Sunday, January 18, 2015

I am paying a debt to society which I do not owe

The Berrien County Court system has undermined the respect and confidence of the community in its application of the law and the takeover of the city of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The court system has stolen time from me.  I am paying time with my life, family life, and community.  I’m required to serve a sentence while several issues are being decided in the court — and paying a debt to society that I do not owe.

I have already raised substantial issues.  I am entitled to a directed verdict of Not Guilty based on constitutionally insufficient evidence under the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt standard.  I also assert that I am entitled to a directed verdict based on the issue that was resolved in favor of the defendant in People v. Hall (10/23/14).  

Under MCL 168.937 and based on due process, statutory construction, and the rule of lenity, a petition circulator cannot be subjected to a felony conviction and penalty when notice and warnings on the petition form, provided by the government, indicate that one may only be subject to a misdemeanor conviction and penalty.  

A misdemeanor conviction and penalty may only be imposed under a specific statue, MCL 168.544, specifically proscribed acts of falsifying election petitions.  For this reason, the convictions under MCL 168.937 must be vacated.  Due process also requires this result, as the rule of lenity is mandated by due process. 

This result is also required by the issue that the jury was not constitutionally adequate, based on the arguments raised in my motion for a new trial relating to juror Gail Freehling concealing information during the jury selection.

I am a political prisoner being held in Marquette Prison and I remain in great spirits despite the racist injustice that has landed me here.  This attack on me and on democracy in Benton Harbor shows that Whirlpool is determined to crush anyone who stands in its way.  It is part of a process underway across the US in various forms.  Let’s confront the corporations that are destroying this country.

Rev. Edward Pinkney