Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Truth Doesn't Matter

The first thing we learned as Todd’s attorneys prepared for trial is that no one in the legal system is interested in truth. Certainly not the district attorney, but worse, not even Todd’s own attorney. We were under the assumption that everyone tells the truth and the district attorney and investigators examine the evidence and make an honest attempt to determine truth. It became very clear that the district attorney was only interested in building a case against Todd since he was the one they had charged; whether he committed the crime for which he was charged didn’t matter…truth didn’t matter. Convicting Todd was their only hope for resolving this case in their favor and most importantly to win. Todd’s own attorney decided how he would argue the case; it didn’t matter that his theory didn’t match the facts or that his client absolutely disagreed with this approach; Todd’s frequent comment throughout preparation was that he believed that we should be focusing on the truth, nothing else. Further, Todd’s attorney was only willing to ask questions to which he knew the answer. For example, he refused to question Lopez about hitting Todd. He stubbornly decided that Lopez wasn’t wearing a ring, so probably did not inflict Todd’s face injury, ignoring statements by Swartz that Lopez carried a box cutter which used as a fist filler would account for the cuts on Todd’s face and neck, a distance of probably 4-5 inches between cuts. Todd insisted that he would not have popped the tire if he hadn’t been hit by Lopez who then jumped in the truck and locked the door. Instead, Todd’s attorney speculated on other ways Todd might have received these cuts, leaving it open for the prosecution to argue that he was hit by Anthony Madril, which was absolutely not true; none of the persons present ever saw Todd anywhere near Anthony Madril, because he wasn’t. Further, before his case went to trial, Todd requested that his attorney set up a meeting with the prosecutor on the case, which his attorney thought was a bad idea and refused to set up. In retrospect, it appears to be a very bad idea to hire an attorney from your own county. Defense attorneys make their living by negotiating plea bargains and working with the district attorney’s office, sheriff’s department and police. Our defense attorney seemed to defer to these relationships rather than defend Todd as rigorously as he should have.


Anonymous said...

The origin of the cuts leave much on which to speculate. Are you saying the reason this account, of Lopez hitting Todd and cutting his face and neck, never appears in the testimony because of your attorney?

Has your attorney ever responded to these criticisms, and are they part of the next level of appeal?

Gloria Newmiller said...

Lopez denied hitting Todd; however, our attorneys did not press him about the fact that his cousin Charles responded to police questioning about the existence of another knife at the scene this way:

"I never saw it and it is possible that Chisum had a knife because I know he always carries a pocket knife...his knife is like one of those razor blade ones...you put a razor blade in it...it is like a box cutter type thing...fold up box cutter...as I remember, I think it was blue."

Lopez was the only person to have confronted Todd and the cuts on Todd's face were consistent with using a box cutter as a fist filler. Just as Lopez denied hitting Todd, he denied ever carrying a knife and tried to minimize his role, although he did talk about really wanting to fight with Todd and stated that Todd wouldn't engage him.

At this time we are pursuing the next level of appeals with the Colorado Supreme Court.