“YOU BE THE JUDGE” by Tony Rahmel Smith


THE BOOK – “YOU BE THE JUDGE” – to be released and shared on this site. The book will contain the true story of my life. In 1998, I was convicted of a heinous murder and am now serving a 15 to Life sentence. In 2013, the Ohio parole board sentenced me to another 10 years. Altogether, at the time of this posting, I have served 20 years in prison. Even though the case was never taken to trial, a Discovery ID movie was produced about the whole situation -without them knowing all the key facts. So many questions went unanswered – it left the city of Akron, Ohio in an uproar. The mystery is finally unveiled in this book; taking an in-depth look at my life, starting with my youth, you will be taken on a journey that will ultimately give you insight into the actual crime. After reading this book in its entirety, and examining all the facts of the case, imagine that you are about to sentence me – what would be your ruling, if you were the Judge?

Below is the introduction to the book. What will follow in days ahead is the book, chapter by chapter.

Introduction to the book “YOU BE THE JUDGE”:

There is a certain freedom, relief, and sense of satisfaction that is experienced from merely telling my story as it happened, without bias opinions being expessed, without assumptions being made, or outright lies being told just to merely make sense of a senseless situation.

Most times, we rely on our past experiences or stereotypes in order to come to a logical conclusion about an event; this often leads us to see things the way we want to see them and not the way situations actually are. This happens more often than not in everyday life. For instance, you may have sent an e-mail to someone and they intepreted what you wrote totally wrong. They thought you were saying things that you never implied or said and maybe even charged you with things that weren’t true, all from misinterpreting an e-mail you sent them.

Well, when you enter the legal arena of courtrooms, detectives, prosecutors, etc., these professionals are so swamped with cases that there is not enough time to separate fact from fiction and they interpret situations incorrectly. Every person and case is quickly categorized and fitted nicely into a box labeled, “I’m not sure, but I think this is what happened”- then they move on to the next case applying the same method and philosophy. However, when they can clearly see that you don’t fit into their box, they stuff you in it anyway, like a toddler pounding a square peg into a round hole. At this point, they begin to sculpt you and your case into how they want the public and the Judge to perceive you, as if the plain truth isn’t enough.

The saying is very true that says, “The defendant is guilty, until proven innocent”, and not the other way around. The defendant is basically treated like a liar; everything they say is viewed from the point that they will say anything just to save their skin. At least this was my experience.

On top of that, the case is tried in the court of public opinion, through the media. If the defendant is without resources, the public will have already made up their minds about the case before hearing the defendants side of the story. The system has an unfair advantage from the start. The media is used to demoralize and break you down, causing you to submit to the will of the criminal justice system, even if what they are saying about you is only half of the truth.

Obviously, for good reason, in a case like mine, there is an outcry and demand for justice from the public, the victims’ family and friends, the prosecutors, detectives, and community-at-large, and it should be. However, in the mad rush to administer justice, no one seems to want to know the truth of what really happened; a verdict of guilty is good enough. In expressing of all this, I’m embarking to dig deeper than the obvious murder that I committed. This is an effort to share the events that led up to the murder. Hopefully, this will fill in the blanks and answer some of the questions that were left unanswered. In no way, shape, or form is this an attempt to gain sympathy or sound as if I am the victim; those are not my intentions. This is just how I felt when I went through the criminal justice experience and it is what motivated me to put my story in written form.

This book covers my entire life. It was very therapeutic to sit in my cell and sort through memories that I had buried. This book has helped me tremendously to deal with issues that were never addressed in my life. At times, I sat in the privacy of my cell or at a table in the middle of the dorm, writing or typing, and had to literally stop in my tracks. There were things that I experienced in my youth that brought tears to my eyes. I literally could not continue writing untiil I dealt with things that held me bound for years. I had to forgive people, as well as ask for forgiveness for my own wrongs, as I prayed my way through writing this book. I started this book in the year 2000 and finished it in 2004. The book sat in my locker box until 2018, when I finally got the opportunity to share it with the public through

My only desire is that you know the whole truth – not bits and parts. Regarding the statements made in this book, I am willing to take a lie detector test – by a reputable, legitimate and unbiased source. I will not attempt to pretty up the truth about myself or dirty up other people in this book. The truth is what it is. I never went before a court of law or jury to plead my case – I plead guilty – without a trial; this is the manifestation of my long-awaited opportunity to share what actually happened. After reading my story, “you be the judge” and ask yourself if I’m the monster you thought I was?

Tony Smith
DOC #367-391

Categories: books, Tony Smith

12 replies »

  1. Smith better not EVER get out! What a sick a-hole! Yeah, right! All you prison losers claim to have found God once you’re behind bars. Probably to keep their neighbors in jail from raping them! Rot in jail, sicko!!!


  2. I cannot believe that people who do these things claim to be Christians. . God knows the truth – He saw everything that went on from the killing to the decapitation. Tony will serve the punishment he deserves on this earth – but – the punishment that he will receive in the after life – is something that God will decide. But as the Bible says: Galatian 6:7 – do not be deceived – God will not be mocked – whatsoever a person sows – that shall they also reap. Pretty clear Tony is going to be in a whole lot of pain.


  3. It’s rare to achieve true justice nowadays. There are many cases here in our country that had been wrongly convicted and turned out to be innocent. Those who have power or wealth can easily get away with their crimes. It’s also usual here to be discriminated after being convicted, people will judge you.


  4. There was just a case recently where the person locked up turned out to be innocent after he spent 40+ years in prison. He was given over 20 million as reparations.


  5. When I got here and saw the amount of different people that post through this blog I started laughing 😁 How can I pick just one?! I really like the idea of inmate blogger – for me blogging’s been very therapeutic n healing, so I wanted to nominate you guys as a whole I guess LOL but now I’m not sure who is going to respond haha 🤣


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s