Carl F. Worden



As we have seen repeatedly over the past several years since the science of DNA has advanced, many people convicted of serious crimes, and about 125 people who were actually sentenced to Death Row in various states, have been fully exonerated and released.


How can this be?  How did all those jurors, that’s twelve per wrongful conviction, go home believing they made the right decision when DNA has now proved conclusively the person they convicted could not have committed the crime?


For years, I have been blaming stupid, mean-spirited and irresponsible jurors, and for the most part I’m going to stick to that judgment.  The citizens being picked for jury duty don’t have a clue what their real responsibility is because they are oh-so willing to let the judge tell them what to think – and do.  Almost none of the people picked to actually serve on a jury even know they have the right of jury nullification if they deem a law to be unjust or downright unconstitutional, and in most cases, the jurors have no idea what sentence the defendant will face if they decide to convict.  They are simply instructed that if the defendant violated the law, they must convict and then they get to go home and forget about what they did.


Let me ask you something:  If the jury is so very important to the judicial system, as we are all indoctrinated to believe, how come the jurors are the lowest paid in the entire process?  Do you see a problem with that?


And that brings me to the reason I wrote this article.


The current District Attorney of Boulder, Colorado, Mary T. Lacy, has now announced that DNA evidence proves that the parents of little Jon Benet Ramsey did not murder their own child.  They have the DNA of an individual who is not in the national DNA system, so they don’t know who this person is.  But right after Jon Benet was found dead in her own home and a ransom letter had been left as evidence, the entire mass media of television, radio and newspapers were insinuating that the parents, one or both, had murdered that beautiful little child.


There were blogs I read that claimed the Ramsey’s were into bizarre sex games with other couples, none of which were true.  Patsy Ramsey died of cervical cancer under the suspicion of being a murderer because the “experts” could not exclude her from being the writer of that ransom letter.  If you have faith in God you know that Patsy has been re-united with her daughter, and that both know the truth now.  The problem is that we don’t, but the mass media certainly did their best to make us all think the worst of the Ramseys.


We fought and won our independence from the grasp of England over 200 years ago, and the Framers of the Constitution deemed it absolutely necessary that the people of the United States of America have the right to free speech.  I completely agree that we, as individuals, all should have the right to speak out about anything and everything if we choose to, so long as we are not bearing false witness.


However, where criminal charges are being made against an individual, the laws of Great Britain demand that the news media remain mum on just about all aspects of the case until judgment by a jury has been concluded.  The Brits are a bit more astute than us Yanks where human nature is concerned.  When serious criminal charges are being prosecuted by the state, the Brits believe the right of the individual criminal defendant trump the rights of the news media to mold public opinion about a criminal case before or during trial.  The media can have a field day after a criminal case has been resolved, but not before, and the Ramsey Case is a poster-child example of why the Brits insist on that policy.


We have far too many wrongful convictions in this nation, and we need to fix the problem before even more citizens are wrongly convicted of crimes they never committed.  While I firmly believe individuals should have the right to free speech in all cases short of causing panic and mayhem, I do not believe that extends to the media, no matter what the media might claim.


Back in 1954, Dr. Sam Sheppard was wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife.  It was the murder trial of the century.  He spent ten years of a life sentence in prison before he was paroled, but his life and medical practice was ruined.  He quite literally drank himself to death, and it was the persistence of his son who finally discovered that the DNA of a handyman who had worked at the Sheppard home two weeks before the murder had been collected at the crime scene, but not analyzed until DNA technology had been perfected after Dr. Sam died.


Scott Peterson was convicted and sentenced to death in California by a jury that had no physical evidence and no eye-witness evidence that he had murdered his wife.  There was no crime scene.  The jurors quite literally had no basis to convict, let alone sentence Peterson to death!  Peterson remains on Death Row in San Quentin Prison.  The morons on that jury convicted Peterson of murder because they didn’t like him, and frankly, I don’t like the guy either, but I would never allow that aspect to affect my decision.  On the other hand, I have never been picked to serve on a jury even once.  Go figure.


The central problem is that the media is allowed to report what they think or know about a case long before a jury is ever picked, and they do it for no other reason than to sell newspapers and advertising.  That needs to be stopped before any more Ramseys, Sheppards or Petersons are convicted in the public eye or in court by evidence that no sane juror should ever have considered viable, and it is quite obvious that the jurors in all these cases had been swayed by media reports, even though they all swore they were impartial in order to get on the jury.


But getting back to the Jon Benet Ramsey murder, the ransom note held the vital clue:  The demand was for $118,000.00, which was the exact amount Mr. Ramsey received as a bonus from his company that year.  The number of people who were aware of that exact amount is relatively few, and if the investigators really want to find the murderer, they need to concentrate their efforts on collecting DNA from anyone who might have had a reason to be aware of that bonus amount.


In this case, it is elementary my dear Watson.  Somebody really hated John Ramsey for some reason, and it had to do with his work or his business in some way.  Maybe a disgruntled employee or a banned vendor or even a stockholder is the culprit.  The suspect pool is therefore restricted and the investigators have the DNA profile they are looking for, so what’s the problem???  I’d have had this case solved at least five years ago!  The murderer hasn’t been convicted of a serious crime requiring a DNA sample, so we can exclude anyone who has their DNA in the system.  That narrows the search even further.  Seriously, the Jon Benet Ramsey murder should have been solved long before this.


Carl F. Worden