[Nfbc-info] Letter to DA Jan Scully

Bryan Bashin bashin at calweb.com
Mon Aug 31 18:31:09 UTC 2009

Dear Federationists,

I sent this morning the following letter to Sacramento District 
Attorney Jan Scully.  Feel free to use any of the information in your 
own letter.


>Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 11:08:18 -0700
>To: daoffice at sacda.org
>From: Bryan Bashin <bashin at calweb.com>
>Subject: Request for special enhancements for Joseph Webb in attack on
>   blind Sacramentan
>Cc: bashin at mail.calweb.com
>Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully
>| 901 G Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 |
>916.874.6218 |
>Fax 916.874.5340
>Dear Ms. Scully,
>I'm writing to you today to request that your office note the 
>special circumstances involved in the recent brutal attack on a 
>blind woman  and invoke special enhancements provisions because the 
>victim is a person with a disability.
>As former director of the Sacramento Society for the Blind I first 
>hired the victim, diane Starin, to teach blind Sacramentans the 
>skills of independence.  Part of those skills involve the confidence 
>to travel in our community freely and independently.  Diane was 
>exercising those skills last Friday when she left work and walked to 
>a bus stop to return to her home.  She is a role model for our 
>community and has been featured in a number of film documentaries 
>and media stories for her skills, including riding and training horses.
>Ms. Scully, I do not want the Sacramento blind community to live in 
>fear of brutal attacks in broad daylight while waiting for public 
>transit.  I do not want this attack to undo the professional work of 
>Ms. Starin in teaching blind Sacramentans that it is possible to 
>live life with confidence and safety in our community.  I do not 
>want thousands of blind Sacramentans to believe that our legal 
>system will continue to allow violent predators such as Joseph Webb 
>to continue a lifetime of revolving doors in and out of jail.  I 
>want blind Sacramentans to rest assured that this time the system 
>won't let Mr. Webb out without the full punishment and special 
>enhancements due to a person who attacks a Californian with a disability.
> From her hospital bed Diane Starin told me yesterday that it would 
> have been impossible for her attacker to not know she was 
> blind.  She carries a very long white cane which she had extended 
> in the air so she would be sure that the bus driver would see her 
> waiting on the bench and know she was blind.  Joseph Webb's 
> attempted murder and robbery, then,   was clearly also an attack on 
> a blind woman, one of the most heinous crimes imaginable in our society.
>Ms. Scully, the Sacramento blind community understands the legal 
>process and we appreciate your longtime no-nonsense approach to 
>fighting crime in our community.  We would be eager to meet with you 
>and further express our concern that the prosecution of Joseph Webb 
>be a top priority for the Sacramento County District Attorney.  Just 
>let us know where and when and we'll be happy to assist you in any way we can.
>For your convenience, a copy of an article that ran in Saturday's 
>Sacramento Bee is attached, below.  Feel free to email me here or 
>telephone me directly at (916) 441-4096.
>Bryan Bashin
>August 29, 2009
>    Suspect arrested in assault on blind woman at bus stop
>    Bee Staff
>    A blind woman waiting for a bus was beaten and her purse stolen, but a
>    suspect   was   arrested  shortly  after  the  assault,  according  to
>    Sacramento police.
>    The  victim  was  knocked unconscious in the attack at about 5:10 p.m.
>    Friday in the 2500 block of Franklin Boulevard, police said.
>    The  50-year-old  blind victim was sitting at the bus stop waiting for
>    the  bus  when a suspect came up from behind her and struck her in the
>    head with a large log, police said.
>    A  passer-by  witnessed  the  attack  and  followed  the suspect as he
>    continued east on Second Avenue, police said.
>    The  witness  led  officers  to  the  suspect.  Joseph  Webb,  39, was
>    arrested.

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