Sunday, November 30, 2008

Preacher appeals conviction for criticizing Benton Harbor officials

Rev. Edward Pinkney, the 60-year-old a Baptist preacher from Benton Harbor who has been in jail for nearly a year for criticizing Berrien County officials in an article that ran in a Chicago newspaper, is appealing his three- to 10-year sentence with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Pinkney is a well known political figure in Benton Harbor, one of Michigan’s poorest and most racially segregated towns. He has been a prominent critic of the county’s criminal justice system and of efforts by the locally based Whirlpool corporation to build a golf course on the town’s lakefront park.

In May 2007 Pinkney was sentenced to a term of probation by Berrien County Chief Judge Alfred Butzbaugh following his conviction of election law violations in connection with a campaign to recall one of Benton Harbor’s most prominent politicians. Continue reading: