People v. Robert Turner, Jr.— 04 SA 178

Colorado Supreme Court

Chaffee County Judge William Alderton, Eleventh Judicial District
Colorado Supreme Court En Banc
Decision handed down: March 28, 2005
Matter before the bar: Right to production of records in defense of criminal prosecution and subornation of perjury

Perjury is virtually never prosecuted in Colorado. It is difficult to imagine how any "justice" system that tolerates, if not encourages perjury in any form can function. But clearly that is now State policy and "perjury and suborning perjury are just tricks of the trade nowadays, regardless of whether we like it or not and regardless of whether lawyers admit it or not (which they won't)."

It is no secret that victim's advocates, shelter workers, advocacy groups, and some attorneys routinely advise women to file domestic violence charges and restraining order against their husbands and lovers, and often provide explicit instructions on how to do so. Outside the domestic violence and divorce industry such actions are known, and abhorred, as subornation of perjury.

But in Colorado the subornation of perjury is not a criminal act. Further, Colorado law exempts any victim's advocate who provides such information from liability for any harm that may result from such perjury. However, there was still the question of whether a defendant who stood accused of domestic violence as a direct or indirect result of subornation of perjury might have access to the information provided by domestic violence advocates to his accuser, or whether that is "privileged" information? But the legislature thoughtfully closed that loophole with § 13-90-107(k)(I) C.R.S. which states:

And, despite the fact that Colorado is an Equal Rights Amendment state (Article II, § 29 Colorado Constitution), in § 13-90-107(k)(II) C.R.S. it is explicit that only female victims and their advocates have this privilege:

A particularly egregious example of this problem began winding its way through the Colorado courts on November 20, 2003, when the Chaffee County (11 th Judicial District) District Attorney filed assault and harassment charges involving domestic violence against Robert Turner, Jr. stemming from allegations he battered his girlfriend, M. P.

During pretrial discovery Mr. Turner's defense attorney found that M. P. had contacted the Alliance Against Domestic Abuse, 122 East 1 st Street, Salida, CO 81201, telephone: (719) 539-7347, for "assistance." As the defense attorney's experience apparently strongly suggested the Alliance had provided "assistance" that amounted to suborning perjury, defense counsel served them with two separate subpoenas duces tecum demanding production of the records of M. P.'s contact(s) with the Alliance. The Alliance moved to quash the subpoenas. At a hearing Chaffee County Judge Alderton granted the defendant's Motion to Compel and ordered the Alliance to produce a broad outline of the type of assistance provided to M. P.

The Alliance then petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court pursuant to C.A.R. 21 for review of that order. On March 28, 2005, in case 04 SA 178 the court held that the victim-advocate privilege is absolute.

Thus, in Colorado any individual or group that labels themselves a "victim's advocate" (but only for women) can now suborn perjury to their heart's content without fear of liability or disclosure unless the "victim" turns against them. And those "victims" who do turn against the domestic violence industry are mercilessly persecuted and often prosecuted.


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