Trial reports from 3 different people
Closing arguments for Rev. Pinkney's trial were on Wed: short, inaudible, and extremely weak argument from the prosecutor; long, strong, and riveting argument from the defense attorney.
At about 3:30 on Friday, March 24, after two days of deliberation, the jury sent a note out to the judge saying they were at an impasse on all five charges, and asking what they should do now.
The judge decided that, while 15 hours of deliberations might be a fairly long time, this was the first word the jury had sent out -- so he sent them back to try again to reach some decision(s). They will continue deliberations on Monday.
The more people who show up, the better. Rev. Pinkney believes he most likely would have been convicted by now if it weren't for all the people who have been attending his trial. However, he can't count on all the people who have shown up to come again on Monday. So, please try to attend - 8:30am, Berrien County Courthouse, exit 33 off I-94.
Rev Pinkney was a picture book witness. Prosecutor Gerald Vigansky was no match for Rev. Pinkney and his attorney, Tat Parrish. The judge behaved as if he was part of the prosecution and will now be known as Judge "One Sided" Butzbaugh.
As Rev. Pinkney left the courthouse today he saw sheriff Bailey and told him, "You had better not send out your officers to harass the jury members."
Rev. Pinkney testified that: 1) he was not present when anyone voted their absentee ballot in last February's election to recall corrupt city commissioner Glen Yarbrough 2) he did nothing to influence anyone while they were voting 3) he never had possession of anyone's ballot 4) he had several conversations with former city clerk Jean Nesbitt around the time of the election and afterwards because of his concern for her - he told her he believed they would overturn the election and fire her, which is exactly what happened, and said he would pray for her 5) he told Ms. Nesbitt that it was not about her, but about himself - the Berrien County government "want me bad" - he wanted to warn her to make her strong since she didn't have a clue about what was going to happen to her.
Ms. Nesbitt was fired after a false investigation and a corrupt civil trial.
from earlier in the week:
The Judge is openly in favor of the prosecution. They are moving in for the kill. We are confident that the truth will win out and that the Jury will vote for acquittal. This case is about more than one person. It is about the future of a whole community -- versus the profits of the rich, and those corrupt politicians, prosecutors, judges who have allied with them for their own personal gain and greed.
The prosecution doesn't have a leg to stand on so they have resorted to character assassination - the Judge is overruling all objections to this travesty. They are painting a picture of Rev. Pinkney as taking advantage of those who are "down and out" when in reality he has organized his life around the defense of the poor. Rev. Pinkney and other leaders have been struggling for the people to exercise their voting rights against a corrupt, corporate-run power structure that is selling off their town. The real criminals - those with the power -- are the conspirators. They intend to get Reverend Pinkney first. But they are also going after anyone who dares to stand up.
This is one battle in a long war for justice. And, it is part of a larger battle that is unfolding across the country as the jobs leave and as defenseless communities undergo vicious attacks by corporate developers and corrupt local, state and national officials who care only about their pocketbook. What they don't realize is that they cannot stop the struggle for justice.