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Thursday, October 26, 2006

If the PROCESS had worked, Webster Smith would be free today.



Admiral Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, speaking at the Academy on 8 September 2006 did not mention the Webster Smith Case. But, talking with reporters afterward, Allen said THE PROCESS used to deal with the issue worked as it should, and said he was not worried about the academy’s reputation being soiled by the incident.
An accused has some legal protection afforded through the PROCESS. They are, among others, the presumption of innocence, the right to remain silent, and the right to confront and to challenge the witnesses against him.

If the PROCESS had worked as it should, Webster Smith would never have been convicted. Even a kangaroo court-martial would not have convicted Webster Smith based on the evidence available. If the Defense Team had had the desire, the time, and the money to investigate every witness on the prosecution’s list of witnesses, they would have found enough evidence to destroy the prosecution’s two star witnesses, Kristen Nicholson and Shelly Raudenbush. They would have found enough character against Shelly Raudenbush to impeach her credibility.
As it turns out, the only crime of note that Webster Smith was convicted of concerned Shelly Raudenbush. Without physical evidence of any sort, the trial came down to a classical case of he-said versus she-said. It was Webster Smith’s word against Shelly Raudenbush, and the jury chose to believe Shelly. If they had known anything about Shelly, they would not have.
If the Defense had looked into Shelly’s past, they would have found hard evidence to impeach her credibility as a witness. Webster Smith would have been the more credible witness.
Shelly was given a free ride at trial. The very secret that Webster Smith was supposed to be keeping for her was about a sex crime that she had committed. She had been spreading the wealth with the Navy boys in Virginia the previous summer. In high school she was a liberated woman, who took her pleasures wherever she found them. She was not loyal or true to her boyfriends. Like her primary caregivers and role models, she did not hate herself the next morning; and she could still look herself in the mirror. She was not a virtuous woman in the traditional sense of the word; yet, at trial, she was accorded the status of a paragon of virtue.
A talk with any of the boys in the Council Rock Class of 2002 would have proven very enlightening. If the Defense had just looked, they would have found numerous witnesses ready to testify concerning her reputation, life style, and pattern of behavior that would have raised much more than reasonable doubt about her credibility and testimony. Once her credibility had been thoroughly impeached, Webster Smith would have been the more credible witness.
If the PROCESS had worked as it should, Webster Smith would be a free man today.
This case will live in infamy with the Dred Scott Decision and the Scottsboro Boys as monuments to injustice and abuse of the judicial process.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

450 E Street, Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20442-0001



SCHEDULED HEARINGS




United States v. Webster M. Smith, No. 08-0719/CG

(Appellee) (Appellant)



Counsel for Appellant: Ronald C. Machen, Esq.

Counsel for Appellee: LT Emily P. Reuter, USCG



Case Summary: GCM conviction of going from place of duty, attempting to disobey an order, sodomy, extortion, and indecent assault. Granted issue questions whether the military judge violated Appellant’s constitutional right to confront his accusers by limiting his cross-examination of [SR], the government’s only witness, on three of the five charges.



NOTE: Counsel for each side will be allotted 20 minutes to present oral argument in this case.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Chistopher T. Rock said...

Judge Stevenson, er...I mean your honor......

How dare you compare Webster Scott to the Scottsboro Boys! Yes, it is true that throughout American History white women have accused black men of rape for attention. The end result was always the destruction of the lives of black men and their families.
UNFORTUNATELY...Webster Smith is not one of those lynched men. He chose to sleep and party with several white women at the "Academy"....A place I like to call the Snake Pit. After three years of the "cadet life", why in the world didn't he come to the blantantly obvious realization that at the end of the day he is still a...Well...you know...to white students and administrators?????
Someone really should have taught him "THE RULES" about being a BLACK MAN in America.

Furthermore, what does Webster Smith have to do with the Dred Scott Case?


Sincerely,
A Black Serviceman in America

7:05 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Dear Black Serviceman,
All of the Black men that you referred to have
been victumized by the American criminal justice
system. Their families and their reputations have been
irreparably damaged. They might have boarded the Ship
of State at different times, but they all ended up in the
same boat. What they have suffered might be different
in degree, but not in kind.
In America you are entitled to all the justice
money can buy.
True, Webster Smith has been raised to believe
that he in living in the "new, color-blind" America,
where people like Tiger Woods and others do not have
to consider themselves Black in a white world. They can spout the new multicultural mumbojumbo.
Obviously, you are "old school" and and you know
better.
Should Webster Smith suffer more because He is
naiive? He has learned a valuable lesson. His example will alert a lot of the young bloods.
Wisdom should not be rejected simply because she is late in arriving.
I get your drift. If they come for him
in the morning, they will be coming for you in the
afternoon, a well-known UCLA professor said.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Chistopher T. Rock said...

Dear Judge,
My apologies for addressing you in a such rude manner. You're a judge and deserve respect for you position and accomplishments. It's just that I have strong feelings on this case, the academy, and the course our race has taken.
One thing I notice is whenever a Black person, especially a celebrity, flagarantly and undeniably breaks a law, numerous Black support groups and networks feel as though they have to come up with excuses for the criminal behavior. The fact that Webster grew up thinking that he wasn't "Black," but rather a "Universal Man," surely did not exempt or exculde him experiencing from daily indiginities such as racial profiling (I know he owned a car). Perhaps he watched the news on TV occasionaly and BET every night. After all, we do live in a world where it is "COOL" for various members of all races to refer to us and others as N%$$*&. Yes, the financially disadvantaged never get a fair trial. I'm sure you're all too familiar with Texas Death Row statistics. I may be mistaken, but I'm not sure if Webster would be classified as underprivdgled. I know for a fact that "fortunate" or "selected" white cadets at all academies are promoted to high positions in spite of drinking and sexual misconducts. Fair? Definitely Not. Should Webster have been hammered for naievete? No. It dosen't sound like the regulations on drinking and fraternization changed over the years. He was hunted down for violantions of regulations and the fact that was black and supposedly "assulated all of those 'innocent white maidens'" helped to land him in jail.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Chistopher T. Rock said...

By the way...
I would like to know how Webster's case is going in regards to the denial of due process. (i.e. pre-trail confinment, delay in charges etc.) Are they going to make adjustments for future courts martials at the academy?
Off topic, how "old school" do you think I am?

4:53 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Group Preparing to Start Analyzing 'The CGA Way'
Policies, Cadet regimen top the list of reviewable items

By Richard Rainey. Published on 9/21/2006

New London "A cadre of experts arrived at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Monday tasked with what one officer called the most dramatic case of self-reflection in the school's recent memory.
We don't want to change. We want to improve," said Capt. Robert L. Desh, the civil rights officer for the Coast Guard's Ninth District and a member of the group. “Change can be good, bad or neutral, and so we want to focus on improvement, not just change."

Coast Guard headquarters in Washington charged the task force with reviewing policies at the academy, partially in response to issues raised during an investigation and court-martial of a cadet for sexual assault last summer.

"Certainly that incident is part of the issue," Desh said, "but I think more than anything else the Coast Guard likes to look at itself in the mirror, likes to know it's as efficient and effective as it can be."

Adm. Thad W. Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, also charged the task force with altering the academy's training regimen to handle the evolving demands of the service after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina.

The group includes 13 members, ranging from long-retired admirals to enlisted members and newly minted lieutenants. Only about half the group graduated from the academy, Desh said.

"You always get a little more credibility when you take someone who's not too close to the fire, who can step back and look at it," he said. "That's why we have that diversity on the team."

Three days into its work, the group is still hammering out its methodology. Desh said every tool, from surveys to faculty interviews to expert analysis, is on the table.

The focus, however, is clear, Desh said. The group will rigorously test how well the academy is training the Coast Guard's future leaders.

"You are one of the few professions that has to ask other people's kids to do very dangerous things," he said.

Recent surveys by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Air Force Academy, which came under fire in 2003 when dozens of women there reported being sexually assaulted in the last 10 years, will serve as templates for the group's assessment of the Coast Guard Academy, Desh said.

The task force has four months to delve into the academy's system and come up with its recommendations.

"We're going to have to be very disciplined if we're going to get it done, and get it done right," Desh said.

The work will be visible to the public, Desh continued.

"We manage in the daylight, we really do. And the work of this task force will be done in the daylight," he said.

"We may find some things that will influence the Coast Guard as a whole,” he said. “In fact, we hope we do."

7:32 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

qA Forthright Approach
Coast guard task force on academy life is needed to make change.

By Day Staff Writer
Published on 9/12/2006 in Editorial » Editorial

The Coast Guard's decision to appoint a task force to examine the
climate
and culture among academy cadets is a forthright step, one needed to
make
changes for a healthier community. As at other military institutions,
the
academy's cadet life has suffered from a male-dominated atmosphere that
makes more difficult the integration of women at a school preparing
officers.
The sex-and-alcohol scandal this year that resulted in the academy's
first
general court martial of a cadet so shook the school that Coast Guard
senior
personnel recognized the need for this task force to review the whole
academic, social and military operation there. And this task force will
not
be window dressing.

Adm. Thad Allen, the new Coast Guard commandant, is a forceful leader
who
has named to the task force a cadre of senior active personnel,
including
Adm. James Gracey, a retired commandant, and as its chairman, Rear Adm.
Erroll Brown, the first black officer to make flag rank in the Coast
Guard.

In the court martial, cadet Webster Smith was accused of sexually
assaulting
a female classmate, was expelled and was jailed. But testimony in the
case
showed also that a number of the female cadets were failing to meet the
standards of behavior expected of them and that they were involved in
sexual
activity and binge drinking.

The trial also demonstrated that off-campus binge drinking among cadets
is a
serious problem, just as it is on many college campuses.

Academy cadets come from all walks of life, from small towns and large
cities across the nation. They are no different from many other college
students except that they are governed by a code of conduct that calls
for
disciplined and proper behavior. That code expects them to be officers,
ladies and gentlemen.

Given the stress, academic pressures and military duties — all rolled
up in
a very tight daily timetable — it's not surprising that cadets want
to blow
off steam when they get a little freedom off campus. The task force
will
undoubtedly examine how best to teach cadets to moderate their behavior
in
such circumstances.

But the central mission of the task force should be to make the academy
a
place more hospitable to and respectful of women. The Corps isn't a
place
for good ol' boys. It is a place where respect, honor and ethical
conduct
for all cadets should be celebrated.

Women have as important a place in the Coast Guard as men. The sooner
that
all cadets and active duty personnel understand this, the better.

8:13 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The U.S. Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in the Case of The Appeal of the Court-martial Conviction of Cadet Webster Smith for January 16, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.
A legal brief filed by his lawyers claims the convictions should be thrown out because the defense team was not allowed to fully cross-examine one of his accusers during Smith's court martial. They say that meant the jury didn't hear testimony that the accuser, a female cadet, Shelly Roddenbush, had once had consensual sex with a Coast Guard enlisted man and then called it sexual assault.
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick M. Flynn, the government's lawyer for the appeal, said 27 November that the jury "heard enough" and the trial judge was within his rights to impose reasonable limits on the cross-examination.
"They didn't need to hear the additional details the defense is arguing they should have been allowed to hear."
The defense also is asking the court to set aside Smith's convictions on two lesser charges of failing to obey an order and abandoning watch.

10:20 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

International Herald Tribune - France
(The Associated Press) WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007
Lawyers for a former cadet who was the first student court-martialed in the 130-year history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's are seeking to reverse his convictions for sexual misconduct.
Oral Arguments before the Coast Guard Court of Military Appeals is set for 16 January 2008 in Arlington, Va.

10:59 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The best Christmas present the Coast Guard could give to the Lawyers from the WilmerHale law firm for former Coast Guard cadet Webster Smith would be to rule against them.
It has occurred to me that the best payment the Law Firm could get for representing Webster Smith would be another chance to make history. Taking this case pro bono, it is obvious that they will not receive any direct financial compensation for their services; but, they already have more money than they can spend.
Far more than money, a chance to make history by arguing the case before the Supreme Court would be just compensation.
I believe that they have followed this case from day one. They had a premonition of its precedent setting nature. When would another case of this unique nature come along? Not in a thousand years.
Like God up in Heaven, hoping that Pharoah would not give in and let the Hebrews go free, just so He could give the world repeated displays of his awesome power, WilmerHale may be secretly in its heart of hearts hoping the Coast Guard is as perverse as some have said that they are. That would give WilmerHale a chance to make it to the Supreme Court to argue a really very simple and easy case of the wrongful prosecution of the first Black Cadet at the Coast Guard Academy.
Now, that is a trophy worth more than a million dollar retainer. That would add a modern and impressive new paragraph to their website. They would continue to stroll down the corridors of History as the nation's preeminent civil rights law firm.
Knowing the Coast Guard as I do, I think that they are about to give WilmerHale the number one item on their Christmas Wish List.
Of course, I could be wrong and the Coast Guard just might get religion and do the right thing.
Time will tell.

12:40 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Webster Smith and Dominick Strauss-Kahn were both subjected to the "perp walk".
An accused has some legal protection afforded through the PROCESS. They are, among others, the presumption of innocence, the right to remain silent, and the right to confront and to challenge the witnesses against him.

If the PROCESS had worked as it should have, Webster Smith would never have been convicted. Even a kangaroo court-martial would not have convicted Webster Smith based on the evidence available. If the Defense Team had had the desire, the time, and the money to investigate every witness on the prosecution’s list of witnesses, they would have found enough evidence to destroy the prosecution’s two star witnesses, KN and SR. They would have found enough character against SR to impeach her credibility.

For the record, Mr. Strauss-Kahn's humiliation was no worse than that experienced by Webster Smith and many American and British men and boys. Is there anything more humiliating than being arrested for a rape charge at work surrounded by your colleagues, or at school with your classmates looking on, or in plain view of your children and neighbors? Presumptively innocent men accused of rape often lose their wives, their girlfriends, their friends, their businesses, their jobs, and their money defending the false claim. . .

The presumptively innocent should not be treated as criminals based on the allegation of lone accuser before an investigation is concluded. And when the power to cry rape is abused, the abuser needs to be punished severely to deter others from doing the same.

As Prof. Alan Dershowitz once said: “Rape is such a serious crime that deliberately bringing a false accusation of rape should be an equally serious crime and women are not being punished for those crimes. I believe that being falsely accused of rape is as traumatic as being raped.”

http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/05/have-we-handed-too-much-power-to.html

READ MORE AT:
http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4297372/1/

7:14 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Webster Smith and Dominick Strauss-Kahn were both subjected to the "perp walk".
An accused has some legal protection afforded through the PROCESS. They are, among others, the presumption of innocence, the right to remain silent, and the right to confront and to challenge the witnesses against him.

If the PROCESS had worked as it should have, Webster Smith would never have been convicted. Even a kangaroo court-martial would not have convicted Webster Smith based on the evidence available. If the Defense Team had had the desire, the time, and the money to investigate every witness on the prosecution’s list of witnesses, they would have found enough evidence to destroy the prosecution’s two star witnesses, KN and SR. They would have found enough character against SR to impeach her credibility.

For the record, Mr. Strauss-Kahn's humiliation was no worse than that experienced by Webster Smith and many American and British men and boys. Is there anything more humiliating than being arrested for a rape charge at work surrounded by your colleagues, or at school with your classmates looking on, or in plain view of your children and neighbors? Presumptively innocent men accused of rape often lose their wives, their girlfriends, their friends, their businesses, their jobs, and their money defending the false claim. . .

The presumptively innocent should not be treated as criminals based on the allegation of lone accuser before an investigation is concluded. And when the power to cry rape is abused, the abuser needs to be punished severely to deter others from doing the same.

As Prof. Alan Dershowitz once said: “Rape is such a serious crime that deliberately bringing a false accusation of rape should be an equally serious crime and women are not being punished for those crimes. I believe that being falsely accused of rape is as traumatic as being raped.”

http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2011/05/have-we-handed-too-much-power-to.html

READ MORE AT:
http://s1.zetaboards.com/Liestoppers_meeting/topic/4297372/1/

7:15 PM  

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