"The individual cases of injustice put a human face on the systemic and structural lack of protection for people's rights." — Sharon Hom
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) August 08, 2013
Lawyers for A Just Cause filed suit in District Court for the 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Denver, Colorado against federal court reporter Darlene M. Martinez. (District Court, 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Case 2013CV033380, Div 409, Filing ID 6EEE4CA4A567C, Doc ID 8B0EE416E3F64, Filed July 31, 2013, Accepted August 1, 2013)
The action was brought by A Just Cause for breach of contract claiming that on or about September 10, 2011, Defendant (Federal Court Reporter) Darlene Martinez entered into a contract with Plaintiff A Just Cause to provide stenography services for the entire trial proceedings of IRP Solutions/IRP6. (United States v. Banks, et al., case number 09CR266).
The lawsuit asserts that on October 27, 2011 A Just Cause paid by cashier's check in the amount of $9450.00 directly to Darlene Martinez for a transcript of the entire proceedings of the IRP6 case, which included, but was not limited to, all bench conferences. The complaint states that Ms. Martinez failed to provide the entire trial transcript as contracted for. (2nd Judicial District, Denver, Case 2013CV033380)
“This lawsuit is critical to the appeal in the IRP6 case”, says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. “Part of the appeal in the IRP6 case argues a violation of the defendants' Fifth Amendment right at trial during a bench conference with Federal Judge Christine Arguello”, adds Thurman. The defendants argue that a critical portion of the transcript is missing which would substantiate the Fifth Amendment violation claim. Court records show that the defendants requested the transcript from court proceedings of October 11, 2011, but discovered that a sidebar discussion was missing. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA) “We believe that when the Fifth Amendment violation is confirmed through trial transcripts, that will be grounds for overturning the case”, concludes Thurman.
The IRP6 case concerns an African-American company (IRP Solutions Corporation) in Colorado that developed criminal investigations software for federal, state and local law enforcement. The case of the IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks) is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men represented themselves pro se at trial. They were convicted in 2011 after being accused of mail and wire fraud. The IRP6 have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The IRP6 continue to maintain their innocence. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)
Court records show repeated motions and requests by the defendants (IRP6) during trial to Judge Christine M. Arguello for the unedited version of the sidebar transcripts, but all requests were denied by the court. Subsequently, multiple post-trial motions were filed by attorneys requesting a hearing to resolve the transcript issue with the court reporter, but those requests were also denied by Judge Arguello. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA)
"I made several attempts to obtain the transcripts from the clerk's office, but have been continually told by the court reporter and the clerk's office that the sidebar portion is unavailable," says Ethel Lopez of A Just Cause.
"The Court Reporters Act, 28 U.S.C.A 753(b) makes it mandatory by Congress, that a court reporter shall record all proceedings verbatim in criminal cases held in open court which includes sidebars," says Attorney Gwendolyn Solomon (attorney for the six defendants). According to Solomon the statute reads, "...all original notes are required to be preserved and available in the clerk’s office. The reporter or other individual designated to produce the record shall attach his official certificate to the original shorthand notes or other original records so taken and promptly file them with the clerk who shall preserve them in the public records of the court for not less than ten years." (Court Reporters Act, 28 U.S.C.A 753(b))
“A Just Cause previously received excellent support from Congressman Lamborn (R-Colorado) and Senator Udall (Colorado) regarding this situation”, says Thurman. “Our representatives have sent letters to the Department of Justice inquiring into the matter of the missing transcript, among other improper actions that have transpired during this case”, Thurman adds.
“Early on in this process A Just Cause contacted the office of U.S. Attorney John Walsh in Denver seeking assistance in obtaining the missing transcript”, says Thurman. “Jeff Dorschner, Public Affairs Specialist for Mr. Walsh's office, stated that investigating the missing transcript was out of their jurisdiction, and went on to say '...sue her (Martinez) for it (the trial transcript)...', so that's exactly the course of action we have chosen to take”, adds Thurman. “A Just Cause believes that this lawsuit will result in critical information being revealed about what really happened at that sidebar during the IRP trial”, concludes Thurman.
A hearing or trial date has not been set yet in the lawsuit against Darlene Martinez (2nd Judicial District, Denver, Case 2013CV033380).
The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) 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). For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org. Appellate Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes
Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!press-releases/c21pq