Friday, December 17, 2010

Hubert Webb: Not guilty verdict is not innocence?

I really pity Hubert Webb.
After the Supreme Court acquitted him of the crime of rape with homicide, he is still vilified by the disgruntled.
Some people, legal observers, maintain that a “not guilty” verdict is not tantamount to innocence.
Some say the supreme court merely declared that the prosecution was not able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
This does not mean the accused were innocent, they add.
While the statement is generally true, it is not true in all cases.
In acquitting an accused the supreme court looks at the prosecution’s
evidence to see if the evidence proves the guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
It is not for the accused in a criminal case to prove his innocence.
It is for the prosecution to establish with moral certainty, beyond any reasonable doubt, that indeed, the accused committed the crime.
However, the case of Hubert Webb is far different.
In Hubert Webb’s case, the supreme court not only found reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s evidence.
Not only was the court convinced of the unreliability of the prosecution’s star witness Jessica Alfaro.
Apparently, Jessica Alfaro got tangled in a web of lies (No pun intended).
Hubert Webb was also able to prove his innocence.
The Supreme Court said Hubert's alibi impeached Jesicca Alfaro's testimony.
If one reads the supreme court decision closely, it will readily be seen that the supreme court tackled Hubert Webb’s “documented alibi”.
With unassailed, unrebutted authenticated documents (by no less than two U.S. secretaries of state), Hubert Webb was able to establish that he was 8,000 miles away at the time the Vizconde massacre happened on June 30, 1991.
So for people to say that Hubert Webb’s acquittal does not mean he did not commit the crime, the same people must explain how Hubert Webb could have been in two places at the same time on June 30,1991.
The weakness of the prosecutions case, to my mind, is its failure to rebut the “documented alibi” of Hubert Webb.
And it is too late now to be producing rebuttal witnesses.
The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts.
Litigation has to have an end.
The prosecution should have proved, on rebuttal evidence during the trial in the lower court, that the alibi documents of Hubert Webb were false, fake, forged, or fabricated.
Alternatively, the prosecution should have proved, on rebuttal evidence, that it is physically possible for a human being to be in two places at the same time.
What the prosecution successfully did, was to offer conjectures, i.e. that it was possible that Hubert Webb could have sneaked into the Philippines on June 30, 1991, rape and kill three persons, and then sneak out of the country thereafter.
Can this scenario be possible without being tracked by the immigration authorities of two countries?
Yet as to how this could be possible, the prosecution did not offer any proof.
But conjecture is not proof.
Conjecture is nothing but a polluted allegation.
For those who maintain that Hubert Webbs acquittal does not mean he did not commit the crime, it would do well if they can provide a rational and convincing explanation to Hubert Webb’s unrebutted, documented alibi that he was in the United States on June 30, 1991.
Otherwise, Hubert Webb is not merely “not guilty”.
He is also innocent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In this context of RTC/ CA:

HW present photocopies not original as required by the court.