Friday, July 18, 2008

Morning buzz

Judge Huck has scheduled a hearing July 28 in which Kirby Archer will plead guilty to first degree murder in the Joe Cool case. He will agree to life in prison..

Prosecutors say the 36-year-old Archer and 20-year-old Guillermo Zarabozo hired the charter boat for $4,000 to go to the Bahamas, then tried to divert it to Cuba.

Zarabozo has passed a polygraph and blamed Archer in court papers for killing the captain, his wife and two crew members when they resisted. Should be a fascinating trial...

Here's the news coverage from the Sun-Sentinel, the Herald, and the AP.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why would they plea Archer to Life when Zambrano probably would have taken the deal and testified against Archer in a death prosecution.

Now, are they going to seek death against Zambrano and get it? No. They bought themselves a trial of the wrong guy.

John Cavicchi said...

The DOJ in Miami is like Massachusetts in the 1960s. Here we have a prosecutor who apparently argues against the polygraph, 11th Circuit precedent, the FBI's use of the polygraph, and strikes a deal with the shooter. The judge should show some guts and reject the plea agreement. He should also order the AUSA to explain her position. If her position is as absurd as is reported in the press, he should remove her from the case. The judge should also order a polygraph examination for Archer, even if the defense hasn't filed a motion to compel it. The polygraph examination should also explore whether there was any witness tampering.

Anonymous said...

I like John's style.

Anonymous said...

Since when did a polygraph conducted by a defendant under unknown conditions amount to unimpeachable evidence of actual innocence?

As an initial matter, polygraphs do not determine guilt or innocence, but rather provide a gauge as to the truthfulness of the person being tested. As a result, the testing conditions must be controlled and uniform (e.g., examinee cannot know the questions in advance, cannot take medications that impact the data inputs), the control questions must be carefully chosen, the substantive questions must be precise, and the examiner must be skilled, honest, and experienced. Said differently, garbage in, garbage out. Any of these factors can be manipulated and even the reading of the chart is also subject to interpretation. Thus, all polygraph "results" are not created equal.

That's why so many defendants who have "passed" polygraphs later admit to their guilt. More important than mere a polygraph examination is whether a potential cooperator's statements can be corroborated and are consistent with the available forensic evidence. So, before casting aspersions on a prosecutor or suggesting some malfeasance or negligence on the part of DOJ, I would be a little less rash and more circumspect.

By the way, Judge Huck is an excellent, practical, and thoughtful judge. If there are issues that must be examined, he will certainly do so, calling strikes and balls fairly along the way.

Anonymous said...

Cavicchi had one case, Louis Greco, that involved the well documented unholy alliance between Whitey Bulger and the Boston FBI. Clearly, that experience has forever turned him into a conspiracy kook. He's so uninformed and clueless that David should show some guts and stop all of his future posts.

John Cavicchi said...

"Prosecutors, however, suspect more than one gun was used in the fatal shootings."

Obviously, the "prosecutors" must have some information upon which they base that suspicion. They must gave given Archer an FBI administered polygraph. Let's see it. And aren't we awaiting the results of the FBI's polygraph of Zarabozo? Or, is that being blocked?

Here we have Archer, 36, and a much younger man, Zarabozo, 20. Archer was already on the run. Zaraboza said Archer took Zarabozo's gun from Zarabozo's bag. Is the prosecution suggesting that Zarabozo took another gun from somewhere else?

Obviously, I must have struck a nerve in Miami DOJ. It is a matter of public record that the former Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, is under investigation for witness tampering. See, Paul Kane, West Wing Aids Cited for Contempt. Washingtonpost.com. February 15, 2008.

If Zarabozo passes an FBI administered polygraph, DOJ should dismiss the murder indictment.

As for Louie Greco and his co-plaintiffs, DOJ lost and is appealing a $101.7 million judgment. I recently deposited a check for $500,000.00 paid by Massachusetts to Greco's estate under the wrongful conviction statute. In Greco's wrongful conviction case, I relied on polygraphs as an effective crime detection technique and the doctrine of judicial estoppel. The doctrine of judicial estoppel is well settled in the 11th Circuit and serves to prevent the parties from making a mockery of the courts.

What Mr. Marcus should ban are anonymous posts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cavicchi,

Archer is pleading guilty to a MANDATORY life sentence. Ooooh - very nefarious! Are you for real?

Marcos Daniel Jimenez said...

"What Mr. Marcus should ban are anonymous posts."

Well said.

Anonymous said...

I frankly find it incredible -- and dishearterning -- that the former U.S. Attorney would endorse even the last sentence of a baseless rant in which the writer -- anonymous or not -- makes meritless accusations about obstruction of justice and witness tampering in a murder investigation by the Department. If Mr. Carvicchi's wild speculations have merit, which nothing to date suggests is the case, then Judge Huck will get to the bottom of them -- and quickly.

Maybe it would be better if Mr. Jimenez posted anonymously in the future so that the weight of his former office could not be used to lend weight to his less thoughtful postings.