Petitions Signed

Exposing the Truth: Jim Pittman’s Dubious Testimony and the Quest for Justice

April 3, 2024
By Joe Hunt

John, a visitor to this website, posed an intriguing question:

“I am very sympathetic to Joe’s case. As a retired lawyer, I know enough about Joe’s case to recognize that the trial judge seemed biased against him. However, for many, the stumbling block in sympathizing with Joe’s cause is Jim Pittman’s detailed admission of the alleged Ron Levin murder. Could Joe address this?”

My family referred this question to me. Here is my response.

The Early 1990s: Case Dismissals and Pittman’s Extradition

This post takes me back 30 years to the early 1990s. The San Mateo case was dismissed after the jury deadlocked 8-4 in my favor. Shortly thereafter, the Special Prosecution Unit of the California Department of Justice dismissed charges against my co-defendant, Jim Pittman.

Jim Pittman

Charges against Pittman in Los Angeles regarding Ronald Levin’s disappearance had been dropped after a 1988 trial ended with the jury deadlocked 10-2 in Pittman’s favor. However, following the San Mateo case dismissal, Pittman wasn’t released. Instead, he was extradited to West Virginia to face pending Grand Theft Auto charges. Unbeknownst to me, Pittman had stolen a car and fled West Virginia before we met in 1983.

Around 1994, my private investigator, William Divita of San Mateo County, relayed disturbing news. Pittman, in jail in West Virginia awaiting trial, explained his failing kidneys necessitated his release to settle affairs. He wanted $20,000 from me to reject a deal offered by authorities, influenced by the Beverly Hills Police Department. He threatened to accept the deal if I didn’t pay, mentioning a potential financial offer from TV producers for corroborating the State’s case.

Despite having the funds, I’ve always had a policy against yielding to threats. I refused Pittman’s ultimatum.

I instructed Mr. Divita to document his conversations with Pittman and to record future interactions. I asked him to inform Pittman of my refusal without explanation. I still possess the investigator’s reports and recordings in storage. Mr. Divita remains active as a P.I. in San Mateo County.

Pittman’s “Confession” and the Futile Search in Soledad Canyon

Months later, on “A Current Affair,” I watched Pittman “confess” to align with the State’s theory. The show featured Pittman guiding BHPD officers and a forensics team to Soledad Canyon, where he and I allegedly buried Levin. The episode revealed their futile search — no body, quick-lime, or shotgun pellets were found.

The State’s theory, based on a hoax, was that Levin was buried after being shot and covered in quick-lime. This fabrication was intended to intimidate a rival faction within the BBC. Pittman’s inability to produce a body in Soledad Canyon highlighted the farce.

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness. The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.

The Flawed Approach of Immunity Deals

The State’s approach to witnesses, offering deals in exchange for corroborative testimony, is deeply flawed. In Pittman’s case, the BHPD proposed dropping his theft charges if he supported their theory.

Pittman’s proffered testimony was a mere echo of Dean Karny’s story, necessary for his freedom. However, immunity deals undermine truth, as desperation for freedom can lead to false testimonies.

I stood against Pittman’s blackmail attempt, adhering to my principle of non-cooperation with evil. Consequently, none of Pittman’s statements under the deal were admissible, as he was never cross-examined.

Had Pittman testified in a retrial, his inconsistent narrative would likely have led to my exoneration. The story he told was implausible, revealing no actual murder had occurred.

The Lack of Governance in Immunity Deals and Abuse of Power

Immunity deals are an institutionalized aspect of American “justice.” What is particularly troubling is their lack of governance by any legal or regulatory framework. Wisely used, they can be pragmatic in bringing sophisticated criminals to justice. However, if the core elements of the story remain uncorroborated even after the deal, immunity can become a way to incentivize and suborn perjury. Clearly, in the case of James Pittman, that’s what occurred.

The Beverly Hills Police Department, anxious about Joe potentially being granted a retrial and aware that over 40 neutral citizen witnesses corroborated Levin’s absconding, exploited the desperation of a dying man to support their murder theory. They may claim on camera that offering Pittman a deal was necessary because they perceived Hunt’s release as a public safety threat, but this is merely a superficial justification for what was an abuse of government power.

Fittingly, the State did not benefit from their Faustian deal with Pittman.

Sign the Petition
Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

44,000 Strong & Growing: New Insights & Advocacy for Joe’s Freedom

Joe with his wife, Jamie, c. 2014

Dear Advocates for Justice,

We’re thrilled to celebrate a remarkable milestone with you: 44,000 signatures supporting Joe Hunt’s quest for justice! Within these pages, discover four new articles that offer a multifaceted look at Joe’s legal journey, from a fresh examination of his wrongful conviction to explorations of youth offenses, financial narratives, and beyond. Highlighted by an impactful 83-second video advocating for Joe’s parole, these stories are a testament to the power of collective advocacy. By sharing this content, you help amplify a crucial call for justice and reform, moving us closer to securing Joe’s freedom and challenging systemic flaws.

New Articles

A Miscarriage of Justice: The Overdue Reexamination of Joe Hunt’s Wrongful Conviction:

Today’s feature article calls for reevaluating Joe’s 40-year wrongful conviction, spotlighting new evidence and flawed legal processes. It criticizes the justice system’s preference for procedure over truth, using Joe’s denied appeal as a case in point. Urging legal reform and public support for Joe’s freedom, the piece includes key court documents and promotes #FairParoleForJoe, advocating for systemic change.

Why Joe Deserves a Chance at Parole (Video):

Did you know that all of Joe’s codefendants were either immune from prosecution, sentenced to 3.5 years, or won on appeal after 12 years with all charges dropped? Watch this 83-second video about why Joe deserves a chance of parole.

Ask Joe: Age and Accountability: Rethinking Youth Offenses and Rehabilitation:

Joe discusses the significance of age in accountability and rehabilitation, highlighting scientific evidence that the brain matures through late adolescence, affecting impulse control and susceptibility to peer pressure. He notes legislative changes allowing parole reviews for offenders under 26, advocating for fairness in legal treatment and rehabilitation opportunities. The article also reflects on judicial inconsistencies and the recent Supreme Court decision, underscoring the complex interplay between law, age, and rehabilitation.

Scam or Scapegoat? Rethinking Joe Hunt’s Financial Legacy:

This article sheds light on Joe’s story, challenging the narrative of him leading scams through the Billionaire Boys Club. Contrary to popular belief, Joe did not exploit his investors; losses were part of agreed risks with E.F. Hutton and Cantor Fitzgerald, not directly Joe’s liability. It delves into how Ron Levin, a con artist, significantly contributed to these financial losses, yet Joe’s intent was to protect his investors, even contemplating repaying them with his own money. This narrative contrasts sharply with accusations of fraud, highlighting Joe’s attempts to navigate financial downturns caused by external deceit. The article calls for a closer examination of Joe’s case, urging readers to look beyond media portrayals and advocate for fairness and transparency in the legal system.

Proven Innocent… But Still in Prison? Why?

Joe’s unique legal predicament underscores a systemic failure within the U.S. justice system. Despite possessing incontrovertible new evidence that could exonerate him if retried, Joe remains incarcerated due to procedural technicalities. Key testimony from Nadia Ghaleb, crucial in securing a co-defendant’s acquittal, was never presented at Joe’s original trial. Furthermore, declarations from jurors in a subsequent trial, convinced of Joe’s innocence based on this new evidence, are dismissed by courts citing evidentiary rules. This legal oversight not only keeps Joe unjustly imprisoned but also highlights the need for a justice system that values fairness over formality.

Thank You

Your participation is pivotal to the triumph of our cause. We’d like to encourage you to share this petition broadly; such action magnifies Joe’s quest for liberation and highlights the pressing demand for fairness and systemic change. United, we can elevate our advocacy, spread awareness, and ensure Joe achieves the justice he is due.

Katherine and Michael Olivier for Joe’s Family

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

A Miscarriage of Justice: The Overdue Reexamination of Joe Hunt’s Wrongful Conviction

March 19, 2024

The conviction of Joe Hunt casts a long shadow over the American legal system, illustrating a failure to align the machinery of justice with the principles of truth and equity. For four decades, Hunt has languished in prison, the victim of a legal process that has favored procedural technicalities over compelling evidence of innocence.

This new evidence, which surfaced following his conviction, could have dismantled the prosecution’s case had it been available during the initial trial.

The linchpin of Hunt’s argument rests on witness statements that have shattered the prosecution’s timeline, suggesting the supposed victim was alive well after Hunt’s alleged crime. This new evidence, which surfaced following his conviction, could have dismantled the prosecution’s case had it been available during the initial trial. The legislative revision of Penal Code section 1473 was designed for such scenarios, mandating a case review when new evidence could substantially alter the trial’s outcome.

Yet, the appellate court’s recent denial of Hunt’s petition, citing procedural default for delayed filing, is a stark indictment of a justice system that sometimes prioritizes form over substance. It begs the question: How many procedural obstacles must one man navigate before his voice is heard?

The campaign for Joe Hunt’s freedom is not just an outcry for one man’s exoneration but a clarion call for legal reform. His ongoing legal battle represents the struggles of countless individuals ensnared in a system that too often resists admitting its mistakes.

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Essential Court Documents

In the spirit of transparency and informed discourse, this article includes the essential court documents related to the claim of right defense, crucial for a complete understanding of Hunt’s legal stand.

The call to action is clear: it’s time to revisit the Joe Hunt case with the seriousness it deserves. We encourage you to review the included court documents for further insights into Hunt’s pursuit of justice. These documents provide a comprehensive view of the case, offering crucial information and supporting the movement for his release. This platform is not just an informational resource but a beacon for those who demand that our justice system live up to its name.

Scam or Scapegoat? Rethinking Joe Hunt’s Financial Legacy

March 15, 2024

“People seem to forget how many people lost their whole life savings because of this man and his cronies. The Billionaires Boys Club robbed millions and millions of dollars from elderly people, leaving many of them homeless. I don’t feel sorry for this man one bit, and his real name isn’t even Joe, so why doesn’t he start telling the truth?”

Francine Gigi Dougan

Misconceptions About Joe and His Investors

There are many unfortunate but popular misconceptions about the facts about Joe, his actions, and his motives. One of the most glaring ones is this idea that he callously scammed a bunch of ordinary people out of their life savings.

That isn’t the truth. It isn’t even consistent with the prosecution’s theory of the case.

The Prosecution’s Theory

So what was the prosecution’s theory about Joe and his investors and their money?

The State proved that investor money was lost at two brokerages: E.F. Hutton and Cantor Fitzgerald. The investors signed the contract between them and Financial Futures Trading Corporation of North America, Inc. Under the agreement, the investors agreed to bear any and all losses as a result of trades undertaken for them. Profits were to be split 50/50.

So Joe was not personally liable for the trading losses, which amounted to over a million dollars. Moreover, any liability for trading losses would have been contained at the corporate level.

The Losses at Cantor Fitzgerald

Ron Levin, Master Con Man

It was also established that the losses that occurred at Cantor Fitzgerald Brokerage, which amounted to about $600,000, were caused by Ron Levin, who reneged on a promise to pay $500,000 that he owed Joe at the time. Levin had promised to pay Joe that sum, and relying on that promise Joe had overextended the trading account by buying too many futures contracts than he had margin money for.

When Joe didn’t get the $500,000 Levin promised, he wasn’t able to use those funds as planned to meet the margin call, and a position that went on to be highly profitable ended up being liquidated at a loss.

Now Joe had put the same position on in Levin’s account at Clayton Brokerage house. Acting under a trading authorization there he had also bought Treasury Bond Futures for Levin’s account. That position showed on paper a profit of $8,000,000 because Joe had guessed correctly regarding the T-Bond market.

The Alleged Motive

So these are some of the circumstances which both the prosecution and the defense agree upon.

Next, to understand the financial aspect of the State’s case, you need to know what their theory of motive for the alleged killing of Levin was.

They argued at the 1987 trial that Joe didn’t want his investors to bear the losses that were occasioned by Levin’s failure to supply — as promised — the $500,000 he had owed Joe at the time of the Cantor Fitzgerald margin call. So, instead, they say Joe decided to take the money he needed to repay his investors from Levin at gunpoint.

Even under the State’s theory of the case, Joe didn’t set out to scam anyone.

So let that sink in. The State’s theory isn’t that Joe was callously indifferent to his investors’ losses. Quite the opposite! The State’s theory is that he wanted to force Levin to pay a personal debt Levin owed him, so that he could make up out of his own pocket the money that had been lost for the most part behind the corporate shield of Financial Futures Trading Corporation.

Put another way, the State argued that Joe was willing to repay the investors for losses he was not legally obligated to cover and was willing to use money that was owed to him, not Financial Futures Trading Corporation, to do so.

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness. The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.

Joe’s Mistakes

Now, it is true that Joe should have told the investors immediately about the Cantor losses. Instead, he issued a false statement reporting profits, not losses. As a result additional money was invested with Joe, only to be lost at E.F. Hutton and in underwriting some of the overhead of other BBC companies. Joe’s error here was twofold. First, in not being mature enough to face the FFTC investors with the truth. He thought he could avoid the heartache and upset by using the money he thought he had coming in from other activities. This was unwise and unlawful. Second, he was a fool to believe Ron Levin and to have anything to do with him.

As a result of those errors in character and judgment, the FFTC investors lost additional money. Joe agrees he was responsible for that and to this day feels horrible about it.

The Main Point

However, the point of reciting all this is to demonstrate that even under the State’s theory of the case, Joe didn’t set out to scam anyone. He was just being a legitimate businessman before he got thrown off track by a succession of Levin’s scams. And, furthermore, rather than having a callous disregard for the losses of the investors, the State’s theory is that Joe was willing to take money owed and promised to him and give it to the FFTC investors rather than to see them suffer. The State’s theory was that Joe killed Levin to recover money he hoped to use to make those investors whole.

The Defense’s Position

The defense position, and Joe’s, track the above, only diverging as to the final point. Joe says that he tried to scare Levin into paying, using the To Do lists as a prop, but that it never came to murder. Joe testified in San Mateo that he and several other BBC members had a meeting discussing ways to force Levin, who prided himself on being judgment-proof, to pay Joe the $4 million Levin admitted to owing Joe. Joe said the notes from that meeting were shown to, and left with, Levin on June 5, 1984, in the context of an effort to impress upon Levin the lengths to which the BBC would go to collect the $4,000,000 debt.

Karen Marmor, Levin’s next door neighbor, came forward after Joe was convicted providing crucial corroboration of Joe’s story. She testified in 1992 that she had seen the To Do lists on Levin’s desk on the afternoon of June 5, 1984 — i.e., 30 hours before Levin disappeared.

Summary: The Media Can’t Be Trusted

In sum, the media version of Joe’s life is simply untrustworthy. Collapsing real life into 30 minute or even 90 minutes of footage, acting, or narration, leaves most of reality on the cutting room floor.  

Joe’s true fight to make his investors whole, even if it had to come out of his own pocket, is reduced to the meme: ‘ponzi scheme.’ The reality that Ron Levin was in control of the ‘to do lists’ over 24 hours before he disappeared is ignored in favor of speculative sensationalization of their content.  

As we’ve learned in so many other contexts, the media simply can’t be trusted. This is why freejoehunt.com points all eyes and minds towards the opinions of the last and best informed jury to hear the evidence about Joe and the BBC. That jury, after hearing from over 100 witnesses whose testimony has never been accounted for in any media product, concluded the BBC witnesses were perjurers and that Levin likely fled to avoid prison for a variety of State and Federal crimes.

Sign the Petition
Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Proven Innocent… But Still in Prison? Why?

Joe with his sister and brother-in-law, January 2024

Unique Evidence of Wrongful Conviction

Joe Hunt is the only prisoner in the United States able to concretely prove that evidence which became available after his conviction would exonerate him if granted a retrial.

This unusual circumstance arose because the evidence in question was available to Joe in another trial, following Joe’s 1987 conviction in an L.A. courtroom.

In 1992, Joe faced trial again in San Mateo County, where he acted as his own lawyer. The prosecutor’s decision to use all evidence from the L.A. trial, alleging Joe’s involvement in other crimes, enabled Joe to hire investigators to reexamine the State’s claim of Ron Levin’s murder.

The Chief Detective on Joe’s L.A. case told his superiors in a memo written in 1993 that the evidence brought to light after Joe’s conviction, in his opinion, would likely result in an acquittal if Joe were retried.

Ultimately, Joe found and called 42 witnesses that had not, but should have been, presented by the defense in Los Angeles in 1987. Most of these witnesses could have been identified had the counsel representing Joe in that first trial been effective. A few of them only came forward after Joe was convicted.

Key Witness Testimony: Nadia Ghaleb

Just one of these witnesses, Nadia Ghaleb, was enough to free Joe’s co-defendant James Pittman. Pittman, the alleged trigger-man in the case, had been tried to a mistrial, with a vote of 11-1 to convict, in 1986. After Joe’s conviction in 1987, Pittman was retried. The 1988 trial resulted in a 10-2 vote for acquittal. The major difference between the two Pittman trials was Nadia’s testimony in the 1988 trial. 

Testifying for the Defense, Nadia told the jury that she managed restaurants and had become acquainted with Ron Levin when she was Maitre D’ at Mr Chow’s, possibly the premier restaurant in L.A. during the late ’70s. She recalled seeing and interacting with Levin on many occasions, including seeing Levin in the company of celebrities such as Andy Warhol. She described Levin perfectly—height, weight, eye color—right down to his signature silver-gray hair. It was because of her familiarity with Levin that she felt certain she saw him in a parking lot off of San Vicente Boulevard in May of 1987.

Plainly, Levin could not have both died in June of 1984 and been alive in May of 1987. The 1988 10-2 vote for acquittal of Pittman’s second jury suggests they found her testimony sufficient to raise a reasonable doubt. After the lopsided vote in favor of acquittal, DDA Wapner dropped murder charges against Pittman.

But Nadia wasn’t called as a witness at Joe’s 1987 trial. Convicted without her testimony, this circumstance – in light of the difference it appeared to make for Pittman – seriously undermines the reliability of the verdict.

Moreover, Joe called Nadia and several other similar witnesses in his 1992 trial in San Mateo. Though these witnesses were not directly relevant to the San Mateo charges, as explained above, the prosecutor made them relevant when he decided to use the L.A. case to try and show that both cases constituted an interlocking pattern of conduct. His argument opened the door for Joe to present evidence that he was both wrongfully convicted in L.A. and wrongfully accused in San Mateo.

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

Jurors Convinced of Innocence

In all, Joe called 107 witnesses to the stand—and, as noted above, over 40 of those were to demonstrate his innocence in the disappearance of Levin.

This is where it gets very interesting. The San Mateo jury, which hung 8-4 in Joe’s favor, was interviewed post-verdict. Eight of them gave Joe declarations stating that they felt, in light of the new evidence, that Joe had been wrongfully convicted. They concluded Levin fled to avoid prosecution; that he wasn’t killed.

The circumstances above explain why Joe is the only person in prison in the United States who can incontestably prove that his new evidence would likely lead to an acquittal. Why then should Joe languish in prison?

Joe has attempted to use these declarations from the San Mateo jurors to persuade the Courts to give him a retrial on the Levin charges. He has pointed out that it is unprecedented and unique proof that the evidence that was uncovered or became available after his 1986 conviction is both credible and exonerating.

The Courts have uniformly responded that while that appears to be true, they must refuse to consider the evidence because of an arcane evidentiary rule that was adopted to insulate jurors from post-trial attacks on their reasoning processes. (See Fed. Rules of Evid. section 606; California Ev. Code section 1150.)

Consequently, a legal technicality, unrelated to the pursuit of justice in individual cases, has enabled courts to dismiss conclusive evidence of Joe Hunt’s wrongful conviction. This dismissal occurs even though Hunt is not employing the juror declarations to challenge the jurors’ verdicts.

The circumstances above explain why Joe is the only person in prison in the United States who can incontestably prove that his new evidence would likely lead to an acquittal. Every year, thousands of American prisoners win retrial based merely on arguments that are deemed to show a likelihood of acquittal on retrial. Why then should Joe languish in prison?

Indeed, the Chief Detective on Joe’s L.A. case told his superiors in a memo written in 1993 that the evidence brought to light after Joe’s conviction, in his opinion, would likely result in an acquittal if Joe were retried.

The stark reality of Joe Hunt’s situation is a jarring indictment of a justice system mired in procedural inertia. It’s unconscionable that concrete evidence capable of overturning a wrongful conviction is disregarded, leaving an innocent man languishing behind bars. This case transcends Joe Hunt; it’s a chilling testament to the failures of a legal system that prioritizes technicalities over truth. The time has come for those in power to acknowledge and rectify this grave injustice. Every moment Joe remains imprisoned despite overwhelming evidence is not just a failure of the legal system, but a blatant betrayal of the very ideals of justice and fairness it purports to uphold.

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Ask Joe: Age and Accountability: Rethinking Youth Offenses and Rehabilitation

March 8, 2024
By Joe Hunt

“For me, and especially men, we should realize that the change from youth to middle age is drastic in your behavior and your thoughts and beliefs… What they may have thought was okay and their youth realize it’s wrong in older age.”

– Carolyn Marie Crane Bramblett on my Facebook posting

I agree, and the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama (2012) 567 U.S. 460 discusses some of the neurophysiological and behavioral science behind this revelation.

The idea of a youth offender parole hearing is based on scientific evidence showing that parts of the brain involved in behavior control continue to mature through late adolescence and that adolescent brains are not yet fully mature until a person is in his or her mid-to-late 20s. Specifically, the area of the brain responsible for impulse control, understanding consequences, and other executive functions is not fully developed until that time. This is, as you recognize, particularly true for males. 

In reviewing this scientific evidence, the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court have recognized that the younger a person is, the more susceptible he or she is to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure. However, as they age, maturity can lead to reflection, which is the foundation for remorse, renewal, and rehabilitation. Therefore, the California Legislature has determined that with few exceptions, offenders who commit crimes while under the age of 26 and who are sentenced to state prison are required to have a meaningful opportunity for parole during their natural life.

“The younger a person is, the more susceptible he or she is to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure.”

Understanding the Impact of Age on Legal Responsibility

Assembly Bill 1308 took effect on January 1, 2018, and it expanded youth offender parole hearings to persons under the age of 26 when they committed their controlling offense.

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

Senate Bill 394 also took effect on January 1, 2018, and it expanded youth offender parole hearings to include those persons sentenced to life without the possibility of parole who were under the age of 18 when they committed their controlling offense.

As of right now, those with a Life Without sentence are excluded from the Youthful Offender parole legislation cited above.

Challenging the Status Quo: A Personal Journey

However, in People v. Hardin, the Second Appellate District ruled that this exclusion violates the Equal Protection Clause of the California and Federal constitutions. Hardin is now under review in the California Supreme Court (S277487), and a decision is expected this year.

I was the first prisoner to challenge the exclusion of Life Without prisoners from the Youthful Offender parole bills, filing in late 2016 in L.A. Superior Court. When my petition was denied, I appealed to the Second Appellate District — the same District that would later grant relief to Hardin. However, they denied my petition, and the California Supreme Court denied review.

“Many petitions are never shown to a judge at all but are decided by law clerks who, in some cases, are fresh out of school.”

The differing treatment of Hardin’s petition and mine, though they both alleged the same facts and legal theories, illustrates the haphazard nature of judicial remedies. Many petitions are never shown to a judge at all but are decided by law clerks who, in some cases, are fresh out of school. Judges review others, but judges are often influenced by their political inclinations. Do you doubt that? Well, then, consider how often the U.S. Supreme Court votes are along party lines. If a logical process involving “the law” was actually involved, why are there so many 5 to 4 decisions?

Post Script

On March 4, 2024, The Supreme Court of California decided to reverse the Court of Appeals in In re. Hardin. They rejected the argument that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits the exclusion of Life Without prisoners from the Youthful Offender parole bills. For Joe and many others, a disappointing result.

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Join the Conversation: The Ask Joe Series

Do you have questions about Joe Hunt’s case or want insights on the justice system? Be a part of our ongoing “Ask Joe” series. This is your chance to engage directly with Joe and delve deeper into his story and experiences. Post your questions on our Facebook page or X.com, or send them to us privately, and stay tuned as Joe addresses your queries in upcoming segments. Your question could be the next one we explore in our journey for justice and understanding.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to interact and gain perspective straight from Joe. Ask away, and let’s unravel the complexities together!

Why Joe Hunt Deserves a Chance at Parole (Video)

Discover the untold story of Joe Hunt: A journey from questionable conviction to unparalleled redemption behind bars.

Elevate your impact and join the movement for justice by signing the petition today. It’s a simple action with profound consequences. To join this transformative cause, head over to https://bit.ly/SignJoesPetition.

Delve into the deeper narrative and arm yourself with knowledge at https://freejoehunt.com/. Understanding the whole story is crucial, and your informed support is invaluable in our pursuit of justice.

Please share this video with your network to help us amplify our message. Every share extends our reach and brings us closer to our goal. Your network can make a difference! #FairParoleForJoe

Ask Joe: Can New Testimonies Overturn a Conviction Based on Circumstantial Evidence?

March 1, 2024
By Joe Hunt

Kurt Kissinger wrote:

“It’s called circumstantial evidence. People are convicted on that basis, every day. You want to use public sentiment to have him released because you have no evidence that he didn’t do it. P-off!”

So by “no evidence,” are you referring to the eight non-partisan witnesses who came forward after he was convicted, passed polygraphs, and swore under oath that they saw Levin, the con artist, alive after the date of the alleged homicide? Like that kind of “no evidence”?!?

And BTW, eyewitnesses are called direct evidence, the sort of evidence that has been deemed proof beyond a reasonable doubt in millions of criminal cases.

Questioning the Evidence: What Really Happened?

Now, I grant you that some types of circumstantial evidence are compelling, and circumstantial facts can amount to almost iron-clad proof. However, in this case, the circumstantial evidence is essentially:

  1. Levin, the out-on-bail con artist, disappears.
  2. I said I “knocked off” Levin.
  3. Lists were found at Levin’s house, authored by me, that arguably could have been an extortion plan.

Arguably, the third piece of circumstantial evidence is the State’s strongest point. However, consider the following:

I was asked about the to-do lists when I testified. About a day of cross-examination was spent going through them in detail. The trail from those documents doesn’t lead where you think.

Ron Levin
Con Man

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

The Misunderstood Evidence: A Closer Look at the Lists

“After I was convicted, a witness came forward who had seen Ron Levin on June 5, 1984 in his office in possession of the to-do lists.”

Did you know that after I was convicted, a witness came forward who had seen Ron Levin on June 5, 1984, in his office in possession of the to-do lists? Who said that? Why, Karen Marmor, wife of Lenny Marmor. Lenny was a prosecution witness in the 1987 trial and was presented as Levin’s closest friend and associate. His wife Karen did not testify. The two lived next door to Ron Levin in Beverly Hills.

Karen testified that she spent her career as an officer at a bank. She said she didn’t follow the 1987 trial and had no idea that the odd lists she had seen and perused on Levin’s desk while she was waiting for him to get off the phone were the centerpiece of the case against me. But she distinctly recalled some of their unusual content.

The proof that Levin had these lists on the day before he disappeared, coming from a witness affiliated with the prosecution camp, completely upends the prosecution’s theory.

The Impact of New Testimonies: Shifting Perspectives

The 1987 jury convicted me, believing those lists arrived at Levin’s house on June 6th and were used as a checklist in a murder-extortion scenario.

However, Karen’s testimony explodes that myth. As I testified in 1992, the lists were notes taken at a meeting involving several BBC members who were brainstorming on how to get Levin to pay the millions he had cheated them and me out of. I testified that I had later used the lists, showing them to Levin on June 5th, as a prop in a plan to intimidate Levin.

I showed Levin the lists and ultimately left them with him while explaining to Levin that the men in the BBC were not going to take his scams lying down and that there would be consequences if Levin ignored his debts.

Karen Marmor’s testimony corroborated my story.

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness. The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.

Juror Perspectives and the Power of Testimony

Dean Karny

After the San Mateo trial in 1992, the jurors were interviewed about Karen Marmor and asked if they found her and my explanations of the To-Do lists credible. The eight jurors who signed declarations said they did. They said they found Karen, a former bank officer and wife to a key prosecution witness, a lot more credible than Dean Karny, the government’s immunized witness and the sole killer of Hedayat Eslaminia.

The truth, as we learned from Karen’s testimony, was that Levin came into possession of the legendary To-Do lists a day before he disappeared, negating the “recipe for murder” theory that has been grist for all the media accounts of the case.

“The truth, as we learned from Karen’s testimony, was that Levin came into possession of the legendary To-Do lists a day before he disappeared.”

So that whittles down the State’s circumstantial case to just one point other than the bare fact that Levin left his rental flat: I claimed to be responsible for Levin’s disappearance. Given that I was aware that Levin fled and had reason to lie about being responsible, both to save face and to opportunistically intimidate a rival faction in the BBC, it’s difficult to call this circumstance “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Indeed, one is left asking, “What do I trust?” My word to his erstwhile compatriots in the BBC or all the independent evidence that points to Levin absconding — including our eight fellow citizens who came forward to tell us they saw Levin alive later?

Joe Hunt, Feb. 2024

Join the Conversation: The Ask Joe Series

Do you have questions about Joe Hunt’s case or want insights on the justice system? Be a part of our ongoing “Ask Joe” series. This is your chance to engage directly with Joe and delve deeper into his story and experiences. Post your questions on our Facebook page or X.com, or send them to us privately, and stay tuned as Joe addresses your queries in upcoming segments. Your question could be the next one we explore in our journey for justice and understanding.

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Things that make you go ‘Hmmm’

Billionaire Boys Club (1987) Mini-series

February 27, 2024
By Joe Hunt

After 40 years during which the media has controlled the narrative, their story of the Billionaire Boys Club has become legend: a cautionary tale about rich young men gone haywire, set against the beguiling backdrop of Beverly Hills in its 1980s heyday. My role as the charismatic psychopath who led them was embossed on the mass consciousness through his portrayal by Judd Nelson in the critically acclaimed 1987 NBC miniseries. Nielsen reported that nearly 90 million people saw it. Since then, there have been books, a motion picture, and at least 20 documentaries, several of which have come out in the last few years.

The meme of the BBC is so compelling in its portrayal that it seems iconoclastic, or even socially apostate, to trouble the public with the facts. Yet, the public of this day and age is far more conscious of how often the establishment narrative is either faked or published with callous indifference to the truth. And so, we offer this article and commend it to the more seasoned judgment of our time.

“The public of this day and age is far more conscious of how often the establishment narrative is either faked or published with callous indifference to the truth.”

1. Did you know Ron Levin was researching the U.S./Brazilian extradition treaty right before disappearing? The jury that convicted me did not.

2. Did you know that Levin called his hairdresser, John Duran, the day before he disappeared, pressing him for advice on changing his hair color? The jury that convicted me did not.

3. Did you know that a police detective noticed brown stains consistent with hair dye residue on the porcelain in Levin’s bathroom after he disappeared? The jury that convicted me did not.

Ron Levin, Master Con Man

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

4. Did you know that Ron Levin told Jerry Verplancke, the manager of Progressive Savings and Loan of Beverly Hills, that he was investing in Microgenesis Corporation (one of the BBC companies)? My jury didn’t know that. Instead, the prosecutor used testimony from Dean Karny to the effect that Levin had never even heard of Microgenesis — let alone invested in it. (The State’s theory was that I extorted a $1,500,000 check from Levin, made out in favor of Microgenesis. The D.A. argued that a business file supporting a transaction between Levin and Microgenesis was planted.)

5. Did you know that Levin’s next-door neighbor, Karen Marmor, witnessed the distinctive ‘to-do’ lists on his desk when she visited him on June 5th—i.e., the day before his disappearance? The jury that convicted me did not hear from Karen at all. Karen, a career bank officer, was none other than Len Marmor’s wife. The D.A. described Len Marmor as Levin’s closest associate. The revelation that Levin had the ‘to-do’ lists the day before he disappeared totally destroys the state’s theory that the lists were first brought to Levin’s on the night of June 6th, there to be used as a checklist during a murder. Further, it corroborates my assertion—which many had once branded as implausible—that he had given the lists to Levin on June 5th, apparently shortly before Karen saw them on Levin’s desk.

“Karen Marmor’s late revelation undermines the state’s timeline and could have decisively altered the trial’s outcome.”

6. Did you know Levin told at least two people that he planned to flee to avoid imprisonment? The jury that convicted me did not.

Jim Pittman

7. Did you know that my co-defendant, James Pittman, was tried twice, both trials ending in a mistrial? In the second trial, the jury voted 10-2 for acquittal. After that, the L.A. D.A. dropped murder charges against him. The D.A. told my jury that Pittman shot Ron Levin. So I was convicted of ordering a man to kill Levin, and that man, in a later trial, with the benefit of evidence unavailable to me, was cleared of that crime.

8. Did you know that Levin was out on bail, facing 12 counts of grand theft when he disappeared? Did you know that his mother’s house was used as collateral for the bail bond? Did you know that a week before he disappeared, he had his mother’s house released as collateral and substituted a new bond?

“Levin’s pre-disappearance actions suggest a man preparing for flight, not one on the verge of being murdered”

9. Did you know that the State had no direct evidence of murder — neither blood, nor bullets, nor a body — and that seven citizens came forward after I was convicted, describing encounters with Levin in 1986 and 1987, i.e., they saw Levin two to three years after his disappearance?

10. Did you know that these seven eyewitnesses were presented in the San Mateo trial and found by that jury to be credible and persuasive?

11. Did you know that I am the only person in the history of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence to be held for a no-body homicide where the alleged victim both planned to flee and was subsequently seen by non-partisan witnesses?

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness. The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.

12. Did you know that an American Express Card found by the police at Levin’s house was used at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills on the morning of June 7, 1984 — that is, the morning after Levin was allegedly killed?

13. Did you know that all of my co-defendants were released, and the cases against all of them were dropped?

14. Did you know that after the San Mateo jury saw me cross-examine Tom May, Jerry Eisenberg, Dean Karny, and Evan Dicker (his former cohorts in the BBC), they rejected their testimony and concluded that they had all perjured themselves?

15. Did you know that the Chief Detective on the case, Les Zoller, wrote a memorandum to his superiors in 1993 telling them that the new evidence in the case was compelling and that if I were given a retrial, he would likely be acquitted?

Detective Les Zoller

Retrial or Resentencing: My Overdue Justice

Me in 2018, age 59

Under close analysis, the conventional narrative of Joe Hunt and the Billionaire Boys Club is revealed to be decidedly false. Delving into evidence, witness accounts, and legal challenges reveals the critical need for a retrial—or, at the very least, resentencing. This case provokes discussion on whether we repose too much trust in the reliability of judicial processes and verdicts. Is the judicial system really any more reliable than other institutions?

Why, despite credible exonerating evidence and exemplary conduct, have I been overlooked for resentencing?

As I conclude, I invite readers to reflect on two questions: 1) In light of the emergence of credible exonerating evidence after my conviction, why haven’t I been granted a retrial? And 2) In light of my exemplary conduct over nearly 40 years in prison and the extraordinary work I’ve done in the last decade to assist charitable causes, why have I been overlooked for resentencing?

Sign the Petition
Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Ask Joe: The Conundrum of Honesty in the Shadows of Conviction

February 23, 2024
By Joe Hunt

Scotty Higgins posted this comment on our Facebook post: 

“I believe if Joe Hunt admits to his crimes… and shows remorse for his part in them and tells what happened to Ron Levin and where his body is. That’s the only real chance Joe has of ever getting out.”

Outside of completely misunderstanding the spiritual basis of life, my fault in my youth was that I was prone to lie under pressure—as many of us are. Viewing my life through a secular lens and having been exposed to many other liars, including a few in positions of authority, I felt that words were best chosen purely for the desired effect on the listener. Among the businessmen I encountered and within my social circle, no one championed truthfulness on spiritual grounds or pointed out the karmic implications of being a liar.

The Paradox of Contrition in Incarceration

Now, I find myself in the ironic predicament of being more likely to be granted clemency and then parole if I start talking as if I were guilty and assume the posture and phraseology of contrition.

That is, after all, the well-worn path that prisoners the world over take to get out of prison.

Reflecting on a Misguided Past

“For me, there is one problem. To do that would mean I have neither learned anything nor advanced spiritually.”

For me, there is one problem. To do that would mean I have neither learned anything nor advanced spiritually. This all started with a seemingly convenient lie. The idea was to capitalize on Levin’s disappearance as he ran from a second prison sentence. The plan was to claim responsibility for his absence as a means to intimidate a rival faction of the BBC. Profoundly stupid in retrospect, but not as foolish as it would have been to brag about a murder one had actually committed. I never guessed Levin would stay gone and never be apprehended. Nor did I realize how the collapse of the BBC and the pressures that were brought to bear on my erstwhile cohorts would incentivize them to project a materially false narrative regarding my conduct and theirs.

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

But, yes, you’re right. The Government has all the power, and it tends to demand submission and to punish even well-evidenced contradiction as insubordination. And of course, the Government is always right, and its papers are not subject to the frailties and limitations of those who authored them, right?

So I agree, my insistence on my innocence is not practical; it is not pragmatic. But then there are values and principles that I now hold more dear than my life and freedom. Having grown spiritually, I know that I lied my way into prison and that it would be wrong to lie my way out. I also know that justice is not guaranteed on this Earth and that persecution, not comfort, is promised to those who stand on principle.

“Having grown spiritually, I know that I lied my way into prison and that it would be wrong to lie my way out.”

The Quest for Justice Amidst Unseen Truths

Though there isn’t a person on the planet who stands witness to the community saying they saw me kill someone, and though there is just a ‘theory’ of foul play behind my conviction, society has been persuaded by films and “documentaries” that I am guilty. People feel I did it because they saw an actor called “Joe Hunt” live out the prosecution’s case. They feel, therefore, that they “saw” me do it. But what they saw was a theory of the case enacted on a stage; a theory which no man has ever sworn he has observed.

I recall reading about a prisoner during China’s Cultural Revolution. Falsely accused of being a yellow-dog agent of Western “Imperial” powers, he stubbornly refused to admit the allegation. He withstood torture and potential death in a work camp rather than admit to a crime he was innocent of. At one point, an interrogator said that he agreed the charge was false but urged him to confess anyway as it would serve the State, reinforcing its efforts to create a new society based on communism and Chairman Mao’s guidance. He told the prisoner, “It’s good to be useful.”

Though the injustice done to that man is different in some ways than that done to me, and though he was totally undeserving of that fate, his story resonates with me.

It would be a useful validation of the system for me to confess, albeit to a false account. Though I am guilty of lying and cheating, such behaviors do not inherently conceal or give rise to murder.

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness (share buttons at the bottom of the page). The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.

Reassessing Evidence and Pursuing Justice

Isn’t it just as likely that Levin, the seasoned con man, won out over me, especially the 24-year-old me that existed in 1984? Hadn’t he gotten the better of me through several other tricks? Why is it that everyone feels comfortable ignoring the mountain of evidence that came to light after I was convicted? Why must I have been telling the truth when I claimed I “knocked off” Ron Levin? Especially when the State’s case was that all of us in the BBC were lying about so many other things? Why is it probable that the more than half dozen non-partisan citizens who came forward to report Levin alive are mistaken? Why do many just assume they are, despite hearing from several new witnesses that Levin asked for instructions on how to dye his hair, was researching extradition treaties, and swearing he would not go back to prison? Shouldn’t a man have the right to a trial with that powerful new evidence before he dies in prison for a conviction so impressively called into question?

The truth is that I was convicted merely because I was tried in 1987, rather than in 1988. Had I been tried a year later, like my co-defendant Jim Pittman, I would have been able to present more exonerating evidence. And, as he was, I would then have been released by a jury verdict.


Join the Conversation: The Ask Joe Series

Do you have questions about Joe Hunt’s case or want insights on the justice system? Be a part of our ongoing “Ask Joe” series. This is your chance to engage directly with Joe and delve deeper into his story and experiences. Post your questions on our Facebook page or X.com, and stay tuned as Joe addresses your queries in upcoming segments. Your question could be the next one we explore in our journey for justice and understanding.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to interact and gain perspective straight from Joe. Ask away, and let’s unravel the complexities together!

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Joe Hunt and the Claim of Right Defense: A Legal Argument for Innocence

November 12, 2023

Introduction

Amidst the tangled web of law and fact underlying Joe Hunt’s conviction lies a pivotal but esoteric legal doctrine: the claim-of-right defense. This principle of California’s common law, stark in its simplicity, asserts that taking what one genuinely believes to be rightfully theirs is not theft. This isn’t just a legal nuance; it’s the crux of Hunt’s argument for innocence concerning the robbery allegations that are the basis of his Life Without Parole sentence.

“Taking what one genuinely believes to be rightfully theirs is not theft; this is the crux of Hunt’s argument for innocence.”

The Crux of Hunt’s Defense

Set against a backdrop of financial deception with Ron Levin, a master of fraud, the State’s theory was that Joe sought to force Levin to pay him a portion of what was due under a legitimate business contract between the two.

Under Joe’s leadership, the BBC, driven by a tragic admixture of ambition and naivety, got entangled in Levin’s schemes. Levin somehow managed to convince two brokerage houses to work with him to dupe Hunt into believing that Levin had several million dollars on deposit with them. Levin solicited Hunt’s expertise and gave him trading authority over the accounts. They agreed that Hunt would receive 50% of profits. Within months, Hunt had more than doubled the account, netting Levin over $8 million.

The brokerages created false statements and assigned actual brokers to maintain the hoax. Levin told them he was doing a documentary on the “young Turks” making a living as commodity traders and that Hunt’s career would be the film’s focal point. They agreed to assist Levin in maintaining the illusion. Prosecution witnesses, including a commodity broker, testified that Levin supplied Hunt with the false statements and publicly acknowledged the debt to Hunt in the presence of several trial witnesses.

Advocate for justice in light of Joe Hunt’s unfair legal treatment by supporting his bid for a fair parole review. His commendable behavior and positive contributions highlight his rehabilitation. Sign the petition to endorse a balanced review of his case, emphasizing the need for justice and fairness in our legal system.

The Oversight in 1987

However, the trial in 1987 saw a critical misstep: the jury was never instructed about the claim-of-right defense. This glaring omission, Hunt’s defense contends, led to a domino effect culminating in a wrongful conviction on the robbery allegations—and this even assuming that the prosecution’s case was true. Thus, this isn’t merely a procedural error; it’s a travesty of justice, one that converted a 25-to-life sentence into one of Life Without due to the robbery special circumstance.

“This isn’t merely a procedural error; it’s a travesty of justice, one that converted a 25-to-life sentence into one of Life Without due to the robbery special circumstance.”

A Call for Justice

Thus, the documents accompanying this article aren’t just legal papers but a testament to a battle for justice against a flawed legal judgment. They reveal a fight not just for freedom but for the legal system to acknowledge a grave error. These documents, detailing Hunt’s unwavering assertion of his rights, lay bare the intricate details of a legal system that in this case has wholly lost sight of its purpose. There can be no reasonable justification for enhancing Hunt’s sentence to one requiring his death in prison when even if the State’s case was true, Hunt was not guilty of robbery.

As Hunt serves his sentence, the claim-of-right defense constitutes a last-ditch effort in pursuit of a modicum of justice.

Joe Hunt’s case is a glaring example of how the law, due in principal part to its complexity, can sometimes falter, leading to life-altering consequences. His journey through the courts challenges us to ponder the true meaning of justice and the role of legal intricacies in determining a person’s fate.

We invite you to review the included court documents for a deeper understanding of this complex legal issue. These documents provide a comprehensive view of the arguments and evidence central to Joe Hunt’s ongoing fight for justice.

If Joe’s story has moved you, share this article to raise awareness (share buttons at the bottom of the page). The more people know, the stronger the push for a re-examination of his case. Use your voice on social media to advocate for transparency and fairness in the legal system.


Update from Joe Hunt, November 30, 2023

The court denied Joe’s Claim of Right argument. Below is an update from Joe about the denial.

The Essence of Claim of Right

The “Claim of Right” defense to an allegation of robbery dates back to the common law in California at the time of its formation as a state. The concept is simple: a robber intends to take property forcibly he knows he has no right to. In law, this is referred to as the ‘animus furandi’ of robbery; in other words, it is the definition of the mental-state element of the crime.

My Claim of Right habeas petition sought to gain redress for an injustice. It pointed out that the PROSECUTOR’S THEORY of the facts was that Levin and the employees of Clayton Brokerage House had duped me. Clayton and Levin had conspired, intending to make me believe that Levin had deposited about $5,500,000 in a trading account. Clayton’s role in the scheme was to generate false account statements and have one of their brokers (Jack Friedman) take orders I placed under a trading authorization signed by Levin.

In his closing argument, Deputy D.A. Wapner told the jury that his witnesses had established that I fell for the con and that “I truly believed” the account was real, and that I also believed that as a result of my trading of the account, I had made Levin $8,000,000. This, he explained, meant that under the publicly acknowledged terms of the agreement between Levin and me, he owed me $4,000,000 — i.e., half of the trading profits.

My recent petition pointed to the prosecutor’s summation at my 1987 trial as proving that under the State’s theory of the case, I was innocent of robbery — as the prosecutor had told the jury that I had a good faith belief that Levin owed me more than I allegedly tried to take from him.

Challenging the Court’s Decision

The judge denied the petition for basically two reasons. First, he held that the Claim of Right defense would only apply if the money and trading were real rather than simulated. Second, he said I had no right to instruction on the defense since my position at trial was that I was totally innocent.

In our pursuit of justice and fairness within the legal system, this journey transcends a singular battle. We invite you to join us by endorsing the petition—a collective step towards reevaluating the intricacies of this case. Your support shines a light on the urgent need for legal reform and underscores the significance of the claim-of-right defense. United, we have the power to effect change.

I believe the judge erred in these rulings. California law establishes that the defense of Claim of Right attaches where there is a GOOD FAITH BELIEF in the existence of a debt greater than what was taken. The fact that the trading was not real is therefore beside the point. It was enough that I had a good faith belief that I had earned my contractually agreed upon 50% share of the trading profits.

“California law establishes that the defense of Claim of Right attaches where there is a GOOD FAITH BELIEF in the existence of a debt greater than what was taken.”

Second, the judge wrongfully asserts that the trial judge had no responsibility to instruct as to the legal principles in question since my defense at trial was that no forcible taking had occurred. Here again, the judge misquoted settled law. A trial court’s sua sponte duty is to instruct on all defenses with substantial support in the facts, regardless of whether the defense attorneys press those defenses. Moreover, the animus furandi of robbery is an ELEMENT of the offense — and the trial court also had a sua sponte duty to instruct on the elements of each offense charged.

Concluding Thoughts on Justice and Appeal

Nevertheless, I am not going to appeal the issue further. I have no reason to believe that the judicial system will ever fairly apply the law. I have filed dozens of petitions both in federal and state courts and have never seen one coherently or fairly apply the law.

This latest ruling from the L.A. Superior Court is just the latest example of the sophistry and false application of settled law with which my appeals and petitions have been met. I have tried for 37 years to invoke judicial remedies. It has cost me over a million dollars and perhaps 20,000 hours of work. At this point, seeking judicial relief seems like an exercise in futility.

“I have no reason to believe that the judicial system will ever fairly apply the law. I have filed dozens of petitions both in federal and state Court and have never seen one coherently or fairly apply the law.”

I recognize that most Americans believe in the fairness of the judicial system. I once did as well. In fact, that is why I have poured so much into seeking relief through the Courts.

I also recognize that most people who read judicial opinions or legal briefs lack sufficient knowledge to assess who’s right. It takes years, probably at least a decade, of study to be able to know when a court is correctly or incorrectly quoting or applying the law. As a result, many of those who read my statement here will presume the Court is correct and me wrong. I understand that reflex and I do not imagine I can overcome it. All I do here is explain my perspective and the conclusions I have reached.

Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

The Real Joe Hunt Story

A video refresher on Joe’s case and an update on his health and how you can help.

Elevate your impact and join the movement for justice by signing the petition today. It’s a simple action with profound consequences. Just head over to https://bit.ly/SignJoesPetition to be part of this transformative cause.

Delve into the deeper narrative and arm yourself with knowledge on this website. Understanding the full story is crucial, and your informed support is invaluable in our pursuit of justice.

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Help bring more attention to Joe’s case for compassionate release. Hunt’s petition points to health issues, numerous trial irregularities, and new youth offender laws.

Joe discusses his dream of starting a family.

Joe Hunt discusses how if had he been released, he and his wife would have hoped for children.

Transcript:

Well, we would’ve wanted to have children, we’ve discussed that. But unfortunately, that ship has sailed.

I mean, she’s four years younger than I, and so, we’re both passed that really. I mean, theoretically possible, potentially, but it’s ill-advised at our ages.

But we even had a name for our daughter, should we have one.

When we first met and shortly before we married we were talking about it. I had some hope at that time that I’d be released by action of the courts, so we had a name for our little girl in mind.

So, that’s a point of sadness and regret for me, and her as well.

Interview: Joe Hunt discusses the sixteen people he helped to receive sentence reductions.

Joe Hunt discusses the sixteen people he helped avoid a life sentence and the dozens that received sentence reductions.

Transcription:

Well yes, I’ve been working, I’ve done habeas petitions and I’ve litigated on behalf of other prisoners.

I’ve also been trying to have them freed, to vacate their conviction, and so, over the years I’ve filed dozens and dozens of—probably close to something like 150—petitions on separate cases.

And I’ve also helped prisoners when I was in the county jail in San Mateo for four years, and I was in Los Angeles County Jail for almost five years total.

I helped other prisoners that were pro per, acting as a mentor to develop the theory of the case, investigate their case, and understand the rules, evidence, and to prosecute their sentence theory.

Anyhow, in total, the sixteen people that I’ve helped either avoided a life sentence because they were acquitted or were released by the courts.

In addition, there were dozens of cases of sentencing reduction.

Joe explains how he chose which inmates to offer legal assistance to.

Joe Hunt explains how he chose which inmates to offer legal assistance to, and several ways that he did this.

Transcript:

So you asked about what sort of results I’ve gotten for other prisoners who’ve been seeking to either overturn their conviction or to be acquitted at trial.

I’ve spent 9 years of my life in county jails, about half in L.A. county jail and half in San Mateo, about 7 of those years while I was actively pro per—which means representing myself. So, many prisoners came to me to ask for help with their cases.

I was very selective about who I chose to assist, and factors about what they were charged with and who they were played a major role.

I was not interested in helping people that I felt were what I would call sick with it; in other words, they were going to choose the criminal lifestyle…

In any event, there have been sixteen people that were either facing life sentences or had life sentences that I’ve assisted to regain their freedom—about evenly split between people that I mentored while I was in county jail so that they would be acquitted.

These were guys that were representing themselves and people that I filed habeas petitions for, or on behalf of, from prison that were released by the courts.

In addition, there were dozens of people that got reductions in sentences as a result of petitions that I filed.

Video: Joe Hunt describes his theory of what happened to Ron Levin.

Joe talks about what he thinks happened to Ron Levin. It’s likely that Levin jumped bail, especially in light of witness accounts that Levin was researching Brazilian extradition treaties and had inquired about dyeing his hair.

Transcript:

I have thought about this a great deal over the years and tried to extrapolate what he would do or did in that situation so you know, his actual fate as a matter of personal knowledge is a mystery to me because my last point of contact with him was June 5th.

So far as I can reconstruct and recall, what I have seen of course is the same eyewitness accounts that my jury in San Mateo heard, about people in some cases had prior
relationships with Ron, had been over to his house, as Gerard had been for dinner, or had contact with him like Robbie Robinson and had seen him subsequently.

So those eyewitness reports, and some of them were asked to take polygraphs, and the ones who were asked took polygraphs passed them with flying colors. And so those reports have been persuasive to me of the fact that Ron Levin was alive through the last sighting, which was three years after his disappearance in Mykonos, the island of Mykonos in Greece.

I’ve also, since I’ve worked so hard on this case, I’ve seen the testimony and read interviews
of people like Oliver Wendell Holmes (no relationship to the great jurist), but he was employed by Levin to work on Levin’s pending criminal cases. The charges Levin was facing before he disappeared and he said that Levin was discussing with him and researching Brazil’s extradition treaties and policies, which I find highly suspicious.

How many people are doing that right before they jump bail?

You know and then furthermore, John Duran, his hairdresser at the time said that Levin called him right before he disappeared and asked him how do I dye my hair. And then detective Les Douler tells us that brown stains that he tested and were not from blood but there was some brown staining in the porcelain of Levin’s bathtub which would be consistent with some last minute change to his hair color.

Now when he was seen late in ’86 and ’87, he had his gray hair, so the postulate and the hypothesis is that Levin initially decided to change his hair but didn’t like it and letting it grow back out grey by when he was seen in Tucson Arizona and when he was seen on the island of Mykonos.

Levin’s grey hair was one of his most striking features people say that he was kind of a he had a very distinctive look back in ’84, in ’83 in Beverly Hills. He graced the cover of a magazine once.

Anyhow, so based on the information evidence that I’ve seen and also based on statements of Levin made in my presence where he said that he would never go back to prison. I deduced a long time ago that he fled and when he was no longer available after June 6, 1984 and I couldn’t get a hold of him and I heard other people couldn’t get a hold of him, and by June 24th I had concluded that he had fled.

He had a pending case so he couldn’t just up and leave without violating the terms of his bail and he wouldn’t just violate the terms of his bail unless he intentionally fled so that was the conclusion I reached and I think it’s the conclusion the Beverly Hills Department reached for the first couple of months as well.

Joe Hunt describes how the bleakness of prison life can lead to suicide.

Joe describes how the bleakness of prison life can lead to thoughts of suicide.

Transcript:

Yes, I’ve been on yards that were so dark, I mean what we’re talking about is referred to in the prison system as active mainlines—like active level 4 mainlines in the California system.

An extremely dysfunctional society exists—as tribal—and the men are under tremendous pressure, and it’s bleak.

So, a lot of people commit suicide.

They don’t do it necessarily by hanging themselves, most often it’s a drug overdose. And a number of people that are brought back from overdoses now is really high because they have a special drug that they use to bring them back.

Otherwise, most of these people would have been successful. But you know, the level of despondency, despair, depression, as a result of the conditions of confinement, on active main lines is high.

And what was called the SHU, Special Housing Unit, for a number of years had guys that were doing 20-30 years behind walls, with no outside exercise other than what we call a dog run, which is just like a 10×10 cement area opened to the sky.

They get an hour of that or something a day, so in that level of misery, suicide becomes something that many people think about, a lot of people attempt, and of course, tragically some people succeed at.

That is probably the most primary and basic offense against the spirit—against the human spirit—possible.

Joe Hunt and the miracle of the donuts

Joe Hunt describes an uncanny experience involving law enforcement, donuts, and his spiritual beliefs.

Transcript:

It was 1987, I was in the Los Angeles County Jail in what they call the high power wing. So with me are people that have had fights and serious disciplinary problems in L.A. County Jail, people that are down from the penitentiary that are considered potential threats to the security of the institution, and high profile cases like myself.

So I got my own cell along this tier, and I’d just finished reading the Autobiography of a Yogi, which is considered the crest jewel of all spiritual autobiographies by many people—and I think the most read autobiography of all time. Anyhow, I’ve just finished the book, and the book is full of stories of things that are beyond all of our experiences. I mean levitating things, the power of prayer, various manifestations of spiritual beings and entities.

I’ve finished reading the book, I’m lying down on my bunk, the book’s on my chest, and I’m thinking, nothing in my life is in any way…I’ve had no experiences on that level at all. However, I was also thinking that the tone of the author—the way the book was written—I couldn’t imagine that the guy would make it up. The author seemed so sincere, had a great style, was witty, knowledgeable… I couldn’t… it just didn’t make any sense that it was a fabricated story. So, I’m thinking those things and my thoughts conclude with, “But I couldn’t pray for a bag of donuts and get them.”

And just at that moment, I heard a key turn in the lock at the end of the corridor, to which the cells of high power are opened. Anyhow I heard this key turn, I heard some boots coming, and I looked up—and there stopping in front of my cell was a deputy sheriff of the Los Angeles County Jail system. And he looked at me, and I didn’t know this guy, mind you, I had no interaction with him. He said—and he was holding a bag of donuts—and he looks at me and he says, “Hi, would you like some donuts?”

It was kind of an uncanny experience, and I’m not saying that I started believing or having any faith in prayer at that time, because I didn’t, but it put me back on my heels so to speak and made me think a bit. I started meditating as a result of an invitation in the autobiography, and I’ve been doing so ever since for 30 years.

Joe Hunt talks more about the “claim of right” defense

Joe Hunt talks more about the Claim of Right Defense.

Transcript:

So if the jury had been properly instructed, and had received the law on the Claim of Right Defense, based upon the prosecution’s own theory of the case, they would have had to acquit me of robbery.

If I had been acquitted of robbery, and the special circumstance of robbery, I would not now be doing life without.

I would have received at most a sentence of 25 to life, and I would have been parole eligible like 20 years ago.

So, you know, this is a sort of issue, which because of legal procedural rules, the place to raise it is at trial and certain waiver and negligence documents take hold after you have been convicted. I didn’t learn of this legal theory until 1988 when I read a case called People v. Tufunga, which was a California Supreme Court decision on the Claim of Right Defense in the case of Mr. Tufunga.

Joe Hunt describes the deceit, pretense and posturing rampant through BBC.

Joe Hunt describes the deceit, pretense and posturing rampant through BBC, and the prevalence of flaws in the judicial system.

Transcript:

There are cases which say that prisoners can maintain their innocence and that no inferences to be drawn against them for making that assertion.

The reason the law has changed on the subject is they have come to realize that not all prisoners are guilty, that there have been so many cases where people have been wrongfully convicted, that it would be extremely unfair to coerce prisoners that maintained their innocence to say that they’re guilty as a precondition of release, since society itself must admit that all human processes, including the trial process, does not necessarily arrive at the truth.

I mean, there’s so many cases where there have been, with seemingly overwhelming evidence, where the person ended up being exonerated.

There was a huge number of cases before DNA, which, subsequent to DNA, were reinvestigated, and turned out the people that were convicted were innocent.

There’s that famous Florida case, where a guy convicted of seven rapes by seven women that independently identified him as their rapist and turned out not only was it not him, but it was a guy who’s almost a foot taller, a hundred pounds heavier, just massively different.

My case, we have no blood, no bullets, no body. We have a guy that was saying that he was gonna run, researched Brazilian extradition treaties, likely changed his hair the day before he disappear, changed his hair color, and was subsequently seen by like 10 independent, uninvolved citizen witnesses who they attested to his being alive.

So it’s pretty interesting to see how the judicial process could go wrong in my case when it’s all based upon, a “he said” sort of inference.

Like, Joe said that he killed him, therefore not only must he be dead but that Joe would of course tell the truth on such a subject. That’s the common inference. And of course that inference ignores the actual real-world dynamics of what was taking place between me, and the various factions of the BBC at the time and Ron Levin.

There was a lot of deceit going on, pretense and posturing. Everybody was trying to manipulate each other through smoke and mirrors. And my assertion as of June 24, 1984 meeting, that I had knocked off Ron Levin was part of the posturing and the dynamics between me and a faction of the BBC that was trying to, and ultimately did, steal the crown jewels of the BBC. Raided some of our accounts and took our… after torching with an acetylene torch a lock that doors of a warehouse in Gardena for Microgenesis of North America.

Video: Joe Hunt explains the infamous “to-do” list was an intimidation tool, not a murder plan.

In this interview, Joe Hunt describes the to-do list entered as evidence was meant as a desperate ploy to intimidate Ron Levin into paying back the millions he owed BBC, because the con man had no fear of lawsuits.

Transcript:

This was something that was a bombshell in my second trial in San Mateo County. It’s the mainstay of the prosecution’s case, it’s their centerpiece and like you say, it’s what they have called the smoking gun.

The jury in San Mateo felt otherwise, and let me play out here that the thing that I am talking about I testified to. I did not hide from the San Mateo jury. I took the stand. I was on the stand for ten days. I was cross examined by the prosecution for five days. So it’s not just a case of well he’s just saying that you know in a recorded message on a Gtel conversation from prison. This was heard by a real jury and I have declarations from over half of that jury saying that they after seeing all the evidence including hearing my testimony, they felt that I should have been acquitted on the Levin charges.

But be that as it may, the to-do list, it’s a seven page document it is mostly in my handwriting, almost all in my handwriting, and I testified as to what that document was.

It was prepared, it was notes primarily from a meeting held at the BBC offices, involving some of the prosecution witnesses, and for obvious reasons they don’t want to admit that there was notes taken at that.

But we were trying to think of a plan because we’re dealing with this con man, Ron Levin and he’s judgement proof. So the idea of civilly suing him, it’s just like, get in line. There’s a whole list of the civil litigation he was involved in at that time.

He’s an expert of turning what was criminal fraud into a civil matter to avoid an arrest. He would even talk about that in our presence. Anyhow so the idea of suing him to recover the money he owed me as a result my profitable trading for him was not looked at as a viable alternative. So the idea came up that we would bluster and posture, like, bad things would happen to him if he didn’t pay.

If you seen TV, movies and things like that, this kind of a device commonly comes up in Hollywood movies and television shows where some group of people tries to fool or finagle another group into believing something is false in order to cause them to act in a way that’s expected. So this is pursued that’s what the notes were about and the notes became a prop in the plan to intimidate Levin. Where I showed the notes to Ron Levin, on June 5th and left them there in his possession. Now that would all just be my assertion, except for the fact that this woman named Karen Marmor, who was the wife of Len Marmor and a neighbor to Ron Levin testified in San Mateo county that she saw these to-do lists on Ron Levin’s desk while he was having a phone conversation. She was in his office waiting for him to get off that phone call. She saw them picked them and looked at them and saw some of the key words that in it and recalls it now.

Karen was during her professional career an officer in a bank. She is not a person that I had any relationship. We were not like friends or had any knowledge. She was the wife of Ron Levin’s — what’s believed to be Ron Levin’s best friend — a guy named Len Marmor and who just had no motive to aid me in this at all.

Her testimony was heard by the San Mateo jury and they’ve written about it, how credible and persuasive they found her testimony, because the choice is between either believing Carney, Dean Carney was the chief prosecution witness, a troubled young man who was in a very complex predicament legally and facing all sorts of jail time. Either believing Carney or Karen Marmor so they choose to believe the neutral, independent witness rather than the immunized compromised witness that the prosecution argued as to be the meaning of the to-do list.

So basically if Karen Marmor told the truth then the whole prosecution case is wrong and that there is a witness like Karen Marmor is never mentioned in any of the documentaries or either of the movies or either of the books that are out there on the case.

Video: Joe Hunt discusses laws that give accomplices the same punishment as perpetrators.

Joe Hunt discusses the Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine, which results in “aiders and abettors” of a crime getting the same punishment as perpetrators.

Transcript:
I’ve often said to some of the other men in prison that they’re my people, in that these are my peers, this is who I’ve lived with.

I’ve bonded with some of these guys, some of these men who are doing life without and are murderers are my friends.

Now a lot of them are here on this aiding and abetting theory of what they call vicarious liability in the law, and there’s several different ways that vicarious liability can be assigned but one of the principal ones is the aider and abetter rules and there’s also something called the Natural And Probable Consequences Doctrine. So under aiding and abetting if you exhort, encourage, incite or aid someone in a felony and that felony results in somebody’s death, under the felony murder doctrine and under the aider and abetter doctrine, together, stitched together, you end up with the same liability as the actual perpetrator, and this can be a travesty.

It does not, this is not the sort of travesty that occurred in my case, that’s of a different stripe, but it is the travesty that we’re giving, society is giving, handing out “life without” sentences to men who never had a moment where they crossed that line and became intentional murderers.

In fact they never actually chose to do an action that directly resulted in another person’s death. They never curled their finger around the trigger of a revolver or plunged a knife into somebody and so they didn’t have the — they never did anything that manifested the sort of depravity that you would associate with a “life without” sentence. A sort of malice of forethought or maliciousness or wickedness.

They might have done something like got talked into by their homeboys or actively decided to be a getaway driver or they might have been members of a gang and went to back to up a buddy in a confrontation with another gang and then suddenly their buddy pulls a gun and shoots somebody.

Unexpectedly to all of them and they end up doing “life without” time under the Natural And Probable Consequences Doctrine or aiding and abetting gang activity doctrine.

And it’s just so unfair because society is presuming that they are, that they were so given over to malice and depravity that they would kill another person, but really there’s no proof that they ever reached that state in their life. But the prosecution theory is otherwise.

So most civilized countries in the world, they don’t have doctrines like that and they don’t put people away for life without possibility of parole at all. Let alone in an instant where the person actually never chose intentionally.

Video: Joe Hunt describes his embarrassment over the media-created name, “Billionaire Boys Club.”

In this interview, Joe Hunt explains the history of the “Billionaire Boys Club” name. BBC actually stood for “Bombay Bicycle Club,” but, to Joe’s embarrassment, was changed to Billionaire Boys Club in the media.

Transcript:
Well I’ve always been embarrassed by the name being in the media. I was a jerk in many ways in my early twenties, but I did not run around with a group of people called myself the Billionaire Boys Club or us the Billionaire Boys Club.

We had a company called BBC Consolidated North America and the initials were taken from something called the Bombay Bicycle Club which was a restaurant with some video games in Chicago, and when Dean and Dan would come out to Chicago, we would go to the Bombay Bicycle Club and I just hung out there. So in a bit of whimsy, we decided to name the first company BBC Consolidated North America.

Now I’ve heard transcripts of some interviews that Tom and David may have given to IPC productions before the 1987 mini series, and told IPC productions that we would sometimes jokingly or boastfully refer to ourselves as the Billionaire Boys Club, but I don’t recall that, I just don’t.

I don’t have any connection with that name until seeing it in print with the media, and I wouldn’t have named us that, and I don’t like the name.

Certainly my own background is not from wealth and privilege. We grew up in Van Nuys, a block away from the Van Nuys Junior High, in a lower middle class area. And you know I remember there were a couple years when my dad was on food stamps. My family was on food stamps, so we were not from a family of riches and privilege.

Video: Joe Hunt describes all of the legitimate business activities of the BBC.

The name “Billionaire Boys Club” has become associated with scandal, but in this interview, Joe Hunt describes all of the legitimate business enterprises his organization — actually named BBC, which stood for the Bombay Bicycle Club — was pursuing.

Transcript:

We were organized to do legitimate business. Businesses at the outset of BBC ranged from a car company called West Cars of North America that were importing grey market automobiles from Europe so these were cars that were not up to EPA and American Department of Transportation or DOT spec.

We had a warehouse in Gardenia with a lift and a 2 gas analyzer. We had an employee named Frank Rabinsky who was our mechanic and it was our intent to import these cars from Europe and bring them into compliance and sell them. At the time there was a significant difference between what cars were selling for Europe and what luxury cars were selling for in the United States. It was an attempt to arbitrage that difference and secondly we have a company called Microgenesis of North America.

We hired a guy named Eugene Browning to build a sophisticated sort of rock pulverizer called a cyclotron and our goal was and we ultimately did. So some men go under contract with a group that was doing gold mining and wanted to use those same connections with them.

We also had Financial Futures Trading of North America which was a legitimate way to manage money for people by trading spreads in the interest rate futures market at the New York Mercantile Exchange and in the Chicago Mercantile exchange.

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