Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fred puts down some more thoughts on the verdict

Fred James: Aloha! I’m STILL in Anchorage trying to get out on Delta. I’ve tried twice but both times the plane was filled to the brim. In the meantime:

The question “Why did that jury convict Big Innocent Vic of three of the four charges? This iniquity has been warping around my tiny brain ever since I heard the court clerk read out the verdict.

Last night I tossed and turned thinking many thoughts. Certainly, like any HUMAN enterprise, there were probably many reasons they capitulated to the State.
Here are a few:

a) The jury lived in Alaska like everyone else for 14 months absorbing the Anchorage Daily New’s downright evil reportage on Vic, day after day repeating the supposed felonies he was alleged to have done. Channel Two in Anchorage was probably worse because moving images are much more dramatic.

b) The anti-government climate (Which on the whole is a good thing!) was exasperated by a flurry of corrupt politicians being caught in this giant FBI sting and FOUND GUILTY. Vic was lumped into this mess.

c) The government lawyers exaggerated and spoke about allegations as facts over and over despite John Henry Browne’s careful questions that demolished important aspects of most of them. e.g., getting BOTH Smith and Allen to admit that there was No loan, No job, No truck and that Rick Smith had come up with the idea of giving a job to Vic’s nephew, NOT VIC!!

d) The judge DENIED the defense motion for change of venue so that Vic’s jury would be RELATIVELY unbiased.

e) We could have pulled out twelve years of Vic’s public writings that were published in many of the major newspapers in Alaska. We could have shown that he believes in private enterprise and would VOTE for private enterprise...ALL private enterprises and AGAINST taxation. Then we could have matched his voting record against what he wrote! It would be IDENTICAL!!!!!

f) The judge also DENIED JHB’s major tool to show the government’s basic thrust in this farce was totally wrong. What was that? The government had a video of Vic talking to Bill Allen in a hotel in Juneau. At this time Allen gave Vic some money which Allen ADMITED under cross to be a present for Vic’s daughter which is EXACTLY WHAT VIC HAD MAINTAINED FROM THE START. The grainy black & white video was widely condemned as PROOF Vic was on the take. Vic told him at the time politely: “Thank you. If there is anything I can do to help you, let me know.” THAT line the government was convinced was proof Vic was VECO”S bought and paid for tool. Also the government came up with the fact that Vic was friendly with and voted for most VECO desired bills.

JHB was not ALLOWED by the judge to counter this with all important testimony. Let’s suppose for a minute that the judge had said, “Sure bring on as many witnesses as you like to make your point.” We had a list of over 30 people who were willing to testify that Vic’s mantra, a statement he said to everyone was, and had been for over twelve years, “Thank you. If there is anything I can do to help you, let me know.” Vic had said this line in his radio ads, his print ads, his newsletters and to many, many people over the years. In fact he not only SAID this line frequently we could have proved he said it SINCERELY, followed by deeds. I had a man ready to tell the tale of how he was doing some plaster work in his home when Vic turned up in a shirt and tie at his door campaigning. Here’s my friend, all covered with plaster and paint, a tool belt on, opening the door to a 6’7” giant stranger looking down on him. Vic went through his pitch about free markets, less government and no new taxes and finished with his almost patented line about offering help. Then Vic said “I know a lot about this kind of work. Can I help you?” He then took off his coat and spent two hours helping my friend finish the interior work. My friend was absolutely astounded. He had found an honest politician who did what he promised! He told me he would vote for him and then did, over and over again.

Now this kind of story is no exception. When calling down that list of Vic supporters I bumped into human after human who had identical or like stories about Vic. How he always finished most conversations with is his line, “Thank you. If there is anything I can do to help you, let me know.”

We could have waltzed in at least 30 witnesses to say these things most sincerely. We hoped to the point where the government would have stipulated that this was indeed his constant line and followed through with it. It would also have placed the image of Vic into the jury’s minds as one whale of a nice human being.

Then we could have brought in government records of his voting statistics. They would prove that he consistently voted AGAINST any new taxes and favored ALL PRIVATE enterprise, not Big Oil alone. We would have paraded in man after man who would have said more or less, “I called up Vic who took the time to understand my small private business’s problems with government and he offered to help me any way he could, just like his line in his ads. Then he followed through and GAVE ME THE HELP. Then Leza who had flown up here to Anchorage at her own expense to testify would have said something like: “I worked for him one session in Juneau. He helped EVERYONE, Even people OUTSIDE his district because he regarded his role of lawmaker more as ombudsman that creator of new taxes and bureaucracies. She could have told the jury, “I saw him with my own eyes, time after time say goodbye to people with his “I’ll help you as much as I can.” line. I witnessed this too.

Now suppose we could have been ALLOWED to demonstrate this realty to the jury. Then they would have had the KNOWLEDGE that Vic’s line to VECO head Bill Allen in that video was once again the same line he gave everyone. AND THAT VECO WAS JUST ONE OF MANY PEOPLE IN BUSIINESS HE SAID THAT TOO.....AND MEANT!!!! We could have demonstrated this easily with MANY, many witnesses.

Then the jury would have debated the alleged offenses in a far different light!
But JHB, though no fault of his own, was denied this by one Judge John Sedwick.

These are the reasons Vic was found guilty of three of the four counts. I think he did make a mistake; he foolishly allowed thug Bill Allen to convince him he was an actual friend and that the gifts he gave him were sincere. Since the government showed no direct, hard evidence that VIC ACTUALLY DID anything in return for that gift, all we have is the word of a Bill Allen.

The substance of my criticism is that the jury was not allowed the FULL CONTEXT of the situation. Suppose for example that you were a person on a jury. You are on a murder case. The prosecution has several witnesses who say they saw the defendant pull out a pistol and shoot the deceased twice in the chest, “cool and easy as if he were taking a cold drink of lemonade on a warm sunny day.” You learn that the defendant did not even know the murdered guy. The defendant admits to shooting the man. The government suggests that the defendant is a hit man. The defense lawyer asks for permission to put on witnesses and is denied.

You vote guilty. Only later do you read on blogs that the defendant was an Army trained marksman, that he was in a crime infested area of a large city when his car broke down and the deceased was coming at him with a very large knife with a crazed look and scream. All the defendant did was draw his .45 and ably defend himself and his wife and two kids in the car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh Oh! Too late! The government has already put him to death!

I believe Vic has ample grounds for a serious appeal. I have just given you SOME of them. I hope he will.

Aloha Nui Loa

IL Fettucinni

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