Mass Demonstration against Voter Suppression in Benton Harbor

Voter suppression led by Whirlpool Corporation and Berrien County Sheriff Department. Protest all injustices being forced on our town, your town and all around the country! It is not one thing it is everything. The murder of Benton Harbor residents, gentrification by Whirlpool, Governor Snyder’s Emergency Manager dictatorship. Find it on the ActivateHub community calendar!

May 24, 2014 11:00am - City Hall, 200 Wall St., Benton Harbor, MI, 49022 (11:30am - press conference)


Friday, February 02, 2007

Report on 1/25/07 Hearing: 'We gave them a spanking!'

SUMMARY:
Benton Harbor is the poorest city in Michigan. Ninety (90%) percent of the people live below the poverty level and seventy (70%) percent are unemployed. Almost all of the citizens are black. The land is very valuable real estate. Whirlpool, already dominant in the area, wanted much of this land for a small price. It needed approval of six (6) of its commissioners. BANCO (the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization), led by Rev. Pinkney , succeeded in a recall election of a key commissioner. A suit was brought to set aside the election alleging fraud. Without sufficient evidence Judge Paul Maloney (who has been nominated by President Bush to the federal bench in the Western District) set aside the recall election and scheduled a new one. With serious money from local political forces the recall was defeated and the commissioner retained. Thus, the sale went through. Whirlpool detached the property from the City of Benton Harbor and attached it to mostly white Benton Township. It plans to build a $100,000,000 gated community, marina and Jack Nicklaus – designed golf course. Seeing Pinkney as a danger, corrupt politicians cooperated with the Prosecutor to produce bribed and coerced witnesses to say that Pinkney had improperly handled absentee ballots and had bought votes (people were paid $10 to say Pinkney paid them $5). Pinkney went to trial in the spring of 2006. There were two minorities on that jury. The trial ended in a hung jury. He is to be tried again.

REPORT:
January 25, 2007, you could feel the tension in the Berrien County Courtroom of Judge Alfred Butzbaugh as friends and activists of Rev. Edward Pinkney from across the nation gathered for a hearing in his support. The hearing was to argue two motions. One motion to argue the constitutionality of the Michigan Absentee Voter statute, which makes it a 5 year felony to possess without knowledge or bad intent, an absentee ballot, but only a misdemeanor to actually buy a vote. The second motion was to challenge the racial composition of the juries in Berrien County where, although blacks are 15.5% of the population, rarely is more than 1 in 30 potential jurors black.

Rev. Pinkney's legal counsel, Attorney Timothy Holloway presented argument for the first motion. He argued that statutes that involve a malum prohibitum crime were not criminal at common law. The person had to have knowledge that it was illegal to handle the absentee ballots. The prosecution, Aaron J. Mead and Gerald L. Vigansky, argued back that one only had to have knowledge that they possessed an absentee ballot belonging to someone else. They argued that the Legislature wanted criminal intent to be an element of a criminal offense. They compared the handling of an absentee ballot and being charged with a felony as the same as someone that drove their pick-up truck across state line with possession of a gun, who is stopped and prosecuted for carrying a concealed weapon. The prosecution argued that everyone knows it is illegal to possess a concealed weapon without a permit and argued that possession of an absentee ballot falls under the same interpretation. Attorney Holloway cited the Michigan Supreme Court case People v Osborn (1912) as well as several other cases that ruled a guilty mind was necessary in order to prosecute. Judge Butzbaugh said he would try to have a ruling within two weeks.

Attorney Elliot Hall came to present argument for the motion challenging jury composition. In the motion, he asked that the court move to discovery in the selection of juries for the circuit court in Berrien County and striking the selection procedure as discriminatory and exclusionary with regard to minority jurors and delay Rev. Pinkney's trial until the system can be reformed and provide him with a non-discriminatory list of jurors called to serve. The prosecution, however, did not respond to this motion in writing before the hearing telling the judge that he thought that discovery would be done while the attorneys were present. The judge then told Attorney Hall to gather the material from the clerk and ordered a continuance. Then Judge Butzbaugh called for both the prosecution and defense attorneys to join him in his chambers. While in chambers it is my understanding that the judge informed the parties that going through the discovery process on jury selection would not delay the trial. Attorney Elliot Hall responded that – we would see about that.

Afterward, Rev. Pinkney said "We gave them a spanking today!" He was confident of his attorneys handling of the motions, stating that we will go to Federal court if we have to appeal these motions. The prosecution presented arguments to the malum prohibitum issue that didn't hold water for the audience in attendance. Many felt it was ridiculous to compare the handling of guns with the handling of ballots. It was an eye opening experience of a judges going through with a hearing when the prosecution hadn't followed through with a written response to the defense. Those who have continued to observe the court in operation felt that the judge was trying to appear to be listening to both sides by asking for further clarification. However, information about Judge Butzbaugh's comment about the jury composition motion not having to be answered before trial blew that perception out of the water.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jacquelyn, hey, are you the lady who works over at legal aid?

Anonymous said...

A spanking? First of all what a way for a Preacher to speak.

As for what you meant. All you did is get things delayed again. And the motion saying it isn't illegal if you don't know it is illegal is just silly.

WilliamX Akbar said...

Anonymous who typed about spanking.
Hell yeah your buttkissers is getting a royal spanking, and I see your nose is in the butt too. Why are you so brave to post anonymous? Anonymous means I am scared, and don't want nobody to know who I am...Coward. I hope that you are one of them white haters, due to the fact that if you are black, and against your own color...you're one sad person.

You know what? by the way your post smells you are one of them chicken turd klans man Prosecutors
who have a cracker jack degree.

Check this out Homeboy. There was only one other case in the State of Michigan like Rev Pinkney's.
That was in the State of Michigan Court of Appeals June 27th,2000 in Saginaw Circuit Court. Go research
that case which is a election fraud
case.

I agree with Rev Ed the Judge and the Proscutor did get a good ass spanking. (The Rev can't curse..but
I can).

I am coming back on this site later on, and I will present the facts that the judge's 1912 law is older then anicent dirt.

Oh in closing...Don't you have other things to do besides worrie about Rev Ed Pinkney? Go catch that white guy who is stealing your hobcaps. Hahahahaha

WilliamX Akbar said...

Hey!!! Anonymous aka Mr Prosecutor
Check this out under the Michigan
Election Law Act 116 of 1954 mcl 168.932 (Prohibited Conduct; and Violation as Felony. Under this act
you will see your case different, and I hope Pinkney sue the entire Berrien County court system,the Judge, and you for everything you all have.

Where did you got 1912? I guess it was another one of your plots huh?

Again....HELL YEAH We spanked that ass. This case is a perfect example
of how whites seem to think that ALL Black folks are sellouts.

Unforturnately I do feel sorry for
the Blacks that you intimdated,
especially that sellout Glen Yardbourgh, and the rest of them lying ass crackheads.

In closing I can not seem to understand why do Blacks try to sell each other out? After you lose your case on Rev Pinkney go after everyone of them liers. First send them to a rehab, and after they dry out lock them up.

See You Around Anonymous aka Lawyer in March.

Anonymous said...

Wow you are a moron. I am posting anonymous because you are dangerous. Anyone who believes as you do is dangerous.

As for being a lawyer? Nope, just a citizen who loves Benton Harbor and hates what has been done to it by people like you.

Oh and for the record, land in Benton Harbor is universally worth less than areas around it. The only valuable land is the land that the golf course will be built on, which will benefit the city.

Another reason to post anon is that it REALLY seems to bug you and gets you acting all the more stupid.

Anonymous said...

Bad judges corrupt prosecutors judge and prosecutors working together,just for a conviction,
are common today in berrien county
courts.One of the most serious mistakes you can make is assuming,that you will receive a fair trial in berrien county from an impartial judge.The problem of
corrupt judges is rampant in the American legal system.Instead of
objectivity administering true justice,judges are ruling according to their personal biases and political allegiances.It is truly said that power corrupts.Nowhere is this more evident than with judges and prosecutors.Our constitution is based on we the people ,it is time to speak up and make a change.
KEEP THE FIGHT UP!REV

J.J. LITTLE

Anonymous said...

Fixing an election and screaming falsehoods is the way to a change? How about showing us some of these falsehoods. Take each case and present it to us.

So far all he has done is occassionally say "They done did me wrong." Sorry, don't buy that, cause i bet you will get that story quite a bit in prison.

Give us the evidence, straight up. Try it in the court of public opinion. Give us the information UNBIASEDLY and let us judge. One case won't do it either. Give us the ones you see "every day".

Sheesh, so far you are just pathetic.

WilliamX Akbar said...

Anonymous said...
Wow you are a moron. I am posting anonymous because you are dangerous. Anyone who believes as you do is dangerous.

As for being a lawyer? Nope, just a citizen who loves Benton Harbor and hates what has been done to it by people like you.

Oh and for the record, land in Benton Harbor is universally worth less than areas around it. The only valuable land is the land that the golf course will be built on, which will benefit the city.

Another reason to post anon is that it REALLY seems to bug you and gets you acting all the more stupid.

2/06/2007 10:33 AM

Damn...Anonymous you are the one who is dangerous. Only Sissies hide behind their Mothers dress tail, and that's exactly what you are doing.

Why are you hating Rev Ed? What has the man did personally to you?
I hope that you are one of Jim Crow's offsprings, due to the fact that if you are Black..you is a disgrace to our race, and you should hide behind anonymous.

Moron? I am not posting anonymous,
due to the fact that this is my real name...that's how damn bad I am...punk.

As far as what I believe in you see for yourself, and I think what's mind blowing to you is my
knowledge. Plus I do not kiss white people like you butts.

If they succeed to open a golf course. Make sure that you are hired as a goofer not golfer. To show how drugs got your mind
confused, you hating both sides of the fence. You against Rev Pinkney for what he's doing, and you hate Berrien County and Whirlpool, due to the fact that they want a golf course on (what YOU call worthless land)

What really gets to me about you is your the woman that you always wanted to be. A Real Man don't mind speaking up concerning what he believes in, and being a coward like you are stay in your league.

In closing (anonymous)said...
As for being a lawyer? Nope, just a citizen who loves Benton Harbor and hates what has been done to it by people like you.

People like me? Hahahahahaha you as dumb as you look I bet for posting that dumb stuff. Who really
care if you a lawyer or not? I am one that don't care if you are the whirlpool tiolet cleaner.

Until we meet again here...same place, but a different time you are not a match for me, and agian
My real name is WILLIAMX.

WilliamX Akbar said...

To My Brother Rev Pinkney.
I will soon find out this Race haters ISP, and when I do I will reveal what is the location he is on computer at. If he's on a County computer he will get busted for improper computer use on company time. Again Bro, We will not dismiss the thought that Anonymous is one of your own people who is againsted you. However if anonymous is white or black I am still classifying it as someone who is connected to the Judge,the Proscutor,or whirlpool.

Anonymous. You are the reason why Blacks hates whites today. Plus you are making it bad for the ones who are not like you, and believe me I am NOT affaid of your typing or you in person. In closing let me ask you something. When the riot
broke out in Benton Harbor, did you hide under your house? Keep posting anonymous, and hopefully soon I will know where you are.

Anonymous said...

I had a long drawn out reply that would have gone over your head. I will say this though as long as people like Pinkney bend the will of the people of Benton Harbor it will continue to decline.

Anonymous said...

This is great news,I am glad that you
are still fighting that racist courthouse.I will be thinking of you during our march on satursday
in Raleigh,N.C.,for the people
general assembly.Just remember not all white people are bad.

JOHN H.
N.C.

WilliamX Akbar said...

Anonymous said...
I had a long drawn out reply that would have gone over your head. I will say this though as long as people like Pinkney bend the will of the people of Benton Harbor it will continue to decline.

You know what Anonymous? I can tell that you are connected some way with them Buttfaces in Berrien County, and I do not think any reply you post would go over my head.

Because of the fact that I have noticed that most of you who works in Berrien County court system talk
that you have a speech defect, or
a mental problem.

Since this is BLACK HISTORY month
let me share something with you.
All throughout history people like you have taken the credit away from Blacks. However here is a small example to show you the damn
differences between a wise Black man, and a white man who thinks he
is wise.

Look at what you posted with your sorry butt I had a long drawn out reply that would have gone over your head. I am talking about how sorry you are in a few words, and you going to say a long drawn out
see the differences?

Since you are suppose to be so much
of a Superior person. Teach your lead Prosecutor how to reseacrh and
gether facts. The really funny part
about them boring Berrien County
Prosecutors. is they repeat the same old dumb stuff over and over.

I have noticed that the Jim Crow Judge gets bored at the Prosecutors
opening statements. In closing I am
far better man then you will ever be, and remember this....one of my thoughts would bust (what little brains you have left) wide open, and your head would hurt so bad until you would get confused and take some e-lax for your headache.

Hey Dude...don't get me wrong cause
I am talking about Whites. Because I have some cool white friends that I love and respect vvery much,
and they respect me also.

I just wanted to throw that in there. Haha You can't handle my Brother Rev Pinkney, and I know damn well you can't handle me.

Anonymous said...

I will be posting anonymous because Williamx makes me nervous, and seems to dislike blacks more than whites simply for having an opinion which conflicts with his own...but here is my feeling on this...

I am black, I grew up not in Benton Harbor, but in a community not unlike it. From my freshman to senior year in high school, about 20% of the students dropped out, but I continued on, and tried hard. I went on to college and got my degree, and now I am working in Benton Harbor and making enough money to buy a house, a car, and have enough to support a family should I be so lucky. I will teach my children to work hard and they will be successful. It is not Whirlpool or any other outside influence which causes this city to be as it is, it is the community itself. Any one of you people can put effort into your life and improve it. Drugs, violence, and dishonesty are what cause police oppression, not skin color. It is not difficult to abide by the law, but it IS easy to break it, if you do that, I have no sympathy for any reprocussion, no matter how unfair you may think it is.

I do not know Rev. Pinkney, but it appears that he was acting dishonestly to skew the results of an election in his favor, and regardless of whether he knew it was LEGAL or not, he should have known it was DISHONEST, especially as a Preacher. Regardless of what happens to this man in the courts, I am sure God himself will see that justice is served.

So to all of you who feel 'opressed' - Work hard, stay in school, say no to drugs, all of these things that seem so cliche are very, very true...If you actually listen, you will see why those people said them.

It was Mahatma Ghandi who said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." This means if you want to see your community or your city improve, you must first improve yourself.

So, Williamx, I welcome your criticism, you may speak of me any way you wish. I know who I am, I do not know who you are and I have not spent any of my time assuming anything about you. I merely stated that you make me nervous, which is truth. I see in almost every post that you are making assumptions about people. Nothing you say can possibly make me question who I am, but it will certainly help me understand who you are. Keep that in mind.

Respectfully,

Anonymous

WilliamX Akbar said...

To the Feb 16th 1:29pm Anonymous poster. Me make you nervous? You be alright. This anonymous game do not scare me at all. Just like you are claiming to be Black, and I do
not know how educated you are, and really don't give a damn. I have
learned that only a real Woman or a
Man don't mind speaking out, and like I have said many times cowards
seem to always remain undercover.

Which one of Jim Crow's family homes was you raised in? Because gathering from your last post you sound like a person who is sitting high and looking down your nose passing judgement on the less forturnate. I don't know where you
come from, but where I come from that's called being a snob.

Oh well I am me, and game players should always know the game he or she is involved in, and people like me is the best. However I must a comment on your statement.

I do not know Rev. Pinkney, but it appears that he was acting dishonestly to skew the results of an election in his favor, and regardless of whether he knew it was LEGAL or not, he should have known it was DISHONEST, especially as a Preacher. WilliamX said: my question is what give you the rights to judge Rev Pinkney since you have already stated that you don't know him.
Furthermore you proceeded to call me presumptuous, when in fact that is the very thing that you are doing, assuming that Rev Pinkney is acting dishonest.

So, Williamx, I welcome your criticism, you may speak of me any way you wish. I know who I am, I do not know who you are and I have not spent any of my time assuming anything about you. WilliamX said: In fact you are contradicting yourself. By stating that you have not spend your time assumming anything about me.When in fact earlier you told me that I am making assumptions.I can see that you are confused and nervous.

Nothing you say can possibly make me question who I am, but it will certainly help me understand who you are. Keep that in mind.

WilliamX Now you can see what I do stand for, and understand who I am.
I am against any Black person who is kissing or co-signing the Jim Crow's agenda. You also stated your judgement by calling Rev Pinkney dishonest, and only GOD do
know.
You have insulted my feelings by
being nervous when you hear the truth, and believe me I do not have no feelings for people like you. In closing Me making assumptions? Well what do you think that your Jim Crow Judge and lawyers are doing? and it does not take four years to charge someone
unless there is no proof.

Notice
I added my name by certain a few
comments. So that there is no
confusion.

Anonymous said...

Williamx - I did not judge Pinkney, I merely said it APPEARS he was acting dishonestly. I only have the information I see on this website and in the paper. It is up to God and only God to do the judging. I did not make any assumptions about you, I stated fact.

I am not trying to look down my nose at anyone, I only say what is on my mind. I overcame and now I am successful in my life. I am nobody special, and I think that if I could change my situation, that anyone can, it just takes some work.