Based on Notes Taken on December 17th, 20th, and 31st, 2016
Author's Note Added on June 18th, 2017
Although Melissa Calusinski has been convicted of first-degree murder, there is plenty of reason to believe that she is innocent of the charges against her. It also seems that the detectives who interrogated her may have committed numerous violations of her rights to due process of law.
Detectives put Calusinski into a state of duress and coercion by locking her into the small 9” x 12” interrogation room2. Their locking her in was a violation of the law; Calsinski was there voluntarily, and therefore had the right to leave at any time. Judging by the nine-hour duration of her interrogation4, it seems that she was not aware that she had this right; and that suggests that detectives misrepresented her through omission by failing to inform her of her right to leave.
Another set of factors which contributed to the creation Calusinski's state of intimidation are the basic facts about the interviewing detectives and the set-up of the interrogation room. Melissa was interviewed, seated in the corner of a 9” x 12” room7, with two large policemen and a table taking up the vast majority of the room. This seems sufficient to establish that intimidation occurred.
As if that weren't enough, detectives cursed, shouted, and slammed their fists on the table during this voluntary police interview, according to Kathleen Zellner.3 Reporter Ruth Fuller called the confession the most troubling confession that she has ever seen.3
1) move for judgment that a false conviction has occurred;
2) co-author a joint statement that will suffice as new evidence, hopefully prompting a new trial;
3) move to have the case re-tried;
4) insist on Melissa's innocence on most charges;
5) consider striking a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a charge lesser than first-degree murder (such as negligent homicide or negligent manslaughter), and asking for eight years prison time served;
6) seek to nullify Calusinski's conviction (overturning any case law precedents that it may have created);
7) have Calusinski invoke her Fifth Amendment freedom from self-incrimination when she speaks to an investigator;
8) moving to charge police officers and prosecutors with potentially multiple counts of each of the rest of the due process violations listed in the list of twelve above;
9) suing the prosecutors for declining to move to dismiss the case; and
10) taking any steps possible to have the prosecutors disbarred.
There are additional facts which suggest not only deliberate misrepresentation, but professional incompetence, on the part of the prosecuting team; this is a piece of information that the defense should emphasize in addition to the possible perjury and misrepresentation committed by the prosecutors. Calusinski should sue her prosecutors for refusing to move for dismissal of the case against her. Successfully drawing attention to the numerous failures and lies by prosecution could aid in an effort to get the prosecutors disbarred.
Court documents reveal that Calusinski was not locked in the interrogation room, although there is plenty of reason to suspect that she believed she was locked in, which would help account for behavior if, indeed, the confession was coerced.
Additonally, it is apparent from court documents that Calusinski had access to food during the interrogation; however, she was not eating at the time because she was distraught and could not bring herself to eat. Calusinski apparently did have water and restroom access at the time.