Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FREE AT LAST!

Ok, not free of anything nearly as dramatic as slavery, but thanks to the judge's ruling today, I won't have to be checking in to pretrial services in person once a week at the courthouse, and I am now in full possession of my first amendment rights and am able to poster in the District of Columbia again. Not being able to poster in the district was a condition of my pretrial release. Thankfully, no one noticed [section redacted]

Today was the long awaited trial for the charges of defacing public property for defendants Tina Richards and Adam Kokesh and assaulting a police officer for defendant Ian Thompson. Carl Messineo and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard represented Tina and I respectively and Mike Madden represented Ian Thompson. These guys are the best. Carl and Mara work at the Partnership for Civil Justice and are the best at what they do. Mike is sharp as all hell and I give him a big part of the credit for getting the September 15th charges dismissed against us.

After all of the preliminary motions, the prosecutor said that he wanted to introduce two videos as evidence in the case. He referred to them as the “Fox Video” and the “YouTube Video.” Then, “with the permission of the court” he took us downstairs to the witness room to watch the videos. When it came time to introduce them as evidence in court, he ran into some technical difficulties. About two hours worth of technical difficulties. They even tried to bring up the computer from the basement, but then couldn't log on because it was set up for the network. (Sounds like NMCI.)

[Section redacted]

By then, she had already granted the motion for judgment of acquittal in the case of Tina and myself. After the prosecution rested, the motions were requested and the judge granted them on the basis that the government had not proven that the box in question was under Parks Department jurisdiction rather than DC.

Anyway, so Tina and I got off and Ian and Carl had to call all of their witnesses and go through their defense, only to get a guilty verdict. For assaulting a police officer. For picking up a bucket.

So we scored a victory for freedom of speech in our cases, but the criminal justice system has managed to disgrace itself yet again.


This is me checking in at pretrial services. Since they screwed me at my arraignment by saying that I was delinquent by not calling in once a week, (which led the judge to order that I come in person) I requested a record of having checked in every time I went. Only once did I get a hand-written note saying I had checked in that day. Every other time I took a photo with my camera phone. Then, as I was walking away, someone would say, "You can't do that! You need to erase that photo. Seriously, I'm going to call security." "OK."

[There's a lot more to be said here, but I'm tired and have a plane to catch for a fundraiser in Santa Cruz in a few hours. Look for a video soon with interviews from key players in this case.]

6 comments:

Army Sergeant said...

Glad you're out and able to poster again. Maybe some active duty fliers next time? Hmm, things to ponder.

Mara and Mike are indeed awesome, I'll take your word for it on Carl. Sorry the judge granted that assault had taken place-is there going to be an appeal going on? What's the deal?

lightbringer said...

I have been wondering: In light of you and tina's acquittal, how can an officer be "assaulted" while performing his duty, by the subsequent actions of citizen Thompson? How can a illegal action take place(by Thompson) when its preceding actors'(kokesh,richards) actions were legal in principal(US Constitution) now reaffirmed in superior court?

The criminals were the United States government, its Park Police, and officer Bloch as its agent; now being joined by Judge Kaye Christian.

Ultimately leadership failed,for not correctly understanding the landscape in which it's forces were to patrol thereby preventing Bloch, as its officer, from preserving the peace...

Anonymous said...

May I just add, bad ass photo A.K.!! ;)

Big Punisher said...

Awesome.

Anok said...

Glad to see you and Tina have been been "freed", sorry to hear that the rest of the gang got the old bend over from our oh-so-wonderful justice system.

Well, there is a reason I oppose the authority of police...But lets just leave it at that ;)

Now, just how quickly will you be arrested again? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Is that your look b4 u tear it up? ;) u know who~