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On Thursday June 30th in DC Superior Court, the "Supreme Court Trio" was found Guilty by Judge Patricia Wynn in DC Superior Court; After stirring statments by 'pro se' co-defendants, Dave Barrow, Pete Perry and Mitchell Potts, the judge issued an unusual sentence.

http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/125361/index.php

Dave, Pete and Midge were convicted of violating Title 40 Section 6135: No parading or assemblage on the Supreme Court Grounds using a banner or device to bring a organization or movement in the public awareness.

In their sentnecing statments, each of the defendants spoke from their hearts. Dave delivered his speech first, and in it he boldly said that he "regretted nothing"; supporters who were in attndance in the court room burst into applause as Dave finished his remarks. Next, Midge explained to Judge Wynn how she no longer believed in the Americas so-called democracy, proclaiming, "When I was a child, I was taught to believe that the freedoms guaranteed to us in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution were the foundation our democratic principles. But your honor, that belief in the Bill of Right has died here today. Patrick Henry said 'Give me Liberty, or give me Death." So, as far as I am concerned, you might as well give me the death penalty in punishment of the horrible crime I committed." Once again, the courtroom exploded with applause, and the judge dod nothing to quiet the room except to wait patiently for people to finish clapping. Pete finally delivered his statment; very eloquently, he explained once again relied on his 'good faith intent' to explain why he did what he did, and why it had to be done. He conluded his monologue with a plea to the judge and the prosecutor to "Join our movent of Peace & Justice".

After the applause ended, the prosecutor said she had no recommended sentence and that the governmewould defer to the court in that regard.

So, the judge delivered her unique sentence... She ordered that Dave, Pete and Midge would have to attend a debate on the issue of "Right to Freedom of Speech" at the Supreme Court. On October 21st, the co-defendants will have to debate pre-law students at Georgetown University. She also gave them 4 months unsupervised probation on the condition that they would show up at the debate. And of course, each of them has to pay $50 to the DC Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

Dave, Pete and midge were pleasantly surprised by the judgement, and they all expressed that they were looking forward to the debate, and to continuing the dialogue that they had begun in their trial.

Attorney advisor Mark Goldstone said, "This is unusual, and I have never really seen anyything like it."

What does this mean for 'Free Speech' in America? Well, although the 1949 McCarthy era law under which the Supreme Court Trio were charged is clearly unConstitutional in that it obviously "...abridges the Right to Freedom of Speech", the Judges verdict casts some doubt as to whether 'Free Speech' is truly dead. Time will tell!

See also:
http://dc.indymedia.org/feature/display/117171/index.php

Originally posted to NewWay4NewDay on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 02:02 PM PDT.

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