Facebook threat targeted GJ police, preschool

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It’s always a difficult situation when an apparently unlikeable person is pitted against the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. When in doubt, it’s wise to check the instruction manual. In this case, it means reading U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969) [http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/395/444/case.html], Yates v. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957) [http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/354/298/case.html] which make it crystal clear that calling for the violent overthrow of the government AS AN ABSTRACT PRINCIPLE is protected speech. Furthermore, Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105 (1973) [http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/414/105/case.html] makes it clear that urging others to commit violent acts “at some indefinite future time” is not actionable speech.  The whole idea of the 1st Amendment is to be able to say “King George and his soldiers are tyrannical scum who need to be killed!” without being persecuted for it by the government. In the recent case of United States of America vs. Walter Edward Bagdasarian, No. 09-50529, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave an comprehensive constitutional lesson on why Bagdasarian’s alleged threat against President Obama was not speech falling outside of 1st Amendment protection. I would wholeheartedly recommend any potential jury member read these cases along with the cases cited in them.
It was worthy of note that Wheeler’s defense attorney, Stephen Laiche, said the allegations are untrue.
It was also worthy of note that in most cases where the information on the warrant would harm the government’s case it is sealed. In this case, there was material that could help convict the accused in the minds of the public, so it was conveniently not sealed. Probably just coincidence.
In the words of the 9th CCApp, “But as we have explained, incitement to kill or injure a presidential candidate does not qualify as an offense under [18 U.S.C.] §879(a)(3).”
If the story was not strategically written to help demonize the accused with the public and make it easier to obtain a conviction, it would have been nice if it could have contained a bit more information. Nothing in the story, as written, indicates to me a reasonable cause to believe that any unprotected speech occurred. Therefore, I am inclined to think the accused person’s attorney is most likely correct. As a libertarian-leaning person, especially in these times of systemic government corruption, including a quadrillion dollars of criminally fraudulent derivatives, I vigorously oppose any undermining or narrowing of the 1st Amendment free-speech rights of the individual citizen. I urge any who disagree to read the above cases before forming an opinion.

I thought one more brief comment/question on the symbiotic relationship between the police, prosecutors and the MSM — which is often used in an attempt to influence public opinion and help obtain convictions in the media prior to evidence actually being introduced in court via constitutionally valid procedural due process and an intellectually honest presumption of innocence — would be appropriate. Is there a person alive who is so ignorant and naive as to believe that the photograph of the accused person selected to be published with the story is a “neutral and unbiased” picture? It has every appearance of trying to demonize the accused and make the reader dislike him merely for his repulsive “smart aleck” demeanor in the picture. How are potential jury members who are Sentinel readers supposed to accord a presumption of innocence to such a sinister-looking creature? Surely the official police mug shot would have been less prejudicial. Somebody on the Sentinel editorial staff should have called “B.S.!” on that picture. They didn’t. So I will. (And the MSM wonders why it is losing circulation while the alternative media is growing.)



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