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Old 06-26-2013, 08:15 AM
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California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

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Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olsonís attorney from "mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,Ē Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

In addition to possibly spending years in jail, Olson will also be held liable for fines of up to $13,000 over the anti-big-bank slogans that were left using washable children's chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego, California branches of Bank of America, the massive conglomerate that received $45 billion in interest-free loans from the US government in 2008-2009 in a bid to keep it solvent after bad bets went south.

The Reader reports that Olsonís hearing had gone as poorly as his attorney might have expected, with Judge Howard Shore, who is presiding over the case, granting Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard's motion to prohibit attorney Tom Tosdal from mentioning the United States' fundamental First Amendment rights.

"The State's Vandalism Statute does not mention First Amendment rights," ruled Judge Shore on Tuesday.

Upon exiting the courtroom Olson seemed to be in disbelief.

"Oh my gosh," he said. "I can't believe this is happening."

Tosdal, who exited the courtroom shortly after his client, seemed equally bewildered.

"I've never heard that before, that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment rights," said Tosdal.
http://rt.com/usa/california-man-13-prison-banks-237/

What are your thoughts on this?
 
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:21 AM
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If you are no longer allowed to even mention the First Amendment, then it is clearly lost.
 
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:28 PM
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Good to see the US has got its economic focus in the right place

Governments give banking corporations the freedom to destroy a countries economy, bringing a nation to its knees and destroying so many families with no sentences anywhere close to this, but heck, express yourself with chalk about what these corporations did and you could be going to prison for 13 years, AND, to top it off, a judge can overrule the laws that a nation is built upon - (At the taxpayers expense of course!)

WOW!!

I think the only judge that can overrule the amendments is Judge Dredd, and he's fictional
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:56 PM
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Things were different when California was part of the USA.....
The constitution is not allowed in courts there.....

Maybe the judge stood too close to the weed.....
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:26 PM
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The Constitution is the highest law of the land to which all other laws must defer. In case of conflict between the constitution and the local law, the constitution prevails. Granting that the action of the Judge is patently contravening the constitution by disregarding the right of the accused to free speech, then he should be held administratively liable and the accused be set free. Well, the convicted individual has a right to appeal and who knows, the decision might be reversed by the higher court.
 
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:59 PM
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I recall seeing a story that indicated he was found not guilty by a jury. I'll try to find a link to it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barr View Post
I recall seeing a story that indicated he was found not guilty by a jury. I'll try to find a link to it.
I remember reading that too.
Common sense prevailed.
 
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:32 PM
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There you go:

Jeff Olson Acquitted Of Charges From Writing In Chalk On San Diego Sidewalk
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3532834.html
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