cj#950> B.E.’s lawyer: Feds tromp on Justice


Richard Moore


From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: B.E. Smith -- The Aftermath
Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 13:28:16 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>;
•••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>;
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 1999 11:51
Subject: B.E. Smith -- The Aftermath

WHO: B.E. Smith

WHAT: Convicted of manufacturing and possessing marijuana under federal
law.  No evidence related to his medical need or Proposition 215 was
permitted in the trial.

WHERE: U.S. District Courthouse, Sacramento

WHEN: May 21, 1999

WHY: The court allowed the federal government to "lie by omission" in
ruling that no evidence related to B.E. Smith's use of medical marijuana
was the direct result of the Post Traumatic Stress he suffers from his two
tours in Vietman.  The court even limited the amount Smith himself could
talk about his Vietnam experiences.  The prosecution was allowed to paint
Smith as a renegade marijuana grower and dealer while the defense was
prevented, as a matter of law, from responding to any of those allegations.
The court’s charge essentially instructed the jury that they must find
Smith guilty.

Dear Friends,

In the three short days since B.E. was convicted, I have already  run over
a thousand different reasons why it happened or how we could have prevented
it.  However the truth of the situation that is so hard for me to face,
especially today--ten years to the day from my graduation from West
Point--is that the federal government saw too big of a prize in B.E. Smith.

Losing the first federal prosecution for Prop. 215- related offenses was
not an option for Uncle Sugar. We all realized that the feds were willing
to prosecute patients and caregivers who simply grew their own medicine or
medicine for consenting adult friends who requested such assistance.  But
it was shocking, at least to me, to realize that the federal prosecutors
and judiciary, are willing to lie, obfuscate and go to herculean lengths to
prevent justice from entering the decision-making process.  Every time we
started to gain some headway towards a defense, the judge would stop the
proceedings, order us to proffer exactly where we were going with the
defense and then rule against allowing the defense as a matter of law.

Even when the prosecutor slipped up, the judge was there to cover his
slack.  I know this sounds unbelievable, but if you were there, you would
know it to be true.  The only positive thing about this appeal is that it
is going to bring the judge's conduct out into the spotlight.  Which brings
me to my suggestions for action. There is a need for action on two fronts,
legal and public/political. On the legal side, I will be filing a motion
for reconsideration regarding B.E.'s release pending sentencing and an
appeal of that ruling if necessary. Next I will prepare to argue at B.E.'s
sentencing hearing scheduled for August 6, 1999.

Finally is the appeal of the judge’s rulings during the trial and pretrial
motions phase.  Unfortunately the appeal itself is not perfected until
after sentencing.  I have been using the pronoun "I" throughout this
discussion, but I do not mean that.  I have not yet discussed appellate
strategy with Robert Booker, my co-counsel during the trial, so I do not
know the degree to which he would like to be involved, but I will be
working with David Michael from San Francisco, an expert in appellate work
before the Ninth Circuit.  A necessary component of the appellate process
is going to be fundraising for transcripts, research and experts.

On the public/political side of the house, there is a need to communicate
to Judge Burrell that B.E.'s public and political support is stronger than
the puppet strings that bind this judge.  The first time we noticed a
change in the judge was when the jury was present, the second time was when
there was press in the courtroom.  The reason Burrell got away with what he
did is because too often he was outside the public eye.  Woody Harrelson’s
testimony was remarkable because the judge was afraid of engaging him.  Any
other witness who tried what Woody did (telling the whole truth) would have
seen the inside of a jail that same day.  However the judge could not
engage Woody lest the whole trial enter a new level of public awareness.
We need that level of public awareness from here on out.

Remember B.E., "the last free man in America" is in there for all of us.
For all you patients, he very much wanted to go first because he figured he
is in better shape to sit this out than anyone else who is sick or in pain.
For everyone else, B.E. did not do this to test the law with a small "l"
that is Proposition 215, he did it to test the Law, that is the American
judicial system.  We are in trouble folks, you can believe it now or later,
but take a look around, this is a call to action while it is still
possible.  We need a letter writing campaign to the Probation and
Sentencing Department in the Eastern District of California.  That
department will be making a recommendation regarding B.E.'s sentencing in
August.  It must be inundated with letters from citizens and prominent
persons (celebrities, politicians, law professors etc.).  I will be
circulating an outline letter with the appropriate address in a few days.

I am certainly not suggesting that the responses to this trial be limited
to the things I have discussed, these are merely the things that have come
up so far.  Please keep me in the loop and, on behalf of B.E., his family,
and our future, I thank you for your time and efforts to ensure that
Justice not desert us in our time of need.


Tom Ballanco

From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: "B E Smith" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Drug Policy Reform groups/sites
Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 17:37:07 -0700

Here are some Drug Policy Reform groups/sites.  If someone has the
energy could the find the email addresses for each of these and send
them to me and anyone else interested?

Human Rights and the Drug War

Drug Reform Coordinating Network

The Media Awareness Project

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Forfeiture Endangers American Rights

Marijuana Policy Project

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

World's largest on-line library of drug policy (research tool)

The November Coalition Fighting for Drug War POWs

National drug Strategy Network

North American Syringe Exchange Network

The Lindesmith Center

The Drug Policy Foundation

Legalize! (Anti-Prohibitionist)



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