Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hearing on Tuesday April 14 ~ 8:30am

Rev. Edward Pinkney returns to the Berrien County Courthouse, 811 Port St., St. Joseph, Michigan

Tuesday April 14, 2015 ~ 8:30am
Judge Sterling Shrock presiding
Motion for a new trial based on the violation of Pinkney’s rights to impartial jurors

Rev. Edward Pinkney
Lakeland Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney # 294671
141 First St.
Coldwater, Michigan 49036

I became aware after the jury verdict that juror Gail Freehling did not truthfully respond to inquiries as to whether she knew or was connected with one of the witnesses in the case, and especially County Clerk Sharon Tyler.

Freehling was in the jury box and atty. Tat Parish asked whether they knew or had connections eith Sharon Tyler.  Freehling said nothing.

Juror Freehling, in fact, listed Sharon Tyler on her Facebook page as a friend.  Freehling has been chairperson of the Three Oaks Flag Day Parade from January 2010 to the present.  Tyler was a participant in this parade each summer since 2010.

The parade was held in June, a few months before my trial.  In reality, Gail Freehling and Sharon Tyler are connected.

It was impossible to find me guilty of 5 counts of forgery with absolutely no evidence to support this verdict.

This was a rogue jury that was motivated by something other than truth and justice.

Hope you can attend the hearing, Tuesday, April 14, 8:30am

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Rev. Edward Pinkney speaks out from prison

Rev. Pinkney (center) at a protest against corporate redevelopment of Benton Harbor, MI, which is creating greater poverty. PHOTO/BRETT JELINEK

Rev. Pinkney (center) at a protest against corporate redevelopment of Benton Harbor, MI, which is creating greater poverty.
Editor’s note: Rev. Pinkney, a community leader who takes on corporate power, was convicted of vote fraud charges without any evidence in a recall campaign in Benton Harbor, MI. He was sentenced to up to ten years. He is currently in prison.
MARQUETTE, MI — It is our constitutional duty as American citizens to hold our elected officials accountable for their work, action and inaction of wrongdoing, which includes judges.
Corruption and deceitfulness continues in the Berrien County Courthouse in Michigan.  We must fight for justice everywhere and for all.
The Berrien County Courthouse does not provide a just legal system. It is so blatantly corrupt that even the legal establishment has been forced to recognize it. The corruption starts at the top—with the Whirlpool Corporation as the driving force, unified with government on all levels, the police and court system. The corporate controlled news media is part of it too. Never once did they mention that there was absolutely no evidence against me. We live in a society controlled by the corporations, government and the corporate media.
In my motion for a new trial, I will argue that 1) there was absolutely no evidence to convict me; 2) the juror, Gail Freehling, concealed information during jury selection, lying under oath; and 3) the illegal sentencing and for an appeal bond.
The case of Rev. Edward Pinkney is a concentrated expression of this process of the corporate takeover of America and of the criminalization of a generation of people. They customarily, and regularly deprive poor Blacks, Hispanics, and whites of due process. When are the people going to take a stand? The challenge is clear.
This is not a Black issue nor it is just an issue of people of color. In this prison, there are way more whites than Blacks. When they throw race into it they divide us. It is rich against poor, haves against the have nots, us against them. It is a whole country issue.
We can win. There is more of us than them. We must say enough is enough.

via PeoplesTribune.org

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Gail Freehling: Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity

Rev. Pinkney writes from prison in Coldwater, Michigan:

The look in juror Gail Freehling’s eyes and the expression on her face radiated hate.  It was the sign of a racist juror who could only see a lynching.

The Berrien County, Michigan prosecutor and trial court knowingly planted a juror, Gail Freehling.  She took an oath to follow the judge’s instructions.  Freehling failed to uphold the oath.  

The question is, how does an all-white jury convict a man with no evidence?  Freehling and possibly other jurors were in violation of the constitution.  The sixth amendment is read in all criminal prosecutions:  The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime was committed.
She is socially connected with law enforcement officers, courthouse figures, and others in the corrupt power structure of Berrien County. 

There was no material or circumstantial evidence presented at the trial that would implicate me in the purported five felonies.

My question is:  How could Freehling or any of the jurors state that I am guilty of five counts of forgery without any evidence to support the conviction?

The judge, prosecutor, and juror misconduct infected the entire trial.  The misconduct was pervasive and intentional.  My due process rights were violated by misconduct from the Berrien County Courthouse Criminal Enterprise.

I represent the face of resistance.  The working class no longer has rights that the government or the corporations will respect.  Any and all efforts must be made to overturn the charges against me as a step toward overturning the spread of this model to the rest of Michigan and the nation.

Rev. Edward Pinkney

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mike Sepic Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity

Rev. Pinkney writes from prison in Coldwater, Michigan

The Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution provides in relevant part:  Nor shall any state deprive any person of life or property without due process of the law.  The prosecutor’s job in a criminal prosecution is not to win a case, but to see that justice is done.

The dignity of the US government will not permit a conviction of any person on absolutely no evidence.  This conviction is tainted and there can be no other result than to accord to petitioner all charges dropped.

The prosecutor either had reason to believe or in fact knew that there was absolutely no evidence to convict me.  The state cannot now disclaim knowledge of knowing there was no evidence to convict me.  The prosecutor ignored the facts before him.  The sheriff dept. failed to disclose important facts.  There was no evidence to convict an innocent man.

The due process law does not tolerate a prosecutor’s selective inattention to such significant facts.  It required that he exercise good faith in prosecuting the case.  Such good faith is not fulfilled when the prosecutor’s misconduct infects the entire trial.

The prosecutor imposes as well an affirmative duty to avoid even unintentional deception and misrepresentation and in filling that duty the prosecutor must undertake careful study of his case and exercise dilligence in it’s preparation, particularly when the prosecutor (Mike Sepic) is confronted with facts tending to cast doubt upon his case with absolutely no evidence.  The prosecutor’s objective is justice - not that of a mere advocate.  The goal of justice is hardly satisfied by anything less.

A criminal trial is not a sporting event nor a game of wits.  A criminal trial is not a game in which the state function is to outwit and entrap it’s quarry.  The state pursuit is justice, not destruction of a community.  

Unfortunately, the Berrien County courthouse is a criminal enterprise led by Sterling Schrock, Mike Sepic, and Gail Freehling.  

I was convicted without ANY evidence.  When will the people say enough is enough?

Lakeland Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney
141 First St.
Coldwater, MI 49036

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Courthouse Running Criminal Enterprise

Rev. Pinkney writes from prison in Coldwater, Michigan:

Judge Sterling Schrock did not believe his own words when he said, "The jury has spoken.”  That was no jury, it was a lynch mob.  Schrock conspired with prosecutor Mike Sepic, sheriff Bailey, and the lynch mob which includes Gail Freehling.

Schrock has no integrity, no morals, and most important, he is dishonest.  God will deal with him.

It is not a coincidence that blacks in Benton Harbor are sent to prison at an alarming rate no regard for human rights.  The judicial system has been our worst nightmare and is no longer about justice.  It is about politics and votes for politicians who are controlled by the Whirlpool Corporation.  Politicians all over the US are controlled by corporations.

The judges and prosecutors in Berrien County and in the US are operating with total disregard for precedent case law that defines our constitution.  Prosecutors are prosecuting cases daily with reckless abandonment of human life and the judicial system.  Both judge Schrock and prosecutor Sepic took an oath to serve to the best of their ability.  Instead they are running a criminal enterprise with a lynch mob all-white jury.

It is our constitutional duty as American citizens to hold our elected officials and especially judges accountable for their work, action, and inaction of wrong doing.  There are many judges around the country just like Sterling Schrock.  We must stop him before he stops all of us. 

The enemy might snatch the breath out of our bodies, but they cannot snatch the breath out of our spirit.  Justice for me is justice for all of us.  I will fight for freedom until justice is won by the people.

We must remember, we did not get a seat on the bus or at the lunch counter because we said “please."  We got our seat because of our highly organized and effectively sustained protests and boycotts, disrupting business as usual.  We must say enough is enough.  We can win if we stand together.

Lakeland Prison
Rev. Edward Pinkney
141 First St.
Coldwater, MI 49036

Friday, March 06, 2015

"I hope that people can open their eyes."

Voices from Benton Harbor, MI

Benton Harbor residents express their outrage. PHOTO/BOB LEE, PEOPLE’S TRIBUNE
Benton Harbor residents express their outrage.

The quotes below from Benton Harbor residents, and those in previous editions of the People’s Tribune, show that despite the government’s attempt to make it appear that Rev. Edward Pinkney was the sole voice for change in Benton Habor, there is a movement growing in the town. Many of the participants are deeply concerned about the railroading of Rev. Pinkney for his political activities, but they continue to fight for him and for their city. — The People’s Tribune
“I was subpoenaed by the Prosecutor, but I flipped the script on them and I defended Rev. Pinkney. In early February, I took part in a march organized by Andrews University with 300 people from City Hall in Benton Harbor to the Court House in St. Joseph with signs saying, ‘Rev. Pinkney stood for us now we must stand for him,’ and ‘No Justice No Peace.’ The higher the mountain, the tougher the climb. We got to keep climbing.” — George Moon, Benton Harbor
“There’s a lot of police officers doing a lot of corrupted things. The people see it and they’re quiet.  Rev. Pinkney was our voice. We could tell him and he would do something about it. That’s why he has so many supporters. I am a supporter. I believe in God and in what’s right. I hope that people can open their eyes. We need to stand for people and fight for righteousness.” — Kerry Krause, Benton Harbor

Monday, March 02, 2015

Rev. Pinkney Denied Appeal Bond

Civil Rights activist brought into court in handcuffs and prison clothes

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
St. Joseph, Michigan

A motions hearing in Berrien County, Michigan on Feb. 27 resulted in
the denial of imprisoned community leader Rev. Edward Pinkney bond
pending the outcome of an appeal filed in an attempt to overturn his
conviction on five felony forgery charges last year.

Pinkney was convicted by an all-white jury in November and he was
sentenced to 30-120 months in prison on Dec. 15. He is currently
housed at Marquette Correctional Facility, a 10-12 hour drive from his
home in Benton Township.

He was indicted after a group of residents collected enough signatures
of registered voters seeking to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James
Hightower. Dissatisfaction with Hightower stemmed from the poor
economic conditions in the majority African American city where
unemployment and poverty are widespread.

Benton Harbor is a city of approximately 10,000 people in southwest
Michigan. Nearly 90 percent of the population is African American yet
across the bridge in St. Joseph, the seat of the county, the city is
nearly all-white and far more affluent.

According to the United States Census data for 2009-2013, over 48
percent of the residents of Benton Harbor live below the poverty line.
The median income per household in Benton Harbor is $18,000 annually.

The estimated per capita income for Benton Harbor is $9,500 yearly.
Due to the high rate of unemployment and home foreclosures, only 35
percent of the residents live in their own homes.

Political Implications of the Case

Pinkney, who heads the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization
(BANCO) in Berrien County, was charged and convicted for allegedly
changing the dates on five signatures on the recall petitions.
However, during the trial not one witness claimed to have seen the
defendant change any dates on the petitions.

As a result of a Michigan appeals court decision the recall election
was cancelled and Hightower remains in office although he is facing
reelection later this year. Supporters of the recall including BANCO
accused Hightower of being a surrogate of Whirlpool Corporation which
is based in Benton Harbor.

During the course of the trial, Prosecutor Michael Sepic asked
witnesses about their views on Whirlpool as well as questions related
to the political outlook of BANCO in relationship to the
multi-national firm. These questions were allowed into the court
record by the presiding Judge Sterling R. Schrock.

BANCO has opposed numerous policies carried out by Benton Harbor and
Berrien County officials. In 2010, a project was undertaken which
appropriated the publically-owned Jean Klock Park turning it into the
Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on Lake Michigan.

Two years later in 2012, Pinkney and BANCO organized the “Occupy the
PGA” protest demonstrations when the senior golf tournaments were held
in Benton Harbor. The recall campaign against Hightower was prompted
by his refusal to support a measure that would tax corporations in
order to create jobs and rehabilitate the infrastructure of the
blighted and economically depressed municipality.

The city has a long and sordid history of racism and police
misconduct. In 2003, people rose up in rebellion after an African
American motorcyclist was chased down to his death by several
law-enforcement agencies in the region.

Motions Filed in Post-Conviction Hearing

At the motions hearing on Feb. 27 the courtroom was packed with
supporters of Pinkney. There were at least 30 people who waited
outside the proceedings because there was no room inside.

When Pinkney entered the courtroom wearing handcuffs and prison
clothes, he was given a standing ovation. A law-enforcement officer
then walked over to the crowd and told them they were not allowed to
disrupt the courtroom.

One supporter from Ann Arbor wanted to give Pinkney a greeting card
which came back in the mail from Marquette prison. He was told by
officers in the courtroom that he was not allowed to do so.

Another person, an academic from Lansing, wanted to give the BANCO
leader some literature contained in a package but was not allowed to
do so either. When he attempted to turn over the materials to
Pinkney’s defense lawyer Tat Parish he was told again by the officers
that this was not possible.

On at least two occasions, officers in the courtroom chastised members
of the audience for supposedly making contact with Pinkney, who sat
quietly in a chair next to his defense attorney. In addition to
arguments from Atty. Parish, Mark Fancher, representing the Michigan
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was in attendance as well.

The Michigan ACLU has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of
Pinkney being released on bond. Parish and Fancher argued that the
activist was not a flight risk or a danger to the community, yet Judge
Schrock denied the motion ordering Pinkney back to Marquette prison.

Fancher argued on behalf of the Michigan ACLU citing the People v.
Hall case noting in all likelihood Pinkney should not have been
indicted or convicted on felony charges, but that such an offense if
found guilty, would only be a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in
jail. Although the judge set an evidentiary hearing on two of the
motions filed, he would not budge on setting an appeal bond for

In his brief Fancher stated on behalf the Michigan ACLU that “A
critical factor in the decision to grant bond is whether the appeal is
substantial. In light of the Hall case, Rev. Pinkney’s likelihood of
success on appeal in this case is extremely high. It is not unusual
for criminal appeals to be decided two or more years after a
defendant’s conviction. If bond pending appeal is not granted in this
case, Rev. Pinkney will suffer irreparable harm because he will have
served much more than a 93 day sentence.”

Fancher recalled how “The ACLU represented Rev. Pinkney in a
successful appeal of an order revoking his probation in People v.
Pinkney, 2009…. In that case the Court of Appeals granted Rev.
Pinkney’s Motion for Bond Pending Appeal. Rev. Pinkney complied with
the bond terms imposed in that case and he never became a flight

Of the five motions filed, only two will be subjected to evidentiary
hearings, but the immediate issue during the Fri. Feb. 27 proceedings
was the attempt to have the 66-year-old released until a Michigan
appeals court makes a decision on the constitutionality of his
conviction. There was also a request from Parish to have Pinkney moved
to a correctional facility closer to Berrien County so that his family
and legal counsel can consult with him on important matters.

Judge Schrock said that it was his preference that Pinkney be moved to
a closer location but that it was up to the discretion of the Michigan
Department of Corrections (DOC) and that he would not issue an order
to such an effect.

People attended the hearing from throughout the state of Michigan as
well as Illinois. Representatives were present from numerous
organizations including BANCO, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, National
Lawyers Guild, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the People’s
Tribune newspaper, and many others.

After the hearing Pinkney was taken by DOC officers back to prison. A
demonstration was later held outside the Berrien County Courthouse
demanding the release of Pinkney.

The evidentiary hearing on two of the motions filed is scheduled for
April 14. Local and national civil rights and human rights activists
are urging people to continue to build support for the BANCO leader.
E MAIL: panafnewswire@gmail.com
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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Letter from Dorothy Pinkney, wife of Rev. Edward Pinkney

Dear Judge Schrock: 

It is our constitutional duty as American citizens to hold our elected officials,  especially judges, responsible for their actions, inactions, and wrong doing. 

Judge Schrock, you stated that the jury has spoken, but in my eyes, I witnessed a lynch mob motivated by something other than the truth for justice. 

In The Bible (KVJ) Jesus taught, "if the world hates us, we must know that it hated Him first."  How can an all-white jury find my husband guilty with no evidence against him? 

Even the prosecutor, Mike Sepic, stated in his brief that he did not know what the evidence was, so he had to see the transcript to determine what the jury saw. 

In my opinion and observation, the jury saw only a black man as they disregarded his leadership as a political activist and community leader who speaks out against unrighteousness.  Again, he finds himself dishonored by the Berrien County Justice system. My husband is recognized and respected by The United Nations and around the world.  

Even Jesus, The Son of God said of Himself, " a prophet (servant) is honored every where except in his own country (county) among his own people." (Matthew 13:57)  

My husband has been very active as a civil and human rights leader as well as a spirtual mentor and watchman for the community. He has proivided scholarships, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and housed the homeless more than Whirlpool has ever done. 

God, The Creator of the heavens and earth, will judge all who judge in unrighteousness according to His Holy Word. So as a judge, I am asking you to do the right thing and overturn this verdict or give my husband an appeal bond. 

Thank you,
Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney 

(The racist judge still denied the motions for direct verdict and appeal bond. The juror motions will be heard on April 14, Berrien County court.)