stories: (1) Racial Bias Is the Foundation for a Federal Criminal Case Against African American Businessmen in Colorado http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10693207.htm (2) A Just Cause and Friends of Justice see Congressional Inquiry Into Missing Transcript in the IRP6 Casehttp://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10711118.htm
(Case of the IRP 6 is currently under appeal - US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492)
Note: A Just Cause is collaborating with Jabar International on the development of documentary telling the IRP Story - "What Color Is The American Dream? The IRP6 Story: An American Dream Turned Nightmare" (available on YouTube).
Send an email to Lynette Campbell of A Just Cause
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