Yes, the State Does Misbehave: Ramsey Muniz Hints at Federal Challenge

Note: the following letter from Ramsey Muniz (forwarded by his spouse) hints that the Leavenworth prisoner may soon mount a federal appeal of his conviction and sentencing on marijuana related charges.–gm


The enclosed letter was written by Ramsey Muniz. It is
a legal response written to a person who expressed disbelief
in our government resorting to such tactics as framing individuals.–Irma Muniz (via email Jan. 18, 2005)


October 19, 2005

Dear Mr. Ochoa:

Your letter shows that you’re different from those
who make a hobby of being interested, including seekers
after causes and people who like to get their names of
letterheads. The sincerity expressed in your letter has
developed a profound respect from me. However, while I
sincerely respect your honest opinion, I must disagree
with the basis supporting your assertion that you don’t
believe me because, on your own words, you haven’t seen
your government doing such things to others, including
those who are more dangerous than myself.

The reason for your radical position is only one,
which is "misinformation." The words "public confidence
in the criminal justice system," most of the time are
used to justify releasing someone who has had his constitutional
rights trampled on by government agents.

Of course, this bad side of the government, when this
is disclosed by a criminal defendant, apparently never
meets the necessary credibility of citizens who cannot
understand that our democratic system demands that
government officials shall be subject to the same rules
of conduct that are common to the citizen. See
Olmstead v United States, 277 U.S. 433, 585, 48 S.Ct.
575 (1928). The government’s misconduct in criminal
cases has been well documented in the American justice
system, causing expressions from courts as "there comes
a time when enough is more than enough – it is just too
much." Williamson v. United States, 311 F.2d 411, 445
(5th Cir. 1962) (a contingent fee informer case).

Although you are now aware, the existence of misconduct
involving misbehaving officials, as in my case, has been
well documented in the American Jurisprudence. Under
clearly established federal law, the government violates
a defendant’s right to due process when it fails to
disclose evidence favorable to the accused prior to trial
and the evidence is "Material either to guilt or to
punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith
of the prosecution." Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83,
87 (1963). In addition, the Supreme Court has long
recognized that "A prosecutor’s knowing presentation
of false testimony is ‘inconsistent with the rudimentary
demands of justice.’" Jacobs v. Scott, 513 U.S. 1067 1995)
(Stevens, J., dissenting from denial of petition for
writ of certiorari) (quoting Mooney v. Holohan,
294 U.S. 102, 112 (1935)).

As a result, due process is violated when a
prosecutor fails to correct testimony that he knows
to be false, even when the falsehood goes only to the
witness’s credibility. Alcorta v. Texas, 355 U.S. 28,
31 (1957) (per curiam); Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264,
269 (1959). These principles illustrate "the special role
played by the American prosecutor in the search for truth
in criminal trials." Strickler v. Greene, 527 U.S. 263,
281 (1999). In our system, the prosecutor’s role
"transcends that of an adversary; [the prosecutor] ‘is
the representative not on an ordinary party to a
controversy, but a sovereignty…whose interest…in a
criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case,
but that justice shall be done.’" United States v. Bagley,
473 U.S. 667, 675 (1985) (quoting Berger v. United States,
295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935)).

As you many now understand, without having solid and
irrefutable evidence that my conviction was obtained by
misbehaving (government) officials, any claim of such
wrongdoing would be, under the law, ridiculous and a
waste of time. The filing of a motion for a new trial,
in my case, will be based on recently discovered evidence
(undisclosed by the government at trial) proving such
allegations. After the filing of the motion in a federal
court, the evidence supporting my claim will be public
record, and you, as well as many others, will receive a
copy of such motion. Accordingly, I believe that at this
time your radical position against the credibility of
my cause is somewhat …premature?

Your letter, however, has a profound value for my
cause. For ordinary citizens, interest is a necessary
condition of influence. When they communicate concerns
with respect to the credibility of my allegations, they
become more influential.

Please receive my most sincere gratitude for your
very welcome correspondence.


Ramiro R. Muniz



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