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SCHotline: Statement by Jeffrey Sewell former campaign manager to Thomas Ravenel on today’s sentencing of Ravenel and Miller

March 14, 2008

This is not justice – this is reverse discrimination at its worst. Frankly, I think it’s a sad day when we let the NAACP or any other organization dictate terms to the federal bench – on a case that would have never been in the federal court system to begin with were it not for Thomas Ravenel’s prominent public position.

On the one hand, we have a defendant who cooperated fully with the authorities, who sought treatment for his personal problem and who was never alleged to have sold drugs, yet he receives ten months in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine – the latter simply because he can afford it.

On the other hand, we have a drug dealer who after his arrest struck a police officer, skipped a drug test and attempted to compromise an ongoing investigation – and yet he gets the same penalty minus the fine.

Justice is supposed to be blind, but today the facts of this case were thrown out the window and a decision was made based on race and social position. We are all supposed to be equal under the law, but today inequality ruled in Judge Anderson’s courtroom.

Jeffrey Sewell

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. E. Spitzer permalink
    March 15, 2008 1:33 AM

    While the below-referenced quote is applicable, please do not construe it as,sound legal advice, upon reflection.
    “If you want justice, go to a whorehouse; if you want to get f###ed, go to court.”

    –Richard Gere, “Primal Fear”

  2. March 15, 2008 3:09 AM

    What exactly does the fourteenth amendment’s “equal protection under the law” mean to average citizens like you and I? Absolutely nothing!!! But let me tell you why. First of all it is primarily aimed at states and as such assumes that the federal government is incapable of trying to abridge any citizens rights. Of course we all know that democrats are particularly good at protecting the rights of the individual, just look at Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy!!!

    Of course if you have listened to any of the irrational ideas coming out of the democratically controlled congress these days, you will quickly realize that every Christian ideal and moral position that has shaped this country into the greatest nation in the history of the planet is under constant attack by those that claim there is no distinguishing between the nationalistic loyalties of a democrat versus a republican.

    The unfortunate reality is that the democratic party and the ACLU will not be satisfied until every criminal of a truly vicious and evil bent has the right to commit any crime they want with impunity and those of us that stray across the line into illegality for no other reason than momentary lapses of judgment and have otherwise lived lives of moral determination can be summarily executed upon the spot where we are found to have strayed!!!

  3. abc permalink
    March 15, 2008 3:16 PM

    TR – needs new trial, new judge. He did not receive justice. The event was a circus.

  4. Night Train permalink
    March 15, 2008 6:17 PM

    Judge Anderson is a fair and honorable man and handed down the proper ruling. You fail to remember that “TRav” not only did those crimes, but he violated the public trust as well.

    He GAVE the drug away; not sold it. Is giving it and providing it worse or better? I think it’s worse to just simply give it away than to sell it.

    If Thomas didn’t want this sentence then he should not have committed this crime. Sticking up for him and whining only makes his behavior ok. Take off the ascot Geoff, it’s restricting the blood flow to your brain.

  5. E. Spitzer permalink
    March 15, 2008 7:35 PM

    Night Train,
    With 1 in 100 Americans in prison has the public trust been violated? In SC, it costs more to house an inmate than the average South Carolinian makes.

    Loosen the hood, and noose for that matter, the drug war was and always will be a losing battle. Gosh, now, I feel safer that TRAV is off the streets. I am sure you were threatened by his (classified in the SC Code,not Fed code as TRAV was) violent crime. This is another of the reasons why we lag the country in almost every category imaginable.

    It is an absolute waste to incarcerate him. Travesty of justice the way the charges were totaled, waste of tax dollars, and a real tragedy on the most important element-humanity.

  6. justin permalink
    March 15, 2008 9:39 PM

    Is everyone on crazy pills? Are we not supposed to hold our public officials to a higher standard?

    The reason you “throw the book” at officials like Ravenel and Eliot Spitzer is to discourage such behavior of others in the future. It also gives people back a little of their lost trust in government to know that government officials are being vigilantly monitored.

    We shouldn’t really care that Hollywood types are involved with drug use: they only make entertainment. These two officials were trusted with a multi-billion dollar budget and the security of the 2nd most populous state in the union.

    If you don’t think that major drug use and illegal prostitution can set someone up to be corrupted they you must be one of Thomas’s “friends” he shares with.

  7. March 15, 2008 10:57 PM

    1. Why did Anderson break with precedent and reveal confidential information regarding Ravenel’s unprecedented honesty e.g. smoked a cigarette in 6th grade

    2. Why did Anderson break with precedent and refuse the prosecutions recommendations, SLED’s recommendations

    3. Why did Anderson eventually return a verdict consistent with what a blogger known as ‘hash’ aka: Michael Miller state prior to sentencing that, “I will get whatever Ravenel gets”

    4. Why did Anderson take alleged testimony that a woman attended 30 parties and personally witnessed TR use 28 times, did she have her diary with her, what was she doing there

  8. abc permalink
    March 16, 2008 12:03 AM

    answer: NAACP

  9. E. Spitzer permalink
    March 16, 2008 2:02 AM

    Justin,
    Knowing that 1 in 100 Americans are in jail would cause one to not trust the government. How do you like that ratio? Damn letting those Communists and Islamic Extremists beat us at anything!

    Next we will have stoning as an execution option.

  10. PalmettoCPA permalink
    March 16, 2008 3:12 AM

    Thomas made his bed. Now he must lie in it.

    Though it pains me to see a rising star, and fellow fiscal conservative, put through this; to paint Ravenel as a victim is completely ridiculous. Mr. Sewell claims that Thomas does not deserve to be treated the same as a 26 year old black man; primarily because of his social position. Keep in mind that both men were indicted for the same crime of distributing cocaine. Justice makes no exception for the amount of money collected in exchange for powder, as it well shouldn’t. Miller has and/or will answer for his other crimes, and if this were tried in a state court, Ravenel would be lucky to get off as light as he did.

    To think that we should hold a 26 year old black man to a higher standard than a 45 year old multi-millionaire is nothing short of ridiculous. Obviously I’d expect Mr. Sewell to stand by his friend and former boss, however for him to claim that “inequality ruled” is utterly laughable. Thomas made the choice to not only use illegal drugs, but to continue their use while running for state office. As if that were not embarrassing enough, he continued to use after taking office.

    That brings forth an interesting question. How did he manage to hide this from the people running his campaign? If he admitting to providing it at parties, were any of his friends and staff present? Mr. Sewell was at best completely fooled and manipulated, and at worst an accessory to one of the more public downfalls of a public figure in recent state history. I’d be angry and embarrassed if I were in his position too. However to direct this anger at anyone other than the man responsible is nothing more than a liberal’s blame-game. Thomas knew the laws, he made the choice to break them.

    Now, if he had been an advocate for the decriminalization of drugs, or of treatment instead of incarceration for non-violent offenders; I’d be much more sympathetic. Nonetheless, he chose his road, and I wish him much success in the future. I’m glad he’s had the opportunity to clean himself up, and wish him nothing but the best as he pays his debt to society.

    Who knows, maybe this will be a great opportunity for a blanket set of random drug tests for all those who conduct business at the Statehouse. Wouldn’t that be an interesting event?

  11. March 16, 2008 5:25 PM

    One simple point is being overlooked by here. So allow me to get us back on track by asking… How is it possible for the “Equal Protection” clause of the fourteenth amendment to be upheld when a judge has the discretion to make an example out of anybody?

  12. March 16, 2008 5:49 PM

    In other words, doesn’t the equal protection clause demand that there be strict sentencing guidelines for state and federal judiciaries?

  13. Gerry Dickinson permalink
    March 16, 2008 6:36 PM

    3:30pm Mar 15th
    thanks for standing by Thomas yesterday. Its nice some people still exhibit loyalty. And you are right that the sentencing was a travisty.

  14. abc permalink
    March 16, 2008 6:58 PM

    To: Night Train, who wrote on
    March 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm:
    “Judge Anderson is a fair and honorable man and handed down the proper ruling…”
    Reggie Lloyd, the black US Attorney who brought the indictment against Ravenel stated that the two defendants should be treated fairly, not equally, because their crimes were not the SAME. Anderson treated them equally, not fairly, because he was weak-kneed. He was afraid of Lionel Randolph, SC president of the NAACP, who was present in the courtroom.

  15. abc permalink
    March 16, 2008 7:03 PM

    To: Night Train,
    In fact the sentencing for Ravenel wasn’t even EQUAL because Ravenel got a 250K fine on top of the sentence. Miller was a dealer who sold drugs to countless individuals over several years. We only know of Ravenel. I wonder why?…Miller was caught SEVEN times, but Feds kept releasing him, in order to bring in a rich white man.

  16. E. Spitzer permalink
    March 16, 2008 7:14 PM

    Palmetto CPA,
    Wonder what the country/state lost in taxes as a result of his incarceration and as a result an opportunity cost. I bet with the costs of the facility, trial, investigation, and off setting with the fine, it exceeds the fine by far. Plus, the effects on the businesses that he created revenue for.

  17. abc permalink
    March 16, 2008 7:15 PM

    PalmettoCPA,
    To your comment that included, “…if this were tried in a state court, Ravenel would be lucky to get off as light as he did.”

    Both the judge and Ravenel’s attorney, Gedney Howe, agreed Friday in the courtroom, that if this case were in state court, the sentence would be PTI. Pre-trial Intervention- which is PROBATION no PRISON.

  18. March 16, 2008 7:25 PM

    PalmettoCPA,

    To suggest that anyone working on the campaign to elect TR to SC Treasurer knew of a problem is pure nonsense. If I or anyone on the campaign would have known there was a problem I know we would have advised, demanded TR to get treatment.

    To suggest that Will Folks, Rod Shealy or I would allow our friend to self destruct is personally offensive.

  19. March 16, 2008 8:49 PM

    E. Spitzer,

    The costs must be immeasurable. If we cannot stop drugs can we stop a nuke from crossing our borders?

  20. justin permalink
    March 17, 2008 6:43 PM

    Jeff,

    Please do not expect us to believe you had no inkling of Thomas’s drug use. You are either oblivious or a liar.

    I heard persons in Charleston, and persons in the media mention it. Of course, nothing could be said publicly because there was no proof at the time.

    While it is admirable that you, Will, and Rod stand by a friend during hard times, do not further compound the lying. Jeff, sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all.

  21. March 17, 2008 9:07 PM

    justin:

    I stand by my comments.

  22. March 18, 2008 9:49 PM

    Even Former U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd, an African American, has said what is important isn’t that both men are treated equally, since the facts of their cases are different, but that both are treated fairly.

  23. March 19, 2008 1:37 AM

    Justin,

    It is beyond slanderous for you to suggest, particularly as if it were a matter beyond disputation, that Mr. Sewell was either an accessory to or a co-conspirator with regard to any illegal activities. Mr. Sewell has commented on such accusations and until you can provide some real proof that would justify questioning his veracity, you should keep such malicious and disparaging comments to yourself, lest you prove yourself to be as stupid and mean spirited as your comments suggest.

  24. March 19, 2008 4:35 AM

    Justin,

    Sorry for snapping like that, however, I get instantly angry when people try to pass of their personal feelings and or beliefs as facts. You stated:

    “Please do not expect us to believe you had no inkling of Thomas’s drug use. You are either oblivious or a liar.”

    Your assumption is that it would be completely inconceivable that anybody could be close to anybody else and be unable to discern that they might be involved with illicit drug use! However, the truth is that such a thing happens all the time, to mothers, fathers, spouses, significant others, etc… Relationships that are generally speaking, much closer and more intimate than anything Mr. Sewell is likely to have experienced with Mr. Ravenel. I can personally attest to this as I have since learned that a best friend of mine from my past was doing cocaine for years with me never having any idea of what was happening to him. It does not make Mr. Sewell oblivious or a liar to have been unaware. Your argument is fallacious because the assumption cannot be supported by any discernable proof or logic.

    “I heard persons in Charleston, and persons in the media mention it. Of course, nothing could be said publicly because there was no proof at the time.”

    This argument is misleading on its face and takes advantage of one of the oldest and oft used logical fallacies, namely “argumentum ad populum”. It doesn’t matter how many people believe something to be true, their belief does not make it so. The fact that you pinned your argument on the beliefs of others and further that you cannot name these “others”, shows the weakness of your arguments, and further undermines your intellect as you to base your core beliefs on what others speculate to be true without proof or logic to support you!

    “While it is admirable that you, Will, and Rod stand by a friend during hard times, do not further compound the lying. Jeff, sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all.”

    I think you owe Mr. Sewell an apology, Justin!!!

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  1. Jeff Sewell cares more about defending racist judges than Howard Rich’s buying of our state « Vierdsonian Democracy

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