".... A Third Perspective" (a courtwatcher at the Christine trial today
It has been fifteen years since my last courtroom appearance, an abortive call to jury duty for a DUII - the defense attorney ask me if I though that a man should be judged by a jury of his peers. I said yes and was then dismissed. The courtroom hasn't changed a bit. The courts are full of caseloads, so thick that pressure is to have your
client plead. Bombard a single incident with a dozen charges and most people will plead to the least - admit guilt whether guilty or not. Buck the system and you face the full penalty of cumulative sum of the law. Not to mention
your friendly local bar member encouraging that guilty plea.
When did we allow American justice to become a manipulation of verbiage? The legal sparring in the courts over the semantics of the law demonstrate the
antics of the legal system to a tee. It is broken and we the people have no control at all.
I attend court to watch with interest. The case had not begun, yet the cop on the stand, improperly sworn, was convincing the media of the evils of the fundamentalist Christian defendants. If the state took my child, the trial would be for murder, not kidnapping. The posturing would add hilarity to the
spectacle, where the lives of the parents not on the line.
How can a judge disallow a defense? Doesn't the Constitution dictate the manner of the law? But that document doesn't count - not here, not in
Roseburg, not in America today. The gamesmanship - a 7-inch pile of discovery became the focus rather than the crux of the argument. Isn't it common
decency to follow the intent of the law? Forty-eight prosecution witnesses on a list violate the sense of fair play. But, district attorney worth is
measured in conviction count, whether justified or not.
The real problem is that this is a rather fair court. The judge has a reputation for sympathy for people - but he is operating tethered to the rules
of the Bar, not the will of the people. The solution is to bring the lay people into the judiciary, or exclude the legal profession from the
legislature and the executive branch. This of the attorneys, for the attorneys, by the attorneys system of justice has got to stop.
There were three main debates on this Wednesday morning - whether discovery was violated, whether children - the eldest 6 years old - could becalled
to testify and choice of evils. The showboat defense and the pressurized prosecutor provide a song and dance for the cameras, but the arguments
beg the question - can this court provide justice? I will not decide the answer until after the due process is over. I am overwhelmed by the idea that prior case law has such a bearing - how can the average citizen be expected to comprehend the laws he is supposed to follow, when the courts make them up on the fly?
The choice of evils argument is an odd defense, but I fail to understand why the defense cannot present any argument they wish. Shouldn't the judge
be bound to instruct the jury of the law that applies, including the
concept of judicial nullification. How can an agency take children from their parents, limit visitation and then begin to adopt them out, without first convicting those parents of a crime? Isn't this trial premature, if the Grants Pass trial
on the initial incident hasn't taken place yet to determine if the Christines are indeed guilty of a crime. The public's attention is on this case, the jury has yet to be seated, and the press has convicted the couple. Nothing like justice in America, eh?
Courtwatchers notes from Christine trial - Tuesday, May 7, 2002 -
.... Christine's six year old child admits Prosecutor Wesenberg coached her
(this is method and operation for the state professional child abusers -
they like to call it "preparing the witness" and this is done routinely with
the children against their parents - this is cause in itself for a mistrial
and prosecution of the corrupt prosecutor)
Here are my thoughts on the presecution's case. I bet that you'll never
read the last paragraph in the mainstream media. It serves as an
the whole charade.....
The prosecutors case:
The jury having been seated last Friday, this Tuesday morning was to be the District Attorney's show. The case against the Christine's has to be set in stone - the story told to the fullest extent from the eyes of the agency, the police and media. As Joe Friday of Dragnet fame used to say - just the
First witness was the SOSCF case-leader. A bureaucrat through and through. Her attitude was that nothing can supercede my interpretation of this
narrow rule. She spoke for the 'wards of the court' and it was her way or the highway. The system is that the state extracts its concessions prior to making charges and the charges are based on the level of cooperation. The Christine's
wouldn't 'negotiate' a safety plan imposed by the agency, so they were playing hard-ball. Allege neglect and starvation, yet offer no proof.
The jury was dismissed briefly as the defense extracted a retreat from slander by the witness - she made accusations of re-abuse as a general reference and could provide no support when Steele asked her to demonstrate the specific instances
of abuse in this case.
The two kidnapped social workers were next - the wily old coot veteran and the 2nd day on the job rookie. The driver - a 'visitation specialist' -describe the route and the day of the incident - August 1, 2001. The testimony that he could see the bullets in the gun was the media darling of the day. The 3-hour trip from Bandon to Grants Pass was uneventful, but these caseworkers were
warned that they might be followed on the ride back, to be wary. I wonder if this is standard operating procedure. The two workers confirmed each
other's story, the rookie breaking down in tears as she recounts the tale of the gun pointed at her. Interestingly enough, the veteran testified that Brian never pointed his gun at her.
The next witnesses were the parade of law enforcement describing the
chase - the vehicle switch at the Dillard Mill, the drive to Montana - the overwhelming number of cops assigned to this 'Armed and Dangerous' case. The officers were not informed by the NCIC - (national crime information center) reports that the
gun had been left behind in the state van. The Montana aspects of the tracking were introduced; a) the car rental agreement that linked a phone number to the Christines b) Brian's 97 mph race down the interstate in the rented car that drew attention from the local police, c) the preacher friend with the moral code that believes that talking to a woman is a sin, d) the litany of the chase, e) the false name game that the kids couldn't remember how to play.
The arrest of Ruth Christine on peaceful term with no opposition as the face painted, camouflage SWAT team member hid in the background. Even the FBI was
To pin the case down, the state had to bring in the star witness, six year old Bethany Christine. Clutching a stuffed rabbit, the girl interviewed with the judge about her trip from England. This brief competency hearing allowed the judge to ask Bethany - What happens when you tell a lie? "Bad Things". The judge ruled that Bethany could take the stand. The jury came back and listened
as Bethany recounted how Baba and Mommy Ruth took the girls after their birthday party, how mommy Ruth wore a blond wig, that Baba had pointed the
gun, the tale of the long drive.
The cross exam began with a simple query - did somebody tell you to say these things? "Yes". Who? "Him" - and the little girl pointed her finger at the state's prosecutor. The next two questions just added to the point.
Bethany didn't know what the word 'wig' meant and when asked why she called her mother Mommy Ruth, it was because there were other people that wanted to be called mommy too.
Howdt is a third party Court observer:
'A once objective court ovserver, now sees the court proceedings as a sham and reports his highly educated view of the trial to our group so we get his impression of the proceedings. He is not affiliated in any way with the Christine support group but came to the trial out of curiousity of the hoopla'