To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment five

By Mark Richards, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause was violated when the government introduced videotaped deposition testimony without making a good-faith effort, based on the facts of the case, to secure the witnesses’ presence at trial. It is the law of the land in America that people get to face their accusers – for a number of good reasons.

In the case at hand, the government filed a motion to declare the witnesses were ‘unavailable’ and to allow the introduction of their videotaped depositions at trial. The defendant countered with a motion to exclude the depositions on the grounds that the government had failed to prove the witnesses were unavailable and that the introduction of the videotaped depositions violated his right to confrontation. (Ankney, Douglas; “Fifth Circuit: Introduction of Deposition Video Without Making Good-Faith Effort to Secure Witnesses’ Presence at Trial Violates Confrontation Clause,” Criminal Legal News [March 2019], pg. 29.) As the Supreme Court stated in United States v. Allie, 978 F.2d 1401 (5th Cir. 1992): “…[b]ecause of the importance our constitutional tradition attaches to a defendant’s right to confrontation, the good-faith effort requirement demands much more than a merely perfunctory effort by the government.”

In the past, the public has been protected from such un-Constitutional attacks by the appeal courts for criminal encounters, and by local courts when it came to what most would consider ‘slander’ or ‘false witness’ accusations. But because the legal system has not been able to keep up with the technology, we now find fanatics of every sort are able to accost us with any wild accusation or statement that they want, with seemingly no realistic recourse on the part of the victim.

How many children have you heard about over the last few years who have killed themselves after a cyber-bully attack? Nor are well-healed adults immune from such reactions to being emotionally butchered by such cowardly backstabbing. A well-known 23-year-old porn star, apparently hung herself in December 2017 after a number of bitter media attacks over something she had said.

My only recourse in my own case seems to be to ‘vent’ a bit, and try to remind the public of a number of factors that my enemies have overlooked in their rush to do harm to my family and myself. I am reminded of actor Jackie Chan’s words: “I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared…I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself.” (Quoted in Guideposts, March 2019, pg. 12.)

After 35 years in California prisons, very little scares me, and nobody bullies me. Another point, however, that most of us have heard before, but those of us in prison know often to be a false hope, is that “the truth shall set you free.” Anyone in prison, or who has suffered a government or media attack, will tell you that all too often the ‘truth’ becomes so twisted by the expert enemy forces that the sure weight of the falsehoods are going to convict you no matter what the truth might have been. And because in the new “Media Rules” society there is no such thing as “You’ve done your time,” or “Give the man another chance,” the more vicious pundit can excite the public ‘will,’ the less chance a man has to ever get out of prison.

Because of the timing of my own case – that the attack came shortly after the filing of paperwork requesting a commutation that might have allowed me to start going to a Parole Board with the long-range hope of someday going home – my family and I have to consider the possibility that the government still so fears my whistleblowing efforts that they will go so far as to organize a media attack to further discredit me and rebuild an active ‘hate’ and ‘fear’ towards me in the public mind. Why else, after nearly 40 years, would anyone try to dig up such long-forgotten stories?

Well, money for one thing. The men involved have been trying to get money from the public for months to supposedly use it in the making of a more elaborate video against me. One can only guess how much money they’ve already been given by interested sources that have a stake in trying to silence me. I might remind the public of the words of Ray Bradbury, when he warned that, “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

In its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) – which held political campaign spending is a form of protected speech – the U.S. Supreme Court noted the First Amendment is “[p]remised on mistrust of governmental power.” The Court has also held that such mistrust extends to bans on books and other reading materials, since “freedom of speech is not merely freedom to speak; it is also freedom to read.” (See: King v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 415 F.3d 634 [7th Cir. 2005.)

In addition to the many other privations that prisoners experience, we are often subjected to censorship of books, magazines and even correspondence by prison officials, and everything we attempt to write of say is constantly looked at and often censored. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote, “The simple opportunity to read a book or write a letter, whether it expresses political views or absent affections, supplies a vital link between the inmate and the outside world, and nourishes the prisoner’s mind despite the blankness and bleakness of his environment.” (See: Wolfish v. Levi, 573 F.2d 118 [2d Cir. 1978], rev’d sum nom. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 [1979].)

Yet restrictions on books and magazines have become commonplace in prisons and jails, and now someone is trying to silence my comments on a number of subjects by turning public attention against me – or perhaps even provoking an attack on me in prison to silence me once and for all. It should be noted that the men involved in this ‘cyber’ attack have already contacted my fellow prisoners in the attempt to make me look bad in their eyes – something that, in prison, can result in very dangerous situations, and leave me in a position where I have no options but to defend myself, and thus ruin any hope there may be for a positive action by the Parole Board.

In 1974, in Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974), writing for the majority, Justice Thurgood Marshall stated, “when the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions, his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.”

Crucial to that need for self-improvement is the ability to read and study, to thereby learn new ideas and ways of thinking – and thus behaving. As a result, federal courts have found that incarceration does not automatically deprive prisoners of the First Amendment’s protection from policies that abridge the freedom of speech.

And yet, here we are, with some group of cyber bullies, performing a smear campaign, trying to convince the public that you shouldn’t pay attention to what I might say because they want you to believe that I’m a ‘bad man.’

Let’s get something clear: after 35 years on the main lines of California prisons, I am a really bad man. I sure as Hell wouldn’t want me for an enemy. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to my voice when I try to warn you that something is going wrong! I have never spoken or written a word over the last three decades that I didn’t expect people to question. I’ve told the public to question and research everything they are told. What I object to is the current fad of attacking a speaker or writer on a personal level when you can’t find a ‘real’ flaw in their arguments. This becomes no different than the street thug who beats someone into silence just because he is more brutal and can get away with the attack. The sad fact is that the government, and the New World Order-backed media, get away with this sort of tactic just about any time they desire. That doesn’t mean that we have to like it, or that we should remain silent when we see it happening yet again! As Americans, it is up to each of us to demand that our rights are not violated by the government or any individual who thinks they are above the laws of the land.

And it is our right, according to our American Constitution, that we can defend ourselves against those who attack us, or pose a threat to our loved ones and our nation. That is why I have started this series of essays, and why events have been set in motion to legally present my side of the story to the public in a rational and organized manner. If my attackers become a little worried about the direction things may take, so be it. How does it feel, punks? You should never have attacked my wife and children in public!

Sad, when a convict is the only one with any class left standing.

To be continued….

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment three

By Mark Richards, 2019

A 2014 Northwestern University study found that almost half of the wrongful convictions in death penalty cases were based on false testimony of incentivized witnesses, making snitches the leading cause of wrongful convictions in capital cases. By 2016, the National Registry of Exonerations found that 81 of 116 death penalty exonerations involved perjury or false testimony by incentivized witnesses, an increase up to 70 percent. Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project found that 25 percent of DNA exonerations involved the knowing use of false incentivized witness testimony, and 11 percent involved the use of coerced witness testimony. (“The Snitch System,” NW School of Law Center on Wrongful Convictions; “incentives, Lies, and Disclosure,” by Christopher T. Robertson and D. Alex Winkleman, Univ. of Penn. Journal of Constitutional Law 20 [2017].)

Families Against Mandatory Minimums noted in 2010 that the threat of mandatory minimum sentences coerced 25 percent of defendants to cooperate with law enforcement in hopes of persuading the government to file a motion for a sentence below the mandatory minimum, since only a motion by the government can get around a mandatory minimum sentence. (“Understanding Snitching” by Families Against Mandatory Minimums.)

The facts show that numerous studies have been conducted on incentivized witnesses, including their effect on wrongful convictions, why they decided to cooperate with the government or other authority figures, and what it takes to persuade someone to become an incentivized witness. While these studies went about their findings in various ways, they all came to the same conclusion: offered an incentive to do so, most people, even honest people, will lie in exchange for some benefit.

In a 2017 study led by University of Arizona law professor Christopher Robertson, two experiments conducted on hundreds of people showed that 20 percent of one group would lie as a witness for the government in a case against someone else to obtain leniency for an unrelated offense, and 55 percent in another study group would lie against one of their codefendants in order to get leniency. The vignette-based experiments conducted by Robertson and his colleagues showed that non-criminals elected to lie at a rate shockingly higher than one might have expected. At the same time they recognized that their experiments actually underestimated the rate jailhouse informants would testify falsely for the government. They based this conclusion on the fact that jailhouse informants would be even more inclined to lie than the average person – because that is what criminals do, they said. (Norris, Robert J., et al; “’Than That One Innocent Suffer’ Evaluating State Safeguards Against Wrongful Convictions,” Albany Law Review [2011]; and Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/115-21 [2003].)

Researchers at the University of Arkansas in 2009 found that an offer to students to get out of having to complete another assignment resulted in about one-third of them providing false testimony against someone, even when they were told that the person had not committed the offense. The researchers said this result was not surprising since incentive is a “selfish motivation.” (Bliss, Kevin; “Police Use of ‘Undercover Friending’ Investigative Technique Unregulated,” from

Added to the legal threat of such testimony, one now is faced with the new threat of the widespread use of social media to conduct unregulated, warrantless, long-term surveillance and openly aggressive destruction of individuals by the state of other special interest groups. Government agents have created Facebook accounts with false identities to follow targeted individuals without consideration for any clear investigative outcome, or brought corrupt media pundit-types onboard to discredit (or push people into suicide) targets the State seeks to ruin. How do you fight the false accusations of a cyber-bully, who can report any lie from any supposed ‘witness,’ or make up anything they want to support their side of a story?

That problem is exactly why, in the prison systems around the United States over the last century snitches have been treated harshly by their fellow convicts. For decades, when a man is found to be a ‘snitch’ or ‘rat’ in any of the ‘mainline’ prisons in California, if he doesn’t ‘lock it up’ and go into protective custody, he is likely going to get killed. Such men are considered the lowest of the low, and a threat to all of their convict brothers.

Why would the government risk such a controversial ploy, considering the risk involved? In my own case the answer is very simple. There was no evidence that would have done me enough significant legal damage to put me in prison without the use of ‘false’ or incentivized witnesses. And now, when there was the slight chance that through a ‘commutation,’ I might have hoped to have the “Life Without” sentence reduced to a “Life With,” so that I might seek parole at some point, those who seek to keep me in prison forever are more than willing to utilize the use of such people to get enough negative public reaction so that neither a governor nor a judge would dare to sign any such commutation order.

The roots of such an attack can be insidious. In my case, any encounter with entities known to be of extraterrestrial origin is to be considered to be a master of the highest national security and therefore classified ABOVE TOP SECRET. Under no circumstances is the general public or the public press to learn of the existence of these entities, or their interactions with humans. The official government policy is that such creatures do not exist, and that no agency of the Federal Government is now engaged in any study of extraterrestrials or their artifacts, or in any sort of communications with such creatures. Any deviation from this stated policy is absolutely forbidden. (Majestic 12 Group; “Special Operations Manual, SOM1-01 – Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal,” April 1954, Part 2;

The penalties for disclosing classified information are quite severe. In December 1953, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued Army-Navy-Air Force publication 146 that made the unauthorized release of information concerning UFOs a crime under the Espionage Act, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (21st Century Radio’s Hieronimus & Co.; “Transcript of Interview with Bob Dean; March 24, 1996,” found at site: According to Robert Dean, this penalty is what prevented most former members of the military from coming forward to disclose information. (21st Century Radio’s Hieronimus & Co.; “Transcript of Interview with Bob Dean; March 24, 1996,” found at site:

The strategies for dealing with those former servicemen, corporate employees or witnesses brave (or foolish) enough to come forward to reveal classified information is to intimidate, silence, eliminate or discredit these individuals. This policy involves such strategies as removing all public records of former military service personnel or corporate employees, forcing individuals to make retractions, deliberately distorting statements of existing records of individuals, or discrediting the individuals by twisting the truth or making wild accusations. Bob Lazar, for example, claimed to be a former physicist employed with reverse engineering extraterrestrial craft. He described the disappearance of all his university and public records indicating how intelligence agencies actively discredit whistleblowers. (“Bob Lazar on the Billy Goodman Happening”; December 20, 1989; In the well-known witness cases in the field – such as Cooper, Schneider, Lear, Wolf, and myself to name a few – all have been subjected to some or all of these strategies thereby making it difficult for the public to reach firm conclusions about our testimonies. Since the creation of controversy, uncertainty, and confusion is the modus operandi of intelligence agencies in maintaining secrecy of the extraterrestrial presence, then the testimonies of former officials/employees/witnesses need to be considered on their merits. (Salla, Michael; “Eisenhower’s 1954 Meeting with Extraterrestrials – Part 2/2, May 22, 2011 by Steve Beckow;

While issues of credibility, credentials and disinformation are important in the study of the extraterrestrial presence, a rigorous methodology for dealing with the efforts of intelligence agencies to discredit, intimidate, or create controversy around particular witnesses, has yet to be developed. For example, numerous efforts to discredit Cooper in particular by referring to inconsistencies in his statements, retractions, egregious behavior and stated positions. May be due in part or in whole to the policy of intelligence officials to discredit and/or intimidate Cooper from leaking classified information concerning events that he had witnessed in his official capacities. Since Cooper’s military record does indicate that he did serve in an official capacity on the briefing team of the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, it is most likely that much of his testimony is credible. Whatever inaccuracies exist in terms of his recollections of events (like the timing of meetings between the Eisenhower administration and extraterrestrials), may either have been due to understandable memory lapses after the passage of decades, or perhaps deliberately introduced as a self-protective mechanism. It has been pointed out by some “whistleblowers” that making retractions or sowing inaccuracies in testimonies is something essential in disseminating information without being physically harmed. (Salla, Michael; “Disinformation, Extraterrestrial Subversion & Psychological Reductionism – A Reply to Dr. Richard Boylan,” January 7, 2004, found on The controversial Cooper has been subjected to undoubtedly the longest and most intense intelligence efforts to discredit or intimidate any whistleblower revealing classified information; finally including his murder by Federal agents.
What I find fascinating is the way the intensity of the attacks of disinformation and discrediting increase as a person brings more information to the public. If we were crazy fringe lunatics, as some would suggest, then why not just leave us alone and let time silence our foolishness the very vehemence of our attackers would seem to suggest that there is something wrong to what we are trying to tell the public.

Thusly, I consider it something of a compliment and a verification that my efforts in the field have been on the right track. Are the accusations painful and hard to take without reacting? Of course they are. Having my wife accosted in public lectures by some crazed English pervert in bad makeup to disguise himself from the authorities is not something that I am happy about. Having a small number of people from my past come forward to slander and parrot what the New World Order-backed Fake News slime suggests irritates but (like the people themselves) is almost meaningless. My greatest problem in fact is trying to keep a number of my ‘friends’ from protectively over-reacting to the attacks, and thus getting me in more legal trouble for innocent guilt by association. As one snarled recently, “Let’s offer them full disclosure. They may not like our version of it, but they so richly deserve it.”

To be continued…

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment two

By Mark Richards, 2019

Studies also have shown that false testimony by witnesses cause more wrongful convictions than the next two leading causes – erroneous identification and false or coerced confessions – combined.

In a study by the University of Alabama psychology department, mock jurors were unable to detect the coercive nature of confession testimony, and more importantly, they gave undue weight to an informant’s confession testimony in determining guilt. The study’s authors concluded that “if jurors cannot perceive the difference between an honest and dishonest cooperating witness there is grave potential for such testimony to lead to wrongful convictions of the innocent.” In stating the obvious, the researchers observed that this creates a “substantial problem for the criminal justice system.”

When an informant’s testimony is the sole evidence to support a conviction or an accusation, “the integrity of the system is at stake,” Natapoff warned. She observed that the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), placed a requirement on the courts to evaluate the reliability of expert witnesses because they can be “both powerful and quite misleading.”  However, there is no such requirement for an incentivized witness testifying about unsubstantiated facts on behalf of the government or some media pundit.

One might remember that an incentivized witness is someone who testifies on behalf of the government or any source of information against another person or group in exchange for an expected benefit.  This benefit may include favorable treatment in the person’s own criminal case, money, protection against the threat of being attacked themselves, or other goods or considerations. This can include so-called “Good Samaritans,” who come forward on their own with information about someone being accused of wrong-doing for no other reason than the public recognition of being one of the voices who helped ‘put that guy away.’

The term “incentivized” means “a motivation or reason for doing something.” Incentives offered to government witnesses have included reduced sentences, cash, a chance to spare friends or family from criminal charges, an early parole, or any other deal the government offers for the witness’ testimony. The term “witness,” also referred to as “informant” in this context, means someone who provides information or testimony in exchange for an incentive. Though not limited to only criminal suspects, by far the most common  government informant is the “jailhouse informant,” who is a person facing criminal charges or serving a prison sentence who wants a reduced sentence or charges dropped in exchange for his information against a fellow prisoner. The State of Alaska, for example, defines “informant” as “someone who provides evidence against someone else for money or to escape or reduce punishment for [their] own misdeeds or crimes.” The labels “incentivized witness” and “informant” are often used interchangeably.  (Quoted by Dale Chappell, in “Government Snitches,” Criminal Legal News, March 2019, page 3.)

The testimony offered by an incentivized witness about what a defendant said or admitted to is called a “secondary confession,” which is defined as “evidence provided by someone other than the suspect and purported to be direct information from the suspect.” It is this secondary confession that’s the product the informant sells and for which the government – or the reporter – barters.

Amazingly, the government knows just how perverse this practice is.  “Informants are not the most reliable people around,” Orange County, California, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told 60 Minutes. When the host asked Rackauckas about a particular informant popular with his office, he said,” I think you should assume you’re talking to an informant. And if he’s talking, he’s probably lying.” Prosecutors know that the product they are buying has defects. So do reporters and other media pundits. The problem is, as long as it helps to prove their side of a case or story, they don’t care.

As we have painfully seen, snitches come in all shapes and sizes, and their various labels come from their position in the grand scheme of the proceedings.

The “jailhouse snitch” is the prototypical incentivized witness who informs law enforcement, prison staff, or the media about what another prisoner has supposedly said or done, usually the result of an overheard conversation or at the snitch’s prodding. This type of informant is often involved in many wrongful convictions, or the original crime that set the story in motion. The “accomplice informant” is the co-defendant of the person the informant is offering information against in an effort to get his own charges dropped or sentence reduced. These informants are commonly used by law enforcement and the media to ensnare others in the supposed scheme, especially the bigger fish.

Interestingly, the Department of Justice does not consider accomplice witnesses as “confidential informants” to which rules governing protection and payments apply. Instead, the government considers these informants “cooperating defendant/witnesses” who have an expectation of a reward for their services. Confidential informants, unlike accomplice witnesses, also do not testify in court in order to protect their identity in future cases.

The “calumniator” has traits of the other types of informants but is distinguished by the desire to shift as much blame as possible onto someone else in order to escape liability. It is not uncommon for the calumniator to place blame on an innocent person, which has resulted in many wrongful convictions, not to mention many innocent people ruined by media that often promotes such calumniators.

Snitches are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, particularly in capital cases, according to a 2004 Northwestern University study. (Cassidy, Michael R.; “Soft Words of Hope, Giglio, Accomplice Witnesses, and the Problem of Implied Inducements,” Northwest Univ. Law Review 98, ©2003.) Researchers in that study discovered that nearly half of the exonerations involved convictions that were based on snitches. Over 100 of those exonerations were for prisoners on Death Row. Study after study have shown wrongful convictions based on incentivized witnesses is a real problem worth investigation, while the growing problem of innocent people being ruined by the rumor-mill of cyber-space is becoming an epidemic.

Again, one should remember what U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Trott said in his 1996 commentary on incentivized witnesses titled, “Words of Warning for Prosecutors Using Criminals as Witnesses”: “Criminals are likely to say and do almost anything to get what they want, especially when what they want is to get out of trouble with the law.” Not only do incentivized witnesses have the ability to fabricate evidence, they can do so without sparking much suspicion because they know the information they provide is difficult to corroborate or to defend against. Incentivized witnesses can manipulate their version of the facts precisely because they know which facts are verifiable and which are not. The lies by the incentivized witness are difficult to detect, and the listener may infer from the details provided by the witness that the facts are indeed true. And who would know? The prosecutor or media-type wants to believe the witness, and the defense attorney does not believe him, but cannot prove he is lying.

There is also little to no oversight of a prosecutor or media reporter using an incentivized witness. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors have “broad” power to administer criminal justice and prosecute (or not) however they see fit. Retired U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson remarked that “judges are in fact not well suited to supervise criminal investigations, a process which is generally best left to the Executive Branch.” This leaves the prosecutors themselves to oversee their use of incentivized witnesses, a plan not without its obvious weaknesses.  There is no watchdog group or authority to keep an eye on the media’s use of such people. Because of an offer of leniency from the prosecutor – often with the help of a media pundit working with the government – the situation offers a powerful incentive to lie.

To be continued…