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Why I believe the government's case against Oswald is BS -- Part II

Gil Jesus

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There was the way the authorities handled Oswald after his arrest, using tactics that were illegal and unethical from a legal standpoint. Tactics one would not use in a normal criminal investigation where the suspect was guilty, but tactics one would use certainly in a case where they were framing an innocent man for a crime he did not commit.

Reason # 2: The way the authorities handled Oswald.

a. authorities continued to question Oswald after he had asked for an attorney, violating his Constitutional rights.
Once Oswald asked for a lawyer, all police-related activities regarding him should have come to a halt. 

“When a suspect in custody asks for a lawyer, from that point on police can not interrogate the suspect at all without an attorney present. It’s not enough to just let the suspect talk to an attorney on the phone. He has to have an attorney present if he has asked for one. That rule remains in effect the entire time the suspect is in custody.” — Jenna Solari, Senior Instructor, Federal Law Enforcemnt Training Center.

In this video, Oswald repeatedly tells the press he's being denied counsel and asks for "someone to come forward to give me legal assistance".


This was a violation of his Constitutional right to legal counsel under the 6th amendment.
In this video, as the questioning of Oswald continues, Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry admits that Oswald had previously asked for a lawyer.


b. authorities prevented Oswald from contacting a lawyer by not allowing him to make a phone call until the afternoon of Saturday, the 23rd.
Documents indicate that Oswald was not allowed to use the phone until 1:40 pm on Saturday, the 23rd.



He was allowed to make the call on Saturday afternoon, after police were confident that his chances of reaching Attorney Abt were slim to none.
Under Texas law, if Oswald did not have a lawyer by the time he was arraigned for the murder of officer J.D. Tippit, the judge should have appointed one to him at that arraignment. ( 7 H 331 )  That arraignment was at the 7 o'clock hour on Friday evening.

No such appointment was ever made.

c. Oswald was held incommunicado on the afternoon and evening of the assassination.

Marina Oswald testified that although she asked to see her husband on the 22nd, she was denied access to him by police. ( 1 H 77 )
Oswald was not allowed to speak with his family in order to prevent him from asking them to obtain a lawyer for him.

d. Members of the American Civil Liberties Union were dissuaded from speaking to Oswald

Gregory Lee Olds was the President of the Dallas Civil Liberties Union. He had been contacted by one of his board members at 10:30 pm On Friday, the 22nd, regarding Oswald’s being denied counsel.
He called the police station and spoke with Capt. Fritz, who told him that Oswald had been given the opportunity to request counsel and had not made any requests.

After deliberation, Olds and three others headed for Dallas Police Headquarters.

Olds and his party arrived on the fourth floor, where they met Charles Webster, a lawyer and professor of law at SMU, who took them in to see Capt. Glen King.
Olds testified that “Captain King ……assured us that Oswald had not made any requests for counsel.” ( 7 H 323 )

Two of the party went downstairs and confronted Judge David Johnston:
Two of the others, I believe, went downstairs to the basement where Justice of the Peace David Johnston was…… he also assured us that there had been an opportunity of–Oswald’s rights had been explained, and he had declined counsel. Said nothing beyond that. I think that was the extent of our inquiry.” ( ibid. )

There’s a difference between never requesting counsel and being offered counsel and denying it.

And of course, we know that both of these accounts are lies because in his testimony before the WC, Sgt. Gerald Hill said that Oswald had requested counsel at the time of his arrest inside the Texas Theater. ( ibid., pg. 52 )

Later in his testimony, Hill reiterates:
Mr. HILL ………he had previously in the theatre said he wanted his attorney.
Mr. BELIN. He had said this in the theatre ?
Mr. HILL. Yes; when we arrested him, he wanted his lawyer. He knew his rights. ( ibid., pg. 61 )

e. Dallas Police allowed a non-criminal attorney to speak with Oswald.

District Attorney Henry Wade had been under pressure from lawyers regarding the treatment of Oswald. One of the issues was Oswald’s repeated public claims that he was not being allowed legal representation.

On Saturday, the 23rd, one of the attorneys who were pressuring Wade contacted H. Louis Nichols, President of the Dallas Bar Association to request that he look into whether or not Oswald had legal representation, wanted legal representation or wanted it but had been denied of it.
Nichols response was to call Henry Wade on the phone and make an inquiry. ( 7 H 327 )

Nichols testified before the Warren Commission that Wade told him that as far as he knew Oswald had not asked for any lawyer so Nichols asked Wade to give Oswald a message that the Dallas Bar Association would provide him with a lawyer if he needed one. 

Nichols then called Capt. Glen King of the DPD to ask if Oswald had a lawyer:
“Captain King said that as far as he knew there had been no one representing him, and as far as he knew, Oswald had not asked for a lawyer. He had not asked for the right to call a lawyer, and had not asked that a lawyer be furnished to him—” ( ibid. )

Capt. King offered Nichols the chance to talk to Oswald but Nichols “didn’t know whether I wanted to or not at this point”.

Nichols was reluctant to get involved. 

"I didn’t know to what extent I would, or wanted to, or should become embroiled in the facts. I wanted to know whether he needed a lawyer, and I didn’t anticipate that I would be his lawyer, because I don’t practice criminal law. ( ibid. pg. 331 )

It was a point well taken.
To have a civil lawyer go in to question Oswald alone was a joke.

A civil lawyer would never ask the right questions:
Was he being beaten?
Was he being starved?
Was he being deprived of sleep?
Was he being isolated from his friends and family?
Was he being denied counsel?

Nichols didn't want to be "embroiled in the facts". He didn't want to hear of Oswald's treatment at the hands of police.
However, Nichols was pressured into going by a law professor from SMU. Nichols’ reluctance to become involved in the issue causes the SMU professor to light a fire under his butt as if to say, “It’s been over 24 hours since his arrest and he hasn’t asked for an attorney yet ?”

When Nichols asks Oswald if he had a lawyer, Oswald starts complaining about his treatment:

Mr. NICHOLS. I asked him if he had a lawyer, and he said, “Well, he really didn’t know what it was all about, that he was–had been incarcerated, and kept incommunicado, and I said, “Well, I have come up to see whether or not you want a lawyer, because as I understand–” I am not exactly sure what I ,said there, or whether he said something about not knowing what happened to President Kennedy, or I said that I understood that he was arrested for the shot that killed the President, and I don’t remember who said what after that. This is a little bit vague. ( 7 H 328 )

Here Nichols is having an exclusive talk with the accused assassin of President Kennedy, and he can’t remember what was said in the exchange ?

Mr. STERN. He, I gather, used the word “incommunicado” to describe—-
Mr. NICHOLS. Yes; that was his word.
Mr. STERN. Did he elaborate on that, or any—or indicate to you that he had not been able to see members of his family or other people of his choice?
Mr. NICHOLS. No; he did not say that he had been refused anything. Just didn’t elaborate, and I REALLY DIDN’T ASK HIM at that point. MY INQUIRY WAS INTENTIONALLY VERY LIMITED. I merely wanted to know whether he had a lawyer, if he had a lawyer then I had no problems. If he asked for a lawyer and they did not offer him one, that was contrary to what I had been told, because I had been told, as far as the police were concerned, and Mr. Wade, as he recalled, that the man had never asked for a lawyer. Nor had he asked to call a lawyer, for the right to call a lawyer, so that I was interested in knowing whether or not he had a lawyer and whether or not he had requested a lawyer and been refused….. I didn’t go into the other questions, or whether or not he wanted to see his family and hadn’t been permitted. I really was concerned about whether or not he had a lawyer or wanted a lawyer, or whether we had any obligations to furnish him one. ( ibid., pg. 330 )

In addition, when Oswald asked for John Abt or a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, Nichols told him that he didn’t know Abt and he didn’t know any lawyers who were members of the ACLU but admitted under oath that “as it turned out later, a number of lawyers I know ARE members”. ( ibid. pg. 329 )

Nichols then went before the media and stated that Oswald had "turned down my offer for help". ( ibid. pg. 330 )
Nichols never mentioned to the press Oswald’s request for John Abt or the American Civil Liberties Union. He never mentioned to the press Oswald’s complaint of being held “incommunicado”.

Nichols reluctance to get involved in this case made him a puppet for the Dallas authorities who were pushing a narrative that Oswald did not want legal counsel.
There may have been other reasons why Nichols was reluctant to get involved with getting Oswald legal assistance. 

According to his own testimony, Nichols was “connected” to the Dallas Police and the City of Dallas. Nichols used to work for the city attorney’s office, and at the time of Oswald’s incarceration, still represented the city credit union and had a brother on the police force, so, he had known many of these city authorities for years. ( 7 H 327 )
Gregory Olds of the ACLU told the Commission that the visit of Dallas Bar Association President H. Louis Nichols to speak with Oswald on Saturday went a long way in reassuring Olds’ questions about suspected denial of counsel to Oswald:

Mr. OLDS. Mr. Nichols went down late this afternoon, I think around 5:30, and he reported after that that he had seen Oswald in respect to the same reasons that we had for going down there Saturday night, to see if he wanted some sort of legal representation, and to make sure whether or not he was denied—being denied it, and he said that he was satisfied that–in essence, Oswald told Nichols he was satisfied with the situation. ( ibid., pg. 325 )
Nichols’ public statement after visiting with Oswald that Oswald had denied his help dissuaded the ACLU from contacting Oswald as they had planned to do on Saturday night. 

But it also damaged Oswald’s chance of obtaining counsel outside of Dallas as well.

There was a reason why police chose to let a non-criminal attorney speak to Oswald and kept him away from a criminal attorney.

f. Without a defense lawyer, Oswald was at the mercy of the Dallas Police, who took advantage of the situation by assembling lineups in such a way as to make Oswald the only choice the witnesses could make.

In one of the more blatant examples of police misconduct, the Dallas Police constructed lineups unfairly.
In the first two lineups, Oswald was displayed with a dark-skinned, 34 year old detective wearing a brown sport coat, a 31 year old blond detective wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and a red vest, and a short, heavy jail clerk wearing a grey woolen sweater. In addition, Oswald was handcuffed to the two detectives.

This is what the witnesses saw:


In lineup # 3, Oswald was displayed with two prisoners who happened to be blond and the same jail clerk wearing the same grey woolen sweater.

In lineup # 4, Oswald was displayed with two teenagers and a Mexican.

No witness who saw Tippit's murderer ever described him as:

being in his mid-30s and dark skinned, or 
blond and wearing a red vest, or 
short and heavy and wearing a grey woolen sweater or 
being a Mexican. 

In fact, Detective Perry's dark skin was noted by witness Sam Guinyard in his testimony that the men in the lineup were not the same color. ( 7 H 399 )

This left the battered, bruised and handcuffed Oswald as the only choice the witness could make.
Police would never have gotten away with this kind of unfair display had Oswald's lawyer been present.

g. No recording or transcription of the interrogation sessions were made

The reason for this would be to prevent anyone other than those present in the room from knowing what was said by the suspect during his interrogation and what was done to him. 
Without a recording or transcript of what was being said, it allowed the authorities to create a hearsay narrative that was based on their word and their word alone.

h. Police arraigned Oswald for the assassination of the President at 1:35 am.

This tactic is referred to in interrogation circles as "sleep deprivation". Interrupting the sleep of a suspect in order to break him down and confess to a commission of a crime is a form of torture and its use by police is illegal and a violation of a suspect's protection against cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment.

i. even after receiving death threats, Dallas Police stubbornly kept to the scheduling of Oswald's transfer and refused to change it.

Normally, the police would take ANY and ALL security precautions necessary to protect their prisoner and see to it that he was safely transferred into the custody of the County Sheriff.

But not this time.

Police had made public the time of Oswald's transfer, a tactic counterproductive to the safety of the prisoner.

Dallas Secret Service head Forrest Sorrels testified that, "when I heard they were supposed to take him out at 10 o'clock --- that was the announcement and so forth on the radio and the papers --- I remarked to Captain Fritz that if I were he, I would not remove Oswald from the city hall or city jail to the county jail at an announced time; that I would take him out at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning when there was no one around."  ( 13 H 63 )

Of course, making public the time of Oswald's transfer in a city crying for revenge for the assassination was a foolish move. Or it could be a ploy in hopes that some vigilante would take Oswald out.

DA Henry Wade wanted to move Oswald on Friday evening, but was told by Capt. Fritz that Sheriff Bill Decker, "did not like for prisoners to be moved in the nighttime." ( CD 4, pg. 32 ) 
Whether Decker liked it or not, he was under the impression that the move would be made Saturday evening. He had made arrangements for the transfer at that time and around 9 pm was shocked to learn from a reporter that the move had been scheduled for 10 am Sunday morning. ( 12 H 47 )

He called the police station to protest the time of the transfer and was told that Oswald, "wouldn't be moved that night and that's all there is to it." ( ibid., pg. 49 )
But something happened later that evening that caused Decker to lobby once again for an earlier transfer.

The phone threats
After 12:30 on Sunday morning, Decker was advised at home by his office that the FBI had notified them of a death threat against Oswald.
He called the Police station and advised that Oswald should be transferred immediately ( 12 H 49 ). The response from police was that they would check with the Chief.
Sometime between 3 and 4 am, not having responded to the Sheriff's request, the FBI contacted Capt. W.B. Frazier of the police dept. Capt Frazier was the shift commander in charge at that time. The agent who contacted him, Newsom, was never called to give testimony.

Finally, Capt. Frazier tried to contact Chief Curry at 5:45 am, but could not contact the Chief because his phone was off the hook. ( 12 H 54 )
Frazier testified that he was preparing to send a cruiser by Chief Curry's house when he was relieved by Capt. Talbert and that Talbert sent a cruiser to notify the Chief. At 6:30 am, Curry called the police station and was notified by Talbert of the threats. 

His instructions were to tell the sheriff and the FBI that he would be in his office at 8:30 or 9:00 am and would call them at that time. ( 21 H 660 )

This is 6 hours AFTER Decker called the police dept to transfer Oswald immediately.

It seems that there was a reluctance on the part of the police to wake Chief Curry and that his getting a good night's sleep had priority over the safety of the prisoner.
Or that the police department was not interested in protecting the prisoner.
There also seems to be a level of reluctance on the part of Chief Curry at the time of his notification, to set in motion the events necessary to move the prisoner immediately and instead made it known that he would not be available for another 2 or 2 1/2 hours.
In any event, the Chief made sure that Oswald was not going to be transferred at any other time prior to the publicly announced time of 10 am on Sunday morning.
Regardless of any threats.

In a normal homicide investigation, officers who worked long and hard on that investigation would like nothing more than to see the fruits of their labor result in a conviction.
Normally, in order to get that conviction, the safety of the prisoner would take priority over anything else. You can't get that conviction without a trial.
And nothing is more embarrassing than to have a suspect die in your custody, whether it is at the hand of someone else or by suicide.
Some people will, however, choose embarrassment over jail time.


Coming in Part III:  Reason # 3: the way the authorities handled the evidence.


Edited by Gil Jesus
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