Denver, CO, May 5, 2016 (Newswire.com) - A judicial misconduct complaint was filed on May 3, 2016 against District of Colorado Judge Christine M. Arguello and 10th Circuit Judges Bobby Baldock, Harris Hartz and Jerome Holmes. The complaint, which was filed through advocacy organization A Just Cause by pro se defendants who are known on the Internet as the IRP6, alleges that "Judges Arguello, Baldock, Hartz and Holmes "departed from proper legal standards and corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice" by conspiring with the government to make affirmative misrepresentations of facts and law in rulings and opinions." The complaint discusses how federal prosecutor Matthew T. Kirsch initiated misrepresentations during trial which was used by the judges to subvert the law in their rulings and opinions for the benefit of the government and Judge Arguello, who was accused of misconduct by the defendants.
Trial transcripts show Kirsch arguing in violation of the law that two defense expert witnesses should be excluded because the defendants failed to disclose proposed testimony of the experts based on Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The 10th Circuit discussed Rule 16 disclosure requirements in the 2009 U.S. v. Nacchio case. "A defendant is not required to file a Rule 16 disclosure unless the defendant has made a similar request of the government...and the government has complied." No request was ever made by the defendants because the government had no expert witnesses. Although Judge Arguello confirmed that "the government has tendered no expert witnesses," she, as the 10th Circuit said in their opinion, "disallowed the testimony of both expert witnesses on the grounds that Defendants failed to disclose the witnesses in accordance with [Rule 16]." However, the appellate judges, using Kirsch's misrepresentations of law, said Judge Arguello did not "abuse her discretion" or violate the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights.
Speaking about the Sixth Amendment in the 1988 case of Taylor v. Illinois, the U.S. Supreme Court said "Few rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present witnesses in his own defense." "It is implausible that these judges didn't know the unambiguous Rule 16 law or the Constitution they took an oath to uphold," says Lamont Banks of A Just Cause.
The complaint also discusses the judges using Kirsch's conjecture as justification for not reversing the conviction due to a missing portion of a sidebar transcript where defendants alleged Judge Arguello compelled them to testify against their will in violation of their 5th Amendment. Arguello denied the allegation but could not remember what she said. "I don't know what my exact phrasing was but the fact of the matter is I didn't direct you to do anything," said Arguello.
The complaint cites Supreme Court and 10th Circuit case law that says claims of prejudicial misconduct by court officials cannot be "fairly judged" without a "verbatim transcript" and when a transcript is missing under those circumstances the conviction must be reversed. "Instead of following the law, the 10th Circuit used conjecture established by Kirsch to affirm the conviction," adds Banks.
Trial transcripts show that after the defendants succumbed to Judge Arguello's compulsion and complained they were forced to testify, Kirsch suggested that the defendants could've called Special Agent Smith instead of taking the stand.
The appellate opinion shows that Baldock, Hartz and Holmes accepted that Judge Arguello told the defendants to "put one of your witnesses on or one of you will have to testify", but conjured up that the statement was a "purported directive" for the defendants to call Agent Smith as Kirsch suggested, but failing to do so, meant they volunteered to testify. Trial records, however, show before Kirsch mentioned Smith, the defendants actually complied with the purported directive theory by attempting to call another witness who failed to appear according to subpoena. "The 10th Circuit judges conveniently overlooked that fact and chose to misrepresent the facts subvert the law in their opinion," concludes Banks.
A Just Cause
Source: A Just Cause