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  • Writer's pictureCraig Silverman

Episode 127 - Mitch Morrissey - Crime Fighter

Mitch Morrissey was elected District Attorney of Denver, Colorado for three terms from 2005-2017. Before that, he was a Denver prosecutor for decades. Craig Silverman was his supervising and training Chief Deputy DA in Denver District Courtroom 13. Stan Garnett was the other assigned Deputy DA.

Stan went on to be Boulder DA. Mitch became Denver DA. Former Denver DA (and future Governor) Bill Ritter compelled Mitch Morrissey to become the lead DNA prosecutor on the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation. Poor JonBenet was brutalized in her own Boulder home on Christmas of 1996.

Morrissey was in the grand jury room where it happened. A Boulder grand jury voted to charge parents John and Patsy Ramsey but Boulder DA Alex Hunter still would not prosecute. Did Alex Hunter make the right decision? Mitch Morrissey reveals his input and the true impact of the DNA evidence in this case. Who killed JonBenet? And why?

John Ramsey, her father, just did a fascinating interview with Megyn Kelly. He explains how he has written to Governor Jared Polis demanding that a reputable DNA lab work on solving the crime against his daughter. This show highlights the contradiction of how Mitch Morrissey and John Ramsey describe the known sequence of events.

The autopsy and science revealed JonBenet was hit hard in the head, cracking her skull, and causing massive damage, and shallow breathing, but not death. The little girl’s cause of death was strangulation by ligature caused by someone turning a garrote made of sticks from Patsy Ramsey’s art supply kit.

If you care about this enduring mystery, know that this section begins about an hour in and surrounds the possibly incriminating sound out of the mouth of John Ramsey during his friendly interview with Megyn Kelly. Mitch Morrissey explains his attitude towards Boulder DA Mary Lacy’s exoneration of the Ramsey parents.

Both Denver natives, host and guest reminisce initially about their three generations of Denver lawyers. We talk about Denver DA Phil Van Cise and his Deputy DA (and future Colorado Supreme Court Justice) O. Otto Moore who fought the Klan in the 1920s. Mitch’s grandfather was FDR’s US Attorney for Colorado and his Dad a prominent legislator.

We move to the 1980s and discuss Dale Tooley, Norm Early, Bill Ritter, Mike Kane, Mike Little, Brooke Wunnicke, Beth McCann, Chuck Lepley, Norm Brisson, Lamar Sims, Doug Jackson, Bonnie Benedetti, Tom Clinton, Henry Cooper and so many great Denver prosecutors.

Listen as Mitch Morrissey takes us behind the scenes on the Alan Berg murder case, the Darrent Williams murder case, and many other famous Denver homicides. The sentencing pendulum has swung toward leniency and Morrissey explains how we are paying the price. The past, present, and future of Denver and Colorado are discussed.

Mitch Morrissey is a foremost law enforcement leader when it comes to DNA. He’s been featured on 60 Minutes. You can learn here how he became a world renowned expert. Back in the day, young Mitch told his Denver DA colleagues at the annual Estes Park retreat that DNA was going to become a critical tool for crime prevention and enforcement. He was correct.

Morrissey is internationally recognized for his DNA expertise. He has trained law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges throughout the United States, in the Middle East, Central America and Canada. A veteran prosecutor, Mitch introduced the first DNA evidence used in a criminal trial in Denver.

Mr. Morrissey spearheaded the Denver Cold Case Project, which reviewed over 4,200 unsolved sexual assaults and murders in an effort to use DNA technologies to solve old cases. In addition, Mr. Morrissey and the Denver Police Crime Lab introduced the use of DNA to solve burglary cases and other property crimes.

During his tenure as Denver District Attorney, Mr. Morrissey became the leading proponent in the United States of using Familial DNA Database Searches to solve violent crime.

After leaving the Denver D.A. 's office in 2017, Mr. Morrissey co-founded United Data Connect which has solved cold murder cases galore.

The job of a big city prosecutor is to provide public safety. It takes wisdom and experience to properly charge people accused of crimes. Morrissey spent five years doing Intake and understands smart ways to file cases.

We discuss whether the El Paso County law enforcers did a good job with respect to the Club Q massacre. Could better charging and prosecution decisions have prevented the shooter from committing his awful gun crimes? What about Red Flag Laws unenforced? We discuss capital punishment in Colorado.

This show runs the gamut with one of the most interesting and accomplished attorneys in Colorado. Craig’s Lawyers’ Lounge was proud to host this epic conversation with one of America’s top crime fighters. Listen to the prosecutorial passion for justice in Denver DA Mitch Morrissey and enjoy.

Troubadour Dave Gunders delivers a brilliant conversation on the host’s birthday. A Sun Still Shining is a gift of a song to get us through hard times, like the aftermath of violent crime, such as the Club Q shooting.

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