Police/Surveillance State

Court Sets Ominous Precedent: Informing Jurors Of Their Rights Is Now ILLEGAL

By Justin Gardner

Big Rapids, MI — As constitutional rights are steadily eroded in the U.S. through the burgeoning police/surveillance state, one case in Michigan provides an example of just how dire the situation has gotten. Keith Woods, a resident of Mecosta County, was charged and recently convicted for the “crime” of standing on a public sidewalk and handing out fliers about juror rights.

Woods was exercising his First Amendment rights and raising awareness about something the courts deliberately fail to tell jurors when beginning a trial – jury nullification, or the right to vote one’s conscience. For this, Woods – a father of eight and former pastor – was charged with jury tampering, after an initial felony charge of obstructing justice was dropped following public outcry.

Even with the reduced charge, the case has very troubling implications for free speech rights. The county prosecutor, seemingly furious that a citizen would dare inform the public on jury nullification, said Woods’ pamphlet “is designed to benefit a criminal defendant.”

The prosecutor then seemed to contradict himself in a statement, saying, “Once again the pamphlet by itself, fine, people have views on what the law should be, that’s fine. It’s the manner by which this pamphlet was handed out.”

Woods, who testified in his own defense, stated under oath that he did not ask anyone walking into the courthouse if they were a juror, remained on the public sidewalk and never blocked any area. He decided to hand out the pamphlets at a Nov. 24, 2015 trial of an Amish man accused of draining a wetland on his property in violation of Dept. of Environment Quality rules.

Woods’ pamphlet did not contain anything specific to the case or any Michigan court, according to defense attorney David Kallman. But this innocuous behavior, which should be viewed as a public service, drew the attention of a judge who became “very concerned” when he saw the pamphlets being carried by some of the jury pool.

I thought this was going to trash my jury trial, basically,” testified Judge [Peter] Jaklevic. “It just didn’t sound right.

Jacklevic ended up sending that jury pool home on Nov. 24, 2015 when Yoder took a plea.

Jaklevic continued to testify that he stepped into the hallway with Mecosta County Prosecutor Brian Thiede when Det. Erlandson and a deputy brought Wood into the courthouse that day. Mecosta County Deputy Jeff Roberts testified he “asked Wood to come inside because the Judge wanted to talk with him,” then threatened to call a city cop if Wood did not come inside.

Wood testified Judge Jaklevic never spoke to him that day, or him any questions, before ordering his arrest. He tells FOX 17 he had concerns his case was tried in Mecosta County where all of this happened, involving several court officials including the judge.”

To recap, this judge said “it just didn’t sound right” that people were carrying informational pamphlets on their rights as jurors, and he possibly lied on the stand to justify the fact that he had Woods arrested for doing nothing wrong. What’s more, Woods was brought to trial in the same court where all of this transpired, where county officials had literally teamed up to violate his rights in the first place.

“So our taxpayer dollars are paying their salary, and they were the actors in this case to arrest me, to imprison me, and all that,” said Woods. “I did have a very great concern that they were the ones trying the case, because they work together day in and day out.”

Defense attorney Kallman notes that during Woods’ trial, they were prohibited from arguing several points to the jury.

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“And of course, the First Amendment issues are critical: that we believe our client had the absolute First Amendment right to hand out these brochures right here on this sidewalk,” said Kallman. “That’s part of the problem of where we feel we were handcuffed quite a bit.”

When asked how he felt about his First Amendment rights, Woods replied,

Oh, I don’t feel like I have them.

We had briefs about the First Amendment, free speech. It was very clear today, I know the jury doesn’t hear that, but it was very clear that the government did not meet their burden to restrict my free speech on that public sidewalk that day. It was very clear.


Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo. This article first appeared here at The Free Thought Project.

Censorship

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without fear or interference. Well, ALMOST everyone.

Probation Conditions in State of Minnesota vs Deirdre Elise Evavold- Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227

“You will not reference any of the XXXXXXXX-XXXXX family on any social media.”

I previously posted a press release on Darren Chaker, who reversed his conviction in federal court on First Amendment grounds. A Good Day For The First Amendment.

After corresponding with Mr. Chaker regarding my own First Amendment violations as well as numerous other violations in my case, I was enlightened further about our inherent rights.  See Below

“Rights might be inherent, but ideas need to be taught.” Maida Buckley, retired classroom teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Focusing on the First Amendment issue,  I see a few flaws in Condition 2 preventing referencing to specific people in social media:  Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227

What if you want to criticize the police/DA, the judicial process, etc but cannot even reference to your case since it makes reference to the names of the people you cannot make reference to? Suspicion that viewpoint discrimination is afoot is at its zenith when the speech restricted is speech critical of the government because criticism of government is at the very center of the constitutionally protected area of free discussion. Chaker v. Crogan, 428 F.3d 1215, 1217, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 23728, *1, 33 Media L. Rep. 2569 (9th Cir. Cal. 2005)​ Yes that is my first First Amendment case where I overruled the California Supreme Court. See also, https://www.scribd.com/document/3698825/Press-Release-CAL-SUPREME-COURT-Reversed-by-Chaker-v-Crogan

Additionally, you have a First Amendment right to re-distribute information contained in a public record.

     Preventing Blogging is Not a Governmental Interest.

For government to regulate speech, it must be “integral to criminal conduct.” United States v. Meredith, 685 F.3d 814, 819, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 13012, 7, 2012-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,421, 110 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 5157 (9th Cir. Cal. 2012) Typically, restriction of speech concerns a gang member not associating with other gang member; a child pornographer being monitored or restricted from the internet, defendant not speaking to victims, etc. The only nontypical First Amendment challenge relates to a defendant speaking or writing about the unconstitutionality of tax laws and was reversed, but prohibiting advocating tax evasion was affirmed. Speech is presumptively protected by the First Amendment. The burden is on the government to show that a defendant’s website is within one of the narrow categories of unprotected speech. United States v. Carmichael, 326 F. Supp. 2d 1267, 1270, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13675, 1 (M.D. Ala. 2004) The Government would in its burden as it did not prove the speech at issue would be outside the scope of the First Amendment.

Suppressing speech rarely is justified by an interest in deterring criminal conduct, and in any event the justification “must be ‘far stronger than mere speculation about serious harms”’ and supported by “empirical evidence” Barnicki v. Vopper, 532 U.S 514, 530-32, 121 S.Ct 1753, 1763-64, 149 L Ed 2d 787 (2001) (citing U.S v. Treasury Employees, 513 U S 454, 475 (1995))  

Protecting Reputation is Not a Government Interest.

If the Government were to say, ‘the families have been through enough and do not want to cause embarrassment or harm to there reputation’ – such would not be a proper Governmental interest. Specifically, protecting ones reputation is not a governmental function unless it violates criminal law.  United v. Alvarez, 617 F. 3d 1198. (Stolen Valor Act held unconstitutional) “At issue here is the First Amendment exception that allows the government to regulate speech that is integral to criminal conduct. . . .” Id. at 819-20. United States v. Osinger, 753 F.3d 939, 946, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10377, 17-20, 2014 WL 2498131 (9th Cir. Cal. 2014)

Further, you have the right to attack people if you believe such behavior was unethical. See Wait v. Beck’s N. Am., Inc., 241 F. Supp. 2d 172, 183 (N.D.N.Y. 2003) (“[A s]tatement[] that someone has acted . . . unethically generally [is] constitutionally protected statements of opinion.”); Biro, 883 F. Supp. 2d at 463 (“[T]he use of the terms ‘shyster,’ ‘conman,’ and finding an ‘easy mark’ is the type of ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘imaginative expression’ that is typically understood as a statement of opinion.” (quoting Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 20)).

 Loss of Privacy Due to High Profile Case.

Also, due to all of the publicity in the case, it is likely the names you cannot blog about are deemed public figures. Public figures are entitled to less protection against defamation and invasion of privacy than are private figures with respect to the publication of false information about them. Carafano v. Metrosplash, Inc., 207 F. Supp. 2d 1055, 1059, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10614, 1, 30 Media L. Rep. 1577 (C.D. Cal. 2002)

         

Purpose of Probation is to Rehabilitate and Prevent Future Criminal Conduct, Blogging is Neither.

Consideration of three factors is required to determine whether a reasonable relationship exists: (1) the purposes sought to be served by probation; (2) the extent to which constitutional rights enjoyed by law-abiding citizens should be accorded to probationers; and (3) the legitimate needs of law enforcement. (Citation omitted.) United States v. Pierce, 561 F.2d 735, 739 (9th Cir. 1977). United States v. Lowe, 654 F.2d 562, 567, 1981 U.S. App. LEXIS 18287, 11 (9th Cir. Wash. 1981) See also, United States v. T.M., 330 F.3d 1235, 1240 (9th Cir. 2003) (“The conditions imposed run afoul of the supervised release statute because there is no reasonable relationship between them and either deterrence, public protection or rehabilitation.”)


“The Minnesota legislature delegated the authority to prosecute criminal matters to the county attorney, who was elected by the voters of that county.”

But, according to the Minnesota Attorney General’s website, the office does sometimes get involved in criminal matters:

The Dahlens have pled guilty in an associated case for their role xx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxx, while another defendant, Dede Evavold, was found guilty as well. Inexplicably, Judge Karen Asphaug presided over all four cases.

A message left with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office concerning the current legal situation was left unreturned. An email to Laura Flanders was also left unreturned and an email left with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office was also left unreturned. The current Minnesota Attorney General is Democrat Lori Swanson, and she has held that position since 2007.


Excerpts from The “Justice” blog authored by an anonymous group of concerned citizens.
The Attorney General’s Office has been receiving documentation concerning the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX case for over 5 years and has refused to investigate or take any action in the face of serious allegations, and evidence, showing corruption in local government and law enforcement. However, when opposing President Trump’s immigrant order, Lori Swanson said “It does not pass constitutional muster, is inconsistent with our history as a nation, and undermines our national security.” The same can be said for Dakota County; yet instead of taking a public stance on a very real concern that affects not only the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX family but the entire state of Minnesota, and possibly tens of thousands of families victimized by an out of control court system, Swanson remains silent. Now is a time for leadership, not silence.

Another article written by Michael Volpe on indicates that other MN citizens have encountered the same type of cover-up by the MN Attorney General’s Office.
Excerpts Below:
The tact does not surprise John Hentges, another parent battling court officials on behalf of his children and suffering from disingenuous actions by the court, who told CDN that rather than representing the people of Minnesota the office covers up and represents the corrupt public officials.

“I reported the corruption to her (Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General) and to the governor and to the Minnesota Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.” Hentges.

Hentges said he spent time in jail for failure to pay child support for a bill which had already been paid in another state and his trials in the Minnesota Justice System opened his eyes.

“I found several other things they were doing in the criminal justice system.” Hentges said. “I firmly believe that nearly every single case in the 1st Judicial District is fixed in one way or another.”