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rickb
05-08-2008, 20:29
From a 1996 article written after the Virginia AT killer was let out of jail. Warren said it best after the trial and again in 1996 http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/161031



Smith's case enraged Appalachian Trail hikers, who said the punishment did not fit the crime.

Warren Doyle Jr., a veteran through-hiker, will soon finish his 11th trip of the 2,159-mile trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine.

Doyle was so offended by the plea agreement that he picketed the courthouse the day after it became public in 1982, carrying a sign that said: "Did Bob and Sue plead for their lives? Did Randall Lee Smith give them a bargain? Shame on the murderer. Shame on the justice system."

In a recent telephone interview, Doyle said his feelings about Smith's sentence have not changed.

"If another incident happens with Randall Smith, perhaps the people who are responsible for the plea bargain should be put on trial," Doyle said.

Doyle said he was particularly upset that no one got to hear the full evidence in the case, which would have been used to educate hikers about trail safety.

Pokey2006
05-08-2008, 20:34
Were others protesting as well?

And was the media all over this plea bargain? I know the tabloids in the northeast would have had a field day with that, but not sure if the media is quite as cutthroat down there. I don't always agree with it, but it does tend to keep everyone on their toes and accountable.

That is one of the things about a trial -- that's when the public learns all the ins and outs and details of a crime. That's not always a bad thing. There is always the hope that the additional information will help prevent future crimes.

I am curious to learn more about what was going on back then, if there was a huge outcry, or just one guy with a sign in front of a courthouse.

Slimer
05-08-2008, 20:41
"were others protesting as well"

Whether it was hundreds protesting or just one person is completely irrelevant.
The fact is that Smith murdered two people and served VERY little time for it.........and we now learn that he's tried to murder two more.

I agree with Rick. Warren Doyle said it best.

Pokey2006
05-08-2008, 20:44
But what I want to know is, was there ONLY ONE PERSON who saw this coming??? And if so, why didn't anyone else do something about it? People needed to be held accountable in 1982, when something could have been done to prevent this. Did anyone, besides one person, even try? Maybe they did, and it happened anyway. But I am curious to know.

rcli4
05-08-2008, 21:30
The DA lost his job over it.

Clyde

Tinker
05-08-2008, 21:50
The note left in the pickup shows that this man kills the innocent without regard for the value of their lives. He may even LIKE the idea of taking innocent life. If he has not had a total change of character while in prison, his MOM might be in danger.
Take a life? - Life without possibility of parole.

Pokey2006
05-08-2008, 21:56
The DA lost his job over it.

Clyde

As I'm thinking he should have, though I admit without knowing the whole story. So there was some pressure...good.

I will be interested in learning more about what happened in the past, if for no other reason than for it to be a lesson for our future. I just hate cases like this, makes me very po'd.

No Belay
05-08-2008, 22:37
Warren says "it" best allot but it's often dismissed as codencending or arogant by allot of us that wish we knew half of what he's forgotten about the AT. Due to his straight forwardness and unique perspective of AT thru hiking, allot of what he post is attacked by "stay in the box" hikers as unethical and self promoting. I hope folks will step back and look at this particular event from the past and remember, there was only one (1) lone demonstrater with the civic and social foresight to stand in front of that courthouse and, as Warren always says, " Question Authority". I don't always agree with him, but I sure respect him.

Just Jack
05-08-2008, 22:44
Is it possible to put the name of the judge, the DA, and the names of the Parole Board out in print? These people should have to face their fellow citizens and have to explain this travesty of justice. Instead they walk away with a paycheck and immunity from prosecution. Public servants should not receive immunity from prosecution. They should face the same possibility of prosecution for gross negligence that you and I face. Maybe then you wouldn't see so many back room deals get cut.

rafe
05-08-2008, 22:54
Public servants should not receive immunity from prosecution.


Amen brother. I'll be thinking about that on January 20, 2009.

Hikerhead
05-08-2008, 22:56
Here's some more info that I don't believe has been posted. Looks they didn't think they had enough evidence to go for a first degee murder case, they offered second degree and he accepted, pleading guilty.

http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/161124

He lived on Virginia Street off of Rt 100. Looks to be right below Angles Rest.

Pokey2006
05-08-2008, 23:11
"A bloody fingerprint on a book belonging to Ramsay was later matched to Smith's right middle finger."

Not enough evidence???? I've seen juries convict on less.

Hikerhead
05-08-2008, 23:13
I agree.

envirodiver
05-08-2008, 23:18
I agree with few things that I see WD post on here because of the manner of his posts, but I have checked his website and it seems to be for real.

I do agree completly with his stand at the original sentencing of this scum. Well said Warren, too bad it did no good.

Frosty
05-08-2008, 23:34
The DA lost his job over it.But he didn't lose his life over his decision.

take-a-knee
05-09-2008, 00:28
Is it possible to put the name of the judge, the DA, and the names of the Parole Board out in print? These people should have to face their fellow citizens and have to explain this travesty of justice. Instead they walk away with a paycheck and immunity from prosecution. Public servants should not receive immunity from prosecution. They should face the same possibility of prosecution for gross negligence that you and I face. Maybe then you wouldn't see so many back room deals get cut.

First, the government always exempts itself from its own laws and standards.

I don't think the responsible parties should be jailed or fined, their culpability is obviously beyond doubt. A better idea would be to put 'em one at a time in a televised cage with someone like B J Penn and instruct Penn to attempt to make it last for three five-min rounds. You could sell tickets and Spike would televise it. The proceeds could go to his latest victims. This would be a modern day version of the "stocks", with an entrepenurial twist.

rcli4
05-09-2008, 00:39
But he didn't lose his life over his decision.

They asked was there any out cry from the people at the time. I answered. Are you implying they should kill the DA I don't understand what you mean.

Clyde

Odd Thomas
05-09-2008, 02:54
But what I want to know is, was there ONLY ONE PERSON who saw this coming??? And if so, why didn't anyone else do something about it? People needed to be held accountable in 1982, when something could have been done to prevent this. Did anyone, besides one person, even try? Maybe they did, and it happened anyway. But I am curious to know.

A prosecutor who can be influenced by a group of protesters to do something is no better than one that does the wrong thing uncoerced. Think Duke Lacrosse rape case.

We need prosecutors who prosecute based on the evidence. When they get lazy and offer deals for guilty pleas they are not doing their job. When they get lazy and decide how to prosecute based on public opinion they are not doing their job.

DesertMTB
05-09-2008, 08:17
From a 1996 article written after the Virginia AT killer was let out of jail. Warren said it best after the trial and again in 1996 http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/161031

I think I have a newfound respect for warren now.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
05-09-2008, 08:35
Never thought I would be doing this, but props to WD for what he said in the article.

Glad to hear the DA was removed for this move - while accepting the plea to second degree murder was likely acceptable under the circumstances (lack of evidence of premeditation necessary to get a first-degree murder conviction), offering the lessor prison sentence for the plea was not. IMO, this man should have been tried and convicted of second degree murder and given the maximum sentence rather than allowed to plea bargain down to a 30 year sentence - even if the family of the victims disagreed. There was little doubt from the circumstances of the original murders that he caused the deaths and that he presented a clear and present danger to society. This is the sort of person I'm more than willing to pay tax $$$ to keep locked up forever.

Frau
05-09-2008, 09:06
I showed this thread to Nessmuk this a.m., and he said that the local and regional papers need to be sent the article(s) and quotes from Warren. Newspapers CAN provide some in depth research, AND rabble rousing, for which some of us do not have time.

NOW is the time in my life that I am prepared to return to civic protest. Giles Co., (and I used to live there), needs to know how we feel and what we expect.

Frau

Frosty
05-09-2008, 11:20
They asked was there any out cry from the people at the time. I answered. Are you implying they should kill the DA I don't understand what you mean.

ClydeNo, I didn't mean they should kill the DA, though it might have been kharmic (poetic?) justice had the DA been the victim.

I only meant that his decision resulted in the loss of his job, and possibly in the deaths of other(s). So I guess I mean his consequence was light compared to the consequence faced by innocent people not party to the decision to release him.

It wasn't directed at you, just at the idea of the unfairness of fallout of teh DA's decision. I removed your signature, but forgot to take your name from the quote. Sorry.

Heater
05-09-2008, 11:25
I think I have a newfound respect for warren now.

Yeah. That was righteous. ;)

bfitz
05-09-2008, 12:13
I think I have a newfound respect for warren now.It might be like one of those one in a trillion monkeys with typewriters randomly typing a Shakespeare sonnet things. A random statistical fluctuation. You mouth off enough you're bound to get something right eventually. But boy did he sure get it right this time. What a story.

MOWGLI
05-09-2008, 12:28
It might be like one of those one in a trillion monkeys with typewriters randomly typing a Shakespeare sonnet things. A random statistical fluctuation. You mouth off enough you're bound to get something right eventually. But boy did he sure get it right this time. What a story.

Nice back handed compliment. Your posse will be proud. :sun

Heater
05-09-2008, 12:38
It might be like one of those one in a trillion monkeys with typewriters randomly typing a Shakespeare sonnet things. A random statistical fluctuation. You mouth off enough you're bound to get something right eventually. But boy did he sure get it right this time. What a story.

I love storys. Please tell me another!

weary
05-09-2008, 13:57
Last night, I finally read the final chapters of Jess Carr's "Murder on the Appalachian Trail." It's billed as a novel, mostly because it speculates about the mind of the killer and some other people mentioned.

But the book uses the real names of the judge, DA, defense lawyers, and most of the hikers. In an afterword he says he interviewed more than 100 people associated with the case and that the book is as accurate as could make it.

When I bought the book in the 80s, I stopped reading with the account of the murders, ignoring the triail and the events leading up to the capture of the killer.

The killing of the girl was pretty much an open and shut case for second degree murder and Virginia law puts serious impediments to a finding of premeditated first degree murder.

But the evidence dealing with the man, was not clear from a legal perspective. He was in the vicinity, but nothing directly connected his death to Randall Smith. Even in Virginia you can't convict if there is reasonable doubt,

Also Smith had three state-appointed lawyers. A veteran attorney considered one of the best in the state. A young guy with the dream of parleying the case into making him the F. Lee Baily of the south and a very bright recent law school graduate.

Anyway, the argument seemed to have been that the most Smith would get if found guilty of the two murders was two consecutive 20 year terms of second degree murder. At the last minute, with the concurrence of the families of the two victims, and the law people involved in the investigation, both sides agreed to settle for two conseutive 15 year terms upon a plea of guilty to the two murders by Randall Smith.

At least that is what the book says, and it has a ring of truth in it. One of the news reports of the recent shooting claim that the terms were concurrent, but after reading Carr's account I suspect that was a newspaper error.

It's really a very good book. I suggest that those who want the full perspective on the events of 1981 should try to find a copy. I started reading the final chapters to check some fact about the case just as I was preparing for bed last evening and ended up reading from where I had left off in 1986 all the way to the end, finishing about 3 a.m.

Anyway the book convinced me that the error was more the decision to parole Smith half way through his two terms, rather than the decision to terminate the trial with a plea agreement.

Weary

warren doyle
05-09-2008, 15:39
Wow. This has turned into a love fest.

[quote=Pokey2006;618224]Were others protesting as well?

I was the sole visible protestor but I also knew that I was representing more than myself. The incident and prolonged lead-up to the actual court trial gave residents of Giles County a 'black-eye'. How do you think residents of Damascus would feel if 'one of their own' murdered two hikers in Abingdon Gap Shelter and then the county legal authorities offered and won a plea bargain?

There were many outraged Giles County citizens concerning the plea bargain. However, in a small town, local citizens usually are only inviting trouble if you openly demonstrate against the powers-that-be. My protest of conscience was individual in nature. Several people came out of the courthouse and quietly gave me their support while warning me that I should stop the protest before it got dark for my physical well-being.

Skidsteer
05-09-2008, 17:43
Let's try this again.

Tipi Walter
05-09-2008, 19:20
I see Tabasco had a message deleted but wonder where Jack Tarlin's went?? Deleted? Vaporized? Muzzled? Is there a level beyond deleted?

SGT Rock
05-09-2008, 19:32
Sort of

Skidsteer
05-09-2008, 19:34
I see Tabasco had a message deleted but wonder where Jack Tarlin's went?? Deleted? Vaporized? Muzzled? Is there a level beyond deleted?

It has been preserved(along with fourteen others)and forwarded to a secret web forum psychoanalytic consulting firm(Flamefest.com) for review and recommendation.

Please donate. Those bastards are gouging us.

Tin Man
05-09-2008, 19:35
I see Tabasco had a message deleted but wonder where Jack Tarlin's went?? Deleted? Vaporized? Muzzled? Is there a level beyond deleted?

There's a new sheriff in town.... :-?

sofaking
05-09-2008, 19:36
It has been preserved(along with fourteen others)and forwarded to a secret web forum psychoanalytic consulting firm(Flamefest.com) for review and recommendation.

Please donate. Those bastards are gouging us.
will prizes be awarded? heh heh heh...

doggiebag
05-09-2008, 19:37
I see Tabasco had a message deleted but wonder where Jack Tarlin's went?? Deleted? Vaporized? Muzzled? Is there a level beyond deleted?
Flying under the radar is key. You don't want to get placed in the ass-hat security watch list.

rcli4
05-09-2008, 19:47
You can post your donations to
dillweed@stuckonstupid.com
:D:D:D
Clyde

Frolicking Dinosaurs
05-09-2008, 19:49
It has been preserved(along with fourteen others)and forwarded to a secret web forum psychoanalytic consulting firm(Flamefest.com) for review and recommendation.

Please donate. Those bastards are gouging us.http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/WBspecialdelete.jpg

Flush2wice
05-09-2008, 19:50
where is the link to see the posts that got deleted?

mudhead
05-09-2008, 19:52
Fine looking stove. How much does that puppy weigh?

Tipi Walter
05-09-2008, 19:57
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/WBspecialdelete.jpg

Some of my best stuff on WB has ended up here.

SGT Rock
05-09-2008, 20:22
Some of my best stuff on WB has ended up here.
Not that I recall. You have never been a PITA.

warren doyle
05-09-2008, 21:24
Keep up the good work Sgt. Rock!

No Belay
05-09-2008, 21:30
Ok Warren... fueling the the stove or stirring the pot?;)

weary
05-09-2008, 21:32
Keep up the good work Sgt. Rock!
I concur in your thoughts, Warren. But I do think it a serious mistake when the good Sarge takes it upon himself to post a lengthy reply to a controversial thread and then closes it down, giving no one a chance to respond. I somehow think of it as the Wingfoot syndrome.

Weary

Frosty
05-09-2008, 21:46
I concur in your thoughts, Warren. But I do think it a serious mistake when the good Sarge takes it upon himself to post a lengthy reply to a controversial thread and then closes it down, giving no one a chance to respond. I somehow think of it as the Wingfoot syndrome.

WearyOften responses are not required. We now know each so well, it is fairly simple to predict what the more prolific among us will reply in response to a given post. Very few minds have been changed as a result of a well-written rebuttal post. Everybody talks, nobody listens.

Gray Blazer
05-09-2008, 21:49
Sort of

I thought so.

weary
05-09-2008, 22:02
Often responses are not required. We now know each so well, it is fairly simple to predict what the more prolific among us will reply in response to a given post. Very few minds have been changed as a result of a well-written rebuttal post. Everybody talks, nobody listens.
Frosty:

How do you know that "nobody listens?"

We know what people who post are thinking. We don't know whether the thousands of other users listen, or not.

Weary

SGT Rock
05-09-2008, 22:07
Keep up the good work Sgt. Rock!
Thank you, but someone else cleaned this one up.

I concur in your thoughts, Warren. But I do think it a serious mistake when the good Sarge takes it upon himself to post a lengthy reply to a controversial thread and then closes it down, giving no one a chance to respond. I somehow think of it as the Wingfoot syndrome.

Weary
Whatever.

As usual you like pointing out when you are offended but forget when you are offensive. As for name calling. Remember, WF would have already booted you and many others years ago. You are all still here and able to complain about me. So, as usual, you are resulting to hyperbole in this area. At least be intellectually honest with these things Weary. I doubt you actually pay attention to the things I write when I do post these closures or else you would have a better understanding of why, rather than just assuming why and insulting me.


Often responses are not required. We now know each so well, it is fairly simple to predict what the more prolific among us will reply in response to a given post. Very few minds have been changed as a result of a well-written rebuttal post. Everybody talks, nobody listens.
That is what I was thinking.

OregonHiker
05-09-2008, 22:38
Thank you, but someone else cleaned this one up.

Whatever.

As usual you like pointing out when you are offended but forget when you are offensive. As for name calling. Remember, WF would have already booted you and many others years ago. You are all still here and able to complain about me. So, as usual, you are resulting to hyperbole in this area. At least be intellectually honest with these things Weary. I doubt you actually pay attention to the things I write when I do post these closures or else you would have a better understanding of why, rather than just assuming why and insulting me.


That is what I was thinking.

Agree with him or not, he is a donating member unlike many others who could be considered a burr under the saddle

SGT Rock
05-09-2008, 22:52
Agree with him or not, he is a donating member unlike many others who could be considered a burr under the saddle
You are correct there. No one can ever accuse Weary of not contributing to things he supports. Weary has contributed to some very important projects over the years - a WB membership is peanuts compared to Weary's contributions to the trail.

Pokey2006
05-09-2008, 23:01
Anyway the book convinced me that the error was more the decision to parole Smith half way through his two terms, rather than the decision to terminate the trial with a plea agreement.

Weary


ANYWAY...If I read correctly elsewhere that he was released on MANDATORY parole, then that would be incorrect. At the time of his sentencing, they would have known exactly when he would be released. He was eligible for parole only four years into his sentence. They denied him parole, but after so many years, they had to let him out. The mistake was therefore made at the time the agreement was made.

I agree with another suggestion made here, that he should have been put on trial from second-degree murder. A judge would likely have given him the maximum sentence allowed if convicted. And if aquitted? Well, that's the risk you take with our legal system. Sometimes it's worth the risk to get a killer off the streets.

Skidsteer
05-09-2008, 23:07
Keep up the good work Sgt. Rock!


I concur in your thoughts, Warren. But I do think it a serious mistake when the good Sarge takes it upon himself to post a lengthy reply to a controversial thread and then closes it down, giving no one a chance to respond. I somehow think of it as the Wingfoot syndrome.

Weary

You two are a couple of real Ellery Queens:rolleyes:. To quote an oft-used expression:

"Reading comprehension."


Let's try this again.