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Author Topic: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?  (Read 4612 times)

Online Mike Orr

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Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« on: April 04, 2018, 03:47:18 AM »
Lee Harvey Oswald claimed that the Dallas Police would not let him have a lawyer. He repeatedly asked for "someone to come forward and give me legal assistance" . While Oswald did express a preference for John Abt from New York , his second choice ... was any lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union . The ACLU did attempt to make contact with Oswald, but its representatives were discouraged from doing so, maybe to avoid an attorney - client privilege ??? Oswald requested a lawyer during the first interrogation session. Captain Will Fritz , testifying before the Warren Commission , said that during the 1st session, Oswald requested John Abt to represent him and as his second choice, the ACLU . Gregory Lee Olds was the President of the Dallas Civil Liberties Union. He had been contacted by one of his board members at 10:30 pm. on Friday , the 22nd, regarding Oswald's being denied counsel . He called the Police Station and spoke with Capt. Fritz, who told him that Oswald had been given the opportunity to request counsel and had not made any request. This of course was a lie , because as Fritz told the Warren Commission that Oswald made known his 2nd choice of the ACLU to represent him in the very first interrogation session , some 6-8 hours previously. After deliberation , Olds and 3 others headed for Dallas Police Hdqrts. Olds and his party arrived on the 4th floor, where they met Charles Webster, a Lawyer and Professor of law at SMU, who took them to see " Captain Glen King. Olds testified that "Captain King........assured us that Oswald had not made any request for counsel." Two of the party went downstairs and confronted Judge David Johnson: Justice of the Peace David Johnson also assured us that there had been an opportunity of--Oswald's rights which had been explained, and he had declined counsel. Said nothing beyond that . That was the extent of our inquiry. And of course these accounts are lies because in his testimony before the WC, Sgt. Gerald Hill said that Oswald had requested counsel at the time of his arrest inside the Texas Theater.

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Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« on: April 04, 2018, 03:47:18 AM »


Online Richard Smith

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 02:53:12 PM »
It would seemingly only matter had there been a trial.  Oswald didn't say much that could have used against him anyway other than a few lies like not owning a rifle.  So it would not have made much difference even in a criminal trial to have excluded anything he said in the interrogation.  There was a mountain of admissible evidence that convicted him a thousand times over.  CTers attempt to blur the legal context from reality as though they are one and the same.  They are not.  Anyone interested in the case today doesn't have to concern themselves with whether Oswald's legal rights were protected in 1963.  They can avail themselves of all the evidence to reach a conclusion as to his guilt. 

Offline Gary Craig

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 03:20:30 PM »
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Lee Harvey Oswald claimed that the Dallas Police would not let him have a lawyer. He repeatedly asked for "someone to come forward and give me legal assistance" . While Oswald did express a preference for John Abt from New York , his second choice ... was any lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union . The ACLU did attempt to make contact with Oswald, but its representatives were discouraged from doing so, maybe to avoid an attorney - client privilege ??? Oswald requested a lawyer during the first interrogation session. Captain Will Fritz , testifying before the Warren Commission , said that during the 1st session, Oswald requested John Abt to represent him and as his second choice, the ACLU . Gregory Lee Olds was the President of the Dallas Civil Liberties Union. He had been contacted by one of his board members at 10:30 pm. on Friday , the 22nd, regarding Oswald's being denied counsel . He called the Police Station and spoke with Capt. Fritz, who told him that Oswald had been given the opportunity to request counsel and had not made any request. This of course was a lie , because as Fritz told the Warren Commission that Oswald made known his 2nd choice of the ACLU to represent him in the very first interrogation session , some 6-8 hours previously. After deliberation , Olds and 3 others headed for Dallas Police Hdqrts. Olds and his party arrived on the 4th floor, where they met Charles Webster, a Lawyer and Professor of law at SMU, who took them to see " Captain Glen King. Olds testified that "Captain King........assured us that Oswald had not made any request for counsel." Two of the party went downstairs and confronted Judge David Johnson: Justice of the Peace David Johnson also assured us that there had been an opportunity of--Oswald's rights which had been explained, and he had declined counsel. Said nothing beyond that . That was the extent of our inquiry. And of course these accounts are lies because in his testimony before the WC, Sgt. Gerald Hill said that Oswald had requested counsel at the time of his arrest inside the Texas Theater.

If I recall correctly, the ACLU reps were told that LHO had been read his rights and declined legal representation. Shortly after that exchange he appeared at the midnight press conference and requested someone come forward to provide legal representation.
It obvious now that he was denied legal help.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 03:23:27 PM »
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It would seemingly only matter had there been a trial.  Oswald didn't say much that could have used against him anyway other than a few lies like not owning a rifle.  So it would not have made much difference even in a criminal trial to have excluded anything he said in the interrogation.  There was a mountain of admissible evidence that convicted him a thousand times over.  CTers attempt to blur the legal context from reality as though they are one and the same.  They are not.  Anyone interested in the case today doesn't have to concern themselves with whether Oswald's legal rights were protected in 1963.  They can avail themselves of all the evidence to reach a conclusion as to his guilt.

Dave Reitzes had a quote (in the old forum) from Assisstant DA Bill Alexander where Alexander said that even AFTER reading Oswald his 5th Amendment right to remain silent (as required by Texas law at that time) that any statement he made *wouldn't* have been used against him. It was, he said, Dallas policy not to use them. The FBI also had a requirement to read suspect their rights to remain silent and to a counsel. Prior to Miranda most states required the police to read suspects those rights. Texas, however, did not REQUIRE that a lawyer be provided only that a suspect had the right to one; this is something that Miranda requires.

However Fritz testified that he read Oswald his right to remain silent several times because he knew that if he didn't any statements would be thrown out. Which is at odds with what Alexander said, i.e., that they didn't use them anyway. So why would Fritz be worried about the statements being tossed if the policy was not to use them?

So would Oswald's statements during the interrogation be used? Like a lot of things in this event you can argue it both ways.

As to denying counsel: As I noted above, Texas was not required to provide suspect a counsel only that they had a right to one. Which lawyer was denied Oswald? He wanted Abt and before it could be determined whether Abt would represent him (and Abt's behavior that Saturday was, to me, quite odd: it was like he was ducking the matter) it's clear to me that he, Oswald, didn't want another person.

The problem, in my view, with not getting Oswald a lawyer was due to Oswald's obstinacy and not because of anything the Texas authorities were doing.

I can't find the Alexander quote anywhere but I don't doubt that Dave had it correctly.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 03:41:01 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 03:43:25 PM »
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Dave Reitzes had a quote (in the old forum) from Assisstant DA Bill Alexander where Alexander said that even AFTER reading Oswald his 5th Amendment right to remain silent (as required by Texas law at that time) that any statement he made *wouldn't* have been used against him. It was, he said, Dallas policy not to use them. The FBI also had a requirement to read suspect their rights to remain silent and to a counsel. Prior to Miranda most states required the police to read suspects those rights. Texas, however, did not REQUIRE that a lawyer be provided only that a suspect had the right to one; this is something that Miranda requires.

However Fritz testified that he read Oswald his right to remain silent several times because he knew that if he didn't any statements would be thrown out. Which is at odds with what Alexander said, i.e., that they didn't use them anyway. So why would Fritz be worried about the statements being tossed if the policy was not to use them?

So would Oswald's statements during the interrogation be used? Like a lot of things in this event you can argue it both ways.

I can't find the Alexander quote anywhere but I don't doubt that Dave had it correctly.

My point is that the issue is moot since there will never be a trial.  And even if his statements had been excluded in the trial, there wasn't much in the interrogation other than catching Oswald in a few lies.  He denied his involvement.  We have access to the information in the interrogation regardless of whether it would have been admissible.  This whole discussion is to put Oswald in the positive light as the victim of injustice by being denied his rights.  Like Caprio's silly games about the unfairness of the lineup.  It plays into the CTer mindset that Oswald was a victim and the DPD was out to get him.

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 03:43:25 PM »


Offline Gary Craig

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 04:02:15 PM »
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Dave Reitzes had a quote (in the old forum) from Assisstant DA Bill Alexander where Alexander said that even AFTER reading Oswald his 5th Amendment right to remain silent (as required by Texas law at that time) that any statement he made *wouldn't* have been used against him. It was, he said, Dallas policy not to use them. The FBI also had a requirement to read suspect their rights to remain silent and to a counsel. Prior to Miranda most states required the police to read suspects those rights. Texas, however, did not REQUIRE that a lawyer be provided only that a suspect had the right to one; this is something that Miranda requires.

However Fritz testified that he read Oswald his right to remain silent several times because he knew that if he didn't any statements would be thrown out. Which is at odds with what Alexander said, i.e., that they didn't use them anyway. So why would Fritz be worried about the statements being tossed if the policy was not to use them?

So would Oswald's statements during the interrogation be used? Like a lot of things in this event you can argue it both ways.

As to denying counsel: As I noted above, Texas was not required to provide suspect a counsel only that they had a right to one. Which lawyer was denied Oswald? He wanted Abt and before it could be determined whether Abt would represent him (and Abt's behavior that Saturday was, to me, quite odd: it was like he was ducking the matter) it's clear to me that he, Oswald, didn't want another person.

The problem, in my view, with not getting Oswald a lawyer was due to Oswald's obstinacy and not because of anything the Texas authorities were doing.

I can't find the Alexander quote anywhere but I don't doubt that Dave had it correctly.

"So why would Fritz be worried about the statements being tossed if the policy was not to use them?"

Considering there is allegedly no stenographic or physical recording of Oswald's interrogations I doubt very much he was worried about statements being tossed.

A better guess would be they were more worried about what he was saying behind closed doors getting out before he could be shut up permanently. IMO
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 04:41:45 PM by Gary Craig »

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 04:10:04 PM »
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"So why would Fritz be worried about the statements being tossed if the policy was not to use them?"

Considering there is allegedly no stenographic or physical recording of Oswald's interrogations I doubt very much he was worried about statements being tossed.

A better guess would be they were more worried about what he was saying behind closed doors getting out before he could shut up permanently. IMO

Oswald was allowed to speak to the press.  So I don't think they were too concerned about his statements being made public or they would have cleared the hallways and kept him under wraps.  And if the "plan" was to kill him as you suggest, why arrest him at all?  There were perfect opportunities to kill Oswald right after the assassination and upon his arrest at the TT.  No one would have questioned doing so.  But the plan was to arrest him, interrogate him, and let him speak to the press before recruiting someone to murder him on national TV?  Another person to be kept quiet. Tell me you can't believe that nonsense.

Offline Gary Craig

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 04:33:15 PM »
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Oswald was allowed to speak to the press.  So I don't think they were too concerned about his statements being made public or they would have cleared the hallways and kept him under wraps.  And if the "plan" was to kill him as you suggest, why arrest him at all?  There were perfect opportunities to kill Oswald right after the assassination and upon his arrest at the TT.  No one would have questioned doing so.  But the plan was to arrest him, interrogate him, and let him speak to the press before recruiting someone to murder him on national TV?  Another person to be kept quiet. Tell me you can't believe that nonsense.

"There were perfect opportunities to kill Oswald right after the assassination and upon his arrest at the TT."

A pistol did misfire in the Texas Theater while Ozzie was struggling with McDonald.

"But the plan was to arrest him, interrogate him, and let him speak to the press before recruiting someone to murder him on national TV?"

The only people who I've heard/read make that claim are LNer's.

Most WC doubters just point out that LHO was denied legal counsel and was effectively muzzled by being stalked and murdered by Jack Ruby while in the custody of the DPD.






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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 04:33:15 PM »


Online Mike Orr

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 04:38:33 PM »
Why was Oswald not given counsel after he asked for legal assistance. Oswald was very much alive and asked for legal assistance and for whatever reason was turned down by Fritz , Captain Glen King, and Judge David  Johnson . The WC was told by Sgt. Gerald Hill that Oswald had requested counsel at the time of his arrest in the Texas Theater. To say that it was a moot point seeing how Oswald would be shot on National TV a few days later and  would not be needing any legal assistance is like saying my car wouldn't start because there was no gas in the tank. It sounds like "THEY" did not want Oswald to talk to anyone , especially a lawyer who would have an attorney client privilege . It looks like there was a reason to not take any notes during Oswald's interrogations . That way there would be nothing on record except for hearsay and we know that hearsay didn't hold much water back then as well as now days.

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 08:10:48 PM »
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Why was Oswald not given counsel after he asked for legal assistance. Oswald was very much alive and asked for legal assistance and for whatever reason was turned down by Fritz , Captain Glen King, and Judge David  Johnson . The WC was told by Sgt. Gerald Hill that Oswald had requested counsel at the time of his arrest in the Texas Theater. To say that it was a moot point seeing how Oswald would be shot on National TV a few days later and  would not be needing any legal assistance is like saying my car wouldn't start because there was no gas in the tank. It sounds like "THEY" did not want Oswald to talk to anyone , especially a lawyer who would have an attorney client privilege . It looks like there was a reason to not take any notes during Oswald's interrogations . That way there would be nothing on record except for hearsay and we know that hearsay didn't hold much water back then as well as now days.

Oswald spoke freely to the world press.  Do you really believe the plan was to muzzle Oswald by not giving him access to a lawyer but let mobs of press folks ask him questions?  That is very silly.  If THEY did not want Oswald to talk to anyone, THEY would not have arrested him to begin with.  THEY had a perfect opportunity to kill him at the Texas Theatre when he pulled a gun.  Honestly, give what you are suggesting some thought.

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Re: Was Oswald denied Counsel by the Dallas Authorities ?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 08:10:48 PM »