By Joe Klaas
Day 5 of the Polly Klaas Murder Trial, and the defense team of Richard Allen Davis has pulled a fast one on the media, you and me. Everybody thinks that Davis has pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and murder of my granddaughter, Polly. Not so. Davis still pleads "not guilty" to all charges.
Davis has not legally admitted he is guilty of anything! His defense attorneys promised the jury not to defend Davis against murdering Polly and the special circumstance crime of kidnapping. Still they pull all the tricks in the book to attack every piece of evidence and each witness the prosecution presents to prove those charges.
"Did you write a letter to the prosecution in which you asked to testify in this trial because it would be a great contribution to your career?" Defense attorney Barry Collins asked the witness, finger print expert Charles Philip Illsley. Deputy prosecutor Cliff Harris, out of ear shot of the jury at the end of day 5, got the actual letter placed into evidence. What it stated was that Illsley’s voluntary service at no pay would be "one of the greatest contributions of my career." Collins changed one word to make a good deed of public service appear to be self service, and sound scientific evidence look like false testimony and perjury for the purpose of advancing a fine man’s career.
Watch out when a defense attorney promises not to defend his client against crimes that the client has admitted to on eight and one half hours of video tape released to the public today by Judge Thomas Hastings. Collins will continue to pull tricks out of his large sleeve to try to discredit Davis’ owns statement on camera.
Defense attorneys around the country are hailing Collins admission of guilt, which is really no such admission at all, as brilliant strategy. But the defense made a colossal error today. With the court room darkened, pairs of jurors filed past Illsley’s alternate-light-source equipment to view Davis’ palm print, lifted from Polly’s bed the day after her kidnapping and murder. Davis, exercising his right, then lurched along the full length of the jury box to peer through special glasses at the print that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Now the jury knows how it feels to be inches away from that tattooed hulk of a criminal in the dark.
KlaasKids Foundation P.O. Box 925, Sausalito, CA 94966
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