Wednesday, 08 May 2024 10:21

The Dallas Police Convicted Oswald without a Trial - Part 2/2

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In part two, Johnny Cairns shows how all quarters objected to the Dallas Police and DA convicting Oswald in the press when he had no attorney to reply. These critics included the ACLU, Percy Foreman, the American Bar Association, the New York TImes, and even J. Edgar Hoover and the Warren Commission.

Let us continue with the pervasive and relentless attempt by the local authorities to convict Lee Harvey Oswald, a man without a lawyer.

KRLD-TV Interview of Jesse Curry.

In an interview with KRLD-TV on November 23rd , Jesse Curry revealed that Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the attempted murder of Governor John B. Connally.

Curry. We have one more thing. We have filed on him for assault to murder—
Q. Assault to what?
Curry. Assault to murder against Governor John B. Connally. That charge had been filled. (CE2150, Volume XXIV; p. 782.)

This decision introduces a significant aspect to the case, particularly when contrasted with the Dallas Police's emphasis on Oswald’s alleged attempt to ‘kill’ Officer Nick McDonald during his arrest—although Oswald was never formally charged with McDonald’s attempted murder.

Testimonies highlight the incident involving McDonald: Gerald Hill reported that “the gun was fired one time by the suspect but luckily it misfired, the pin hit the shell but did not fire” (Volume XXIV; CE2160; p.804)

Henry Wade noted that Oswald “struck at the officer, put his gun against his head, and snapped it, but the bullet did not go off.” (Volume XXIV; CE2168; p.820)

Additionally, Jesse Curry confirmed that “Oswald was attempting to shoot one of the officers in the theater and did snap the pistol.” (See this)

WFAA-TV Press interview of Jesse Curry.

Q. Has he named an attorney?
Curry. I understand now that he is trying to contact attorney Abt, I believe, A-B-T, I believe out of New York… it’s my understanding that this attorney, Abt, had been involved in some of the defense of some communists. (Volume XXIV, CE2152. p. 786.)

Interview of Louis Nichols, WFFA TVPicture1

Nichols Testimony to the Warren Commission.

H. Louis. Nichols, President of the Dallas Bar Association was permitted a short audience with Oswald in his cell on the fifth floor of the Dallas City Jail. Nichols, who publicly stated he did not practice criminal law, was permitted this time with Oswald, rather than the ACLU, whom Oswald was a member and who was a preference for representation. Many people have charged, that this proves that Oswald did not want legal representation, as Oswald declined the services of Nichols, but ask yourself this question: If you were in Oswald's position, accused and vilified as a communist, presidential assassin, would you not want the absolute best defense available to you? Also, there is another important caveat to this narrative, Oswald would have no way of knowing that this would be his final chance at legal assistance, because in less than 24 hours, he too would be dead.

For clarity this section has been written in narrative form.

Nichols. (Do you have) a lawyer,
Oswald. Well, I really didn't know what it was all about, (I have) been incarcerated, and kept incommunicado.
Nichols. (I am here to) see whether or not (you) had a lawyer, or wanted a lawyer.
Oswald. (Do you) know a lawyer in New York named John Abt.
Nichols. I don’t know him.
Oswald. Well, either Mr. Abt or someone who is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union…I am a member of that organization, and I would like to have somebody who is a member of that organization represent me and If I can find a lawyer here who believes in anything I believe in, and believes as I believe, and believes in my innocence as much as he can, I might let him represent me."
Nichols. I'm sorry, I don't know anybody who is a member of that organization…what I am interested in knowing is right now, do you want me or the Dallas Bar Association to try to get you a lawyer?
Oswald. No, not now. You might come back next week, and if I don't get some of these other people to represent me, I might ask you to get somebody to represent me.

Nichols then testified; "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."

November 24, 1963.

Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison. “Who grieves for Lee Harvey Oswald? Buried in a cheap grave, under the name Oswald? Nobody.” (Oliver Stone; JFK)

WFAA-TV Press interview of Captain Will Fritz. 11/23

Q. Captain, is there any doubt in your mind that Oswald was the man who killed President Kennedy?
Fritz. No, sir, there is no doubt in my mind about Oswald being the man. Of course, we’ll continue to investigate and gather more and more evidence, but there is no question about it.
Q. Is the case closed or not, then, Captain?
Fritz. The case is cleared… (Volume XXIV, CE2154. P. 788)

WFAA-TV. NBC. KHLD. WBAP. Press Conference of Henry Wade.

Sylvia Meagher. District Attorney Henry Wade held a press conference on Sunday night after Oswald was murdered, of which it has been said that he was not guilty of a single accuracy. (Accessories After the Fact; p. 75)

Before Oswald’s body had even grown cold, District Attorney Henry Wade stood before the assembled television cameras at the Dallas City Jail to ostensibly 'detail some of the evidence against Oswald for the assassination of the President.' In this briefing, Wade delivered several dramatic assertions that further skewed the already precarious case against the accused. This press conference, fraught with such distortions, has been meticulously dissected by Mark Lane in 'A Lawyer’s Brief.' Lane’s critical examination reveals how Wade’s statements not only tainted public opinion but also demonstrated a stark disregard for the principles of judicial integrity. (See this)

Wade asserted that a palm print identified as Oswald’s was found on a box situated near the sixth-floor southeast corner window of the Texas School Book Depository.

Wade. On the box that the defendant was sitting on (around the sixth floor, southeast corner window), his palmprint was found and was identified as his.

However, this evidence was later significantly qualified. Commission lawyer Wesley Liebeler, in a radio interview on December 30, 1966, pointed out a crucial flaw: “The fact that Oswald’s fingerprints were on cartons has no probative value whatsoever on the issue of whether he was in the window or not, because he worked at the Depository, he could have put his prints there at any time.” (Accessories After The Fact; p. 13)

Q. Would you be willing to say in view of all this ‘evidence’ that it is now beyond a reasonable doubt at all that Oswald was the killer of President Kennedy?
Wade. I would say that without any doubt he’s the killer—the law says beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty which I—there's no question that he is the killer of President Kennedy.
Q. The case is closed in your mind?
Wade. As far as Oswald is concerned, yes.
Q. How would you evaluate the work of the Dallas Police in investigating the death of the President?
Wade. I think the Dallas Police done an excellent job on this and before midnight on when (JFK) was killed had (Oswald) in custody and had sufficient evidence what I think to convict him.
Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that if Oswald was tried that you would have, have him convicted by a jury? With the evidence you have?
Wade. I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that we would have convicted him…
Q. As far as you are concerned, the evidence you gave us, you could have convicted him?
Wade. I’ve sent people to the electric chair on less. (CE2168, Volume XXVI, p. 819- 823-826.)Picture2

KRLD-TV Press interview with Jesse Curry.

Q. Could you tell us sir, (of) the possibility that somebody else might be involved? We’ve had statements in the last couple of days saying; “This is the man, and nobody else”.
Curry. This is the man, we are sure, that murdered the patrolman and murdered—and assassinated the President. (CE2147. Volume XXIV, p-772.)

KRLD-TV, Press interview with Jesse Curry.

Henry Wade. I told them that the man's wife said the man had a gun or something to that effect… that isn't admissible in Texas. You see a wife can't testify. It is not evidence, but it is evidence, but it is inadmissible evidence. (Volume V; p. 223)
Curry. (We) felt yesterday morning that we were capable of presenting our case to the court and had ample evidence for a conviction…
Q. What do you consider the high points?
Curry. We have been able to do this. We have been able to place this man in the building, on the floor at the time the assassination occurred. We have been able to establish the fact that he was at the window that the shots were fired from. We have been able to establish the fact that he did order a weapon… and we feel (this) is the weapon that was used. We have been able to establish the fact that we do have the murder weapon… this is the gun that fired bullets that killed President Kennedy and wounded the Governor.
Q. How much importance do you attach to this picture?
Curry . Well, it’s important to us. Whether or not we will be able to introduce it as evidence will be left up to the attorney and judge, of course, but it establishes beyond a reasonable doubt in our mind that he is our man with our guns. (CE397; Volume XVII; p.780-781)

In point 20 of 'Assassination 60,' this issue is addressed; “The question of whether Marina Oswald could have legally testified against her husband, Lee Oswald, raises interesting forensic considerations for the case. Under Texas law, spouses are generally permitted to serve as witnesses for each other in criminal cases. However, a crucial exception exists they cannot testify against each other unless one spouse is being prosecuted for an offence committed against the other. In the context of Oswald's hypothetical trial, Marina's testimony would have been excluded based on this spousal privilege. This means that the controversial backyard photographs, which were allegedly linked to Lee, could not have been admitted into evidence to be used against him. This is because Marina's testimony, which was the sole source of corroboration for the photographs, would have been inadmissible due to the spousal privilege.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a declassified document from Alan Belmont to Clyde Tolson, Belmont lays out the plan to convince the public of Oswald’s guilt.

“We will set forth the items of evidence which make it clear that Oswald is the man who killed the President. We will show that Oswald was an avowed Marxist, a former defector to the Soviet Union and an active member of the FPCC, which has been financed by Castro.

Despite the fact that Oswald is dead, this evidence will be necessary to back up any statement that Oswald was the man who killed the President. At 4:15pm Mr. DeLoach advised that Katzenbach wanted to put out a statement, we are now persuaded that Oswald killed the President…” (See this)

For a detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding Oswald’s murder, please refer to part 2 of 'Assassination 60.

Widespread Condemnation of the Dallas Police.

The concessions to the media resulted in Oswald being deprived not only of his day in court, but of his life as well. American Civil Liberties Union.

Theodore Voorhees, chancellor-elect of the Philadelphia Bar Association Stated that Lee H. Oswald had been "lynched” by the Dallas Police & Prosecutorial officials. Although some concern was expressed that Oswald be provided counsel, he said, no member of the legal profession protested the publication of the evidence, the 24-hour interrogation and the violations of the prisoners' rights. (New York Times, Dec. 5th, 1963, p. 32)

Ben. K. Lerer, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco. We believe that television, radio and the press must bear a portion of the responsibility which falls primarily on the Dallas law-enforcement officials. Both press media and law enforcement officials must seek to protect the rights of accused persons against the damage to them, and consequently to our system of justice, which can come from revealing information concerning the accused at times when the revelation might inflame the public. (New York Times, Dec. 28th, 1963, p. 23)

Percy Foreman, Texas Attorney. Federal decisions for at least five years have held that a defendant has a right to legal counsel at every level including arraignment before a justice of the peace. It's not being done in Texas, but it's the law, and (Oswald) is entitled to counsel whether he requests it or not.

Another legal doctrine requires that an appellant show that an alleged abridgement of his rights caused him substantial harm. Foreman stated this could be shown if Oswald is persuaded to sign a confession before he has had the benefit of legal counsel. Foreman said a lawyer should be advising Oswald to insist on an examining trial, as a preliminary hearing is called in Texas. An examining trial requires the state to produce its witnesses and lay out its line of evidence against the accused.

Foreman said Oswald might be able to show that his trial was prejudiced by inflamed public opinion if he is brought to trial before a lapse of, say, two years. Television and press are far more persuasive than the bill of rights or the code of criminal procedure. Try (Oswald) a month from now, and you might just as well march him out on the courthouse lawn and lynch him." (St LouisPost Dispatch, 11/24/1963, p.10)

John De J. Lamberton Jr. Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The American Civil Liberties union charged yesterday that the police and prosecuting officials of Dallas committed gross violations of civil liberties in their handling of Lee H. Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy. The ACLU said that it would have been simply impossible for Oswald, had he lived, to have obtained a fair trial because he had already been tried and convicted by the public statements of Dallas law enforcement officials.

The ACLU indicted television, radio and the press for the pressure they exerted on Dallas officials. They described the transfer of Oswald from the city jail as a theatrical production for the benefit of the television cameras. The ACLU hold the Dallas police responsible for the shooting of Oswald, saying that minimum security considerations were flouted by their capitulation to publicity.

If Oswald had lived, he would have been deprived of all opportunity to receive a fair trial by the conduct of the police and prosecuting officials in Dallas. From the moment of his arrest until his murder, two days later, Oswald was tried and convicted many times over in the newspapers, on the radio and over television by the public statements of Dallas law enforcement officials. Time and again high-ranking police and prosecution officials stated their complete satisfaction that Oswald was the assassin.

As their investigation uncovered one piece of evidence after another, the results were broadcast to the public. All this evidence was described by the Dallas officials as authentic and incontestable proof that Oswald was the president’s assassin. The cumulative effect of these public pronouncements was to impress indelibly on the public’s mind that Oswald was indeed the slayer. With such publicity, it would have been impossible for Oswald to get a fair trial in Dallas or anywhere else in the country, the trial would have been nothing but a hollow formality. (New York Times, December 6th 1963, p.18)

Harvard Law School. Released a statement in the New York Times, commenting on the deplorable incidents in the Dallas Police station ending in the death of Lee Oswald. From Fri, Nov. 22, through Sunday (24th) the shocking manner in which are processes of criminal justice are often administered was exhibited to ourselves and to the world. The process of investigation and accusation can only be described as a public spectacle, carried on in the Dallas Police station with its halls and corridors jammed with a noisy, milling throng of reporters and cameramen.

Precisely because the president’s assassination was the ultimate in defiance of law, it called for the ultimate vindication of law. The law enforcement agencies, in permitting virtually unlimited access to the news media, made this impossible. 

Not only would, it have been virtually impossible to impanel a jury which had not formed its own views on those facts which might come before it, but much of the information released such as statements by Mrs Oswald might have been legally inadmissible at trial. 

It is ironic that the very publicity which had already made it virtually impossible for Oswald to be tried and convicted by a jury meeting existing constitutional standards of impartiality should, in the end, have made such trial unnecessary. 

For the fact is that justice is incompatible with the notion that police, prosecutors, attorneys, reporters and cameraman should have an unlimited right to conduct ex-parte public trials in the press and on television.

(New York Times, December 1st, 1963, p. 10E.)

New York Times Editorial, The Spiral of Hate.

The shame all America must bear for the spirit of madness and hate that struck down President John F. Kennedy is multiplied by the monstrous murder of his accused assassin while being transferred from one jail in Dallas to another.

The primary guilt for this ugly new stain on the integrity of our system of order and respect for individual rights is that of the Dallas police force and the rest of its law-enforcement machinery.

The Dallas authorities, abetted and encouraged by the newspaper, TV and radio, press, trampled on every principle of justice in their handling of Lee H. Oswald. It is their sworn duty to protect every prisoner, as well as the community, and to afford each accused person full opportunity for his defense before a properly constituted court. 

The heinousness of the crime Oswald was alleged to have committed made it doubly important that there be no cloud over the establishment of his guilt.

Yet—before any indictment had been returned or any evidence presented and in the face of continued denials by the prisoner, the chief of police and the district attorney pronounced Oswald guilty. "Basically, the case is closed," the chief declared. The prosecutor informed reporters that he would demand the death penalty and was confident "I'll get it."

After two days. of such pre-findings of guilt, in the electrically emotional atmosphere of a city angered by the President's assassination and not too many decades removed from the vigilante tradition of the old frontier, the jail transfer was made at high noon and with the widest possible advance announcement. Television and newsreel cameras were set in place and many onlookers assembled to witness every step of the transfer-and its tragic miscarriage.

It was an outrageous breach of police responsibility—no matter what the demands of reporters and cameramen may have been—-to move Oswald in public under circumstances in which he could so easily have been the victim of attack. The police had even warned hospital officials to stand by against the possibility of an attempt on Oswald's life.

Now there can never be a trial that will determine Oswald's guilt or innocence by the standards of impartial justice that are one of the proudest adornments of our democracy. (New York Times, Nov. 25th, 1963, p. 18)

J Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI. I dispatched to Dallas one of my top assistants in the hope that he might stop the Chief of Police and his staff from doing so damned much talking on television. Curry, I understand, cannot control Capt. Fritz of the Homicide Squad, who is giving much information to the press.… we want them to shut up. All the talking down there might have required a change of venue on the basis that Oswald could not have gotten a fair trial in Dallas. There are bound to be some elements of our society who will holler their heads off that his civil rights were violated—which they were. (see this)

Warren Commission.

The Commission agrees that Lee Harvey Oswald's opportunity for a trial by 12 jurors free of preconception as to his guilt or innocence would have been seriously jeopardized by the premature disclosure and weighing of the evidence against him.

The news policy pursued by the Dallas police, endangered Oswald's constitutional right to a trial by an impartial jury. Neither the press nor the public had a right to be contemporaneously informed by the police or prosecuting authorities of the details of the evidence being accumulated against Oswald….It would have been a most difficult task to select an unprejudiced jury, either in Dallas or elsewhere. The disclosure of evidence encouraged the public, from which a jury would ultimately be impaneled, to prejudge the very questions that would be raised at trial. (WCR, pp. 238-240)

The American Bar Association.

The widespread publicizing of Oswald's alleged guilt, involving statements by officials and public disclosers of the details of ‘evidence’ would have made it extremely difficult to impanel an unprejudiced jury and afford the accused a fair trial. It conceivably could have prevented any lawful trial of Oswald due to the difficulty of finding jurors who had not been prejudiced by these public statements.

Official laxity resulting in excessive, and prejudicial publicity reached its climax in the pre-announced removal of Oswald from the City jail, and the spectacle of his murder-- literally in the arms of police officers, and before the eyes of the television audience. (CE2183, Volume XXVI; pp. 856-857)

Nicholas Katzenbach.

The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when (Oswald) was shot and thus silenced. The matter has been handled thus far with neither dignity nor conviction. Facts have been mixed with rumour and speculation. We can scarcely let the world see us totally in the image of the Dallas police when our President is murdered. (see this)

Henry Wade.

Wade testified that on November 23, various lawyers reached out to him, expressing their concern and outrage over the handling of Lee Oswald.

Henry Wade. “Saturday November 23. we had calls from various people and most of them was from people here in the East calling lawyers there in Dallas rather than me, and them calling me.”
Lee Rankin. “ What were they saying to you about that?”
Henry Wade. “Well, they were very upset, one, in looking at American justice where the man didn't have an attorney, as apparently, and two, that too much information was being given to the press too, by the police and by me.” (Volume V; p. 239)

Ruby, The Hero?

The depth of the animosity towards Oswald, cultivated by the Dallas police, is starkly illustrated by the flood of congratulatory telegrams sent to Jack Ruby following his murder of Oswald. These messages prompt a disconcerting reflection on the state of justice in America: Have we really descended to a point where such an act is celebrated? Is this what we consider justice? (see this)Picture3

Picture4DA of Dallas County, Craig Watkins.

Prosecutors in Dallas have said for years, any prosecutor can convict a guilty man, it takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent man. Melvyn Carson Bruder. (See this)

Craig Watkins, who was the first African American in history to be elected as Dallas District Attorney in 2006, stated in a 2008 interview that the DA’s office under Henry Wade’s tenure was rife with; “Negligence, prosecutorial misconduct and faulty witness identification. It's just been a mindset of conviction at all costs around here.

Q. You talk about the mindset of winning convictions at all costs. The legendary Dallas prosecutor Henry Wade, who held the job you now hold for many, many years, embodied that philosophy. He's known to have actually boasted about convicting innocent people—that convincing a jury to put an innocent man in jail proved his prowess as a prosecutor.

Watkins. Oh yeah, it was a badge of honor at the time—to knowingly convict someone that wasn't guilty. It's widely known among defense attorneys and prosecutors from that era. (See this)

Win At All Costs.

Attorney Kenneth Holbert. “(Wade) was a brilliant attorney. He got the maximum that was available. The maximum is what he always got.

Dallas Assistant District Attorney Edward Gray “Even in cases where evidence was weak, Wade would go all out, go for broke, be super-competitive.”

Innocence Project of Texas. “ When someone was arrested, it was assumed they were guilty. I think prosecutors and investigators basically ignored all evidence to the contrary and decided they were going to convict these guys." (See this)

Below I have highlighted the legacy of injustice which occurred under the tenure of DA of Dallas County, Henry Wade.

Randall Dale Adams (1976): Wrongfully convicted of the murder of Dallas police officer Robert Wood. His conviction was overturned in 1989 after new evidence emerged from the documentary The Thin Blue Line.

Adams describes an all too familiar story regarding his interrogation at the hands of the Dallas Police;

“The day they picked me up, December 21st, they took me upstairs—they put me in a little room. Gus Rose walked in; he had a confession there he wanted me to sign. He said that I would sign it, he didn't give a damn what I said, I would sign this piece of paper he's got. I told him I couldn't. I don’t know what the hell you people expect of me but there's no way I could sign that. He left, he came back in 10 minutes and threw a pistol on the table. Asked me to look at it. Which I did, I looked. He asked me to pick it up. I told him no; I wouldn't do that. He threatened me, again I told him no. He pulled his service revolver on me, we looked at each other, to me seemed like hours, I do not like looking down the barrel of a pistol. I do not like being threatened… I kept telling them the same thing, they did not want to believe me. Never once was I allowed a phone-call. Never once was an attorney there. I don't know how long this had been, I know I had smoked two packs of cigarettes, I had been out for a long time. (See this)

Lenell Geter (1982): Convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment. His conviction was overturned in 1983 after investigative journalism by CBS News and others demonstrated his innocence. (See this) Guilty of Innocence|The Lenell Geter Story 1987

James Woodard (1981): Convicted of murder and spent 27 years in prison. Exonerated in 2008 through DNA testing. (See this)

Thomas McGowan (1985): Wrongfully convicted of rape and burglary based on misidentification. Exonerated in 2008 after DNA evidence proved his innocence. (See this)

David Shawn Pope (1986): Sentenced to life in prison for a rape he did not commit. Exonerated in 2001 through DNA evidence. (See this)

Joyce Ann Brown (1980): Brown was wrongfully convicted of a fur store robbery and the murder of the store employee. She was exonerated in 1990 after proof emerged that Wade had withheld critical evidence from the defense. (See this)

Richard Miles (1994): Though slightly after Wade's tenure, this case reflects ongoing issues from practices during Wade’s era. Miles was wrongfully convicted of murder and attempted murder based on weak evidence and prosecutorial oversights. He was released in 2009 and officially exonerated in 2012. (See this)

Johnnie Earl Lindsey (1983) was wrongfully convicted for a rape he did not commit, a verdict which was significantly influenced by flawed eyewitness identification procedures, particularly the use of a photographic line up. In this lineup, Lindsey and one other individual were the only two shirtless men depicted, a factor that had unduly influenced the victim’s identification. This line up process, which lacked procedural safeguards, was a pivotal factor leading to Lindsey serving over 26 years in a Texas prison. His innocence was finally proven through DNA testing facilitated by the Innocence Project, leading to his exoneration in 2009. (See this and this)

Tommy Lee Walker (1955):Tommy Lee Walker was undeniably innocent, yet his life was tragically taken due to the deeply flawed and corrupt practices under Henry Wade's tenure as Dallas County DA. The aggressive pursuit of convictions over fairness, a hallmark of Wade's leadership, led to a gross miscarriage of justice in Walker's case. This wrongful execution was carried out despite the complete absence of physical evidence and relied heavily on a confession that was coerced without legal representation. L.A. Bedford, Dallas County’s first black judge and a respected attorney, expressed profound outrage over the case, describing it as the "greatest injustice I have ever seen in my life."

During Tommy Lee's interrogation, the Dallas Police used tactics similar to those later employed against Buell Frazier. Captain Fritz, who led the questioning, spent hours grilling Lee who said that; “Fritz told him he had received a phone call implicating him in the murder of Venice Parker. Fritz had received no such call. Fritz said that there were witnesses and that police knew what he had done. Fritz had a reputation for being unusually effective at wringing admissions of guilt out of suspects, and his techniques worked in this case as well. Years later, we know much more about how often false confessions occur and what can trigger them—fear, cultural differences, sleep deprivation, and feelings of hopelessness, all of which played a role in this case.”

“Tommy Lee said later that he was intimidated when Fritz shouted at him again and again that he was lying about the murder. He said Fritz asked repeatedly if he had to bring in the men from upstairs when Tommy Lee balked at signing a confession. He believed that was a reference to the two officers he’d earlier seen beating a man. (see this and this)

Since 2001, there have been a total of 44 exonerations in Dallas, according to the District Attorney’s office, while 100s of cases are still waiting to be reviewed. (See this)


“No one has ever been able to put Oswald in the Texas School Book Depository with a rifle in his hand.” Jesse Curry. (Dallas Morning News-11/6/1969)

While in the grasp of the Dallas Police, Oswald's life was significantly diminished, it was reduced to being a central figure in a highly charged and publicized criminal case, without the benefit of the usual legal protections afforded to a suspect. Under intense scrutiny, both by law enforcement and the media, Oswald was paraded before cameras, leading to widespread speculation and judgment by the public. This spectacle overshadowed his rights and dignity, casting him as a villain in a predetermined narrative rather than a suspect with the right to a fair trial.

Moreover, Oswald's ability to defend himself or to present his side of the story was virtually non-existent, as he was quickly labelled the assassin of President Kennedy before any trial could take place. The immediate and overwhelming presumption of his guilt, coupled with the hostile and chaotic environment of the Dallas Police headquarters, meant that Oswald was deprived of the presumption of innocence. His life, in those final days, became a mere footnote in a broader national tragedy, overshadowed by the grief and anger of the entire world.

Mark Lane once posed this question;If Oswald is innocent—and that is a possibility that cannot now be denied—then the assassin(s) of President Kennedy remain(s) at large.” (See this)

More by Johnny Cairns.

Assassination 60

Our Lady of the Warren Commission

A Presumption of Innocence: Lee Harvey Oswald

Deanne Stillman’s American Confidential Exposed

Go to Part 1 of 2

Last modified on Friday, 10 May 2024 11:19
Johnny Cairns

Johnny Cairns is an electrician living in Edinburgh. He first got interested in President Kennedy through his father, Robert Cairns. Since then, he has held an undying admiration for Jack Kennedy and what he stood for. Through familiarizing himself with the facts of this crime, he has also become an advocate for the innocence of his alleged assassin, Lee Oswald. Through the various friendships developed with other researchers and making the trip to Dallas in 2018, he has spoken at JFK Lancer presenting the case for Oswald’s innocence and co-authored a book which is due for release at the end of 2021, titled “Case Not Closed.”

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