December 02, 2005

Ohioans Jailed For Internet Speech

I heard someplace that it is illegal to question or undermine the character of a sitting judge &/or of his court. I've toyed with doing some research to find out if that's true or not, but I simply don't care. If I haven't made it clear before I think Reinhardt of California's 9th Circus & Denver's own Judge Meyers are both out to lunch; intellectually dishonest; the kind of folks whose intellectual ancestors Samuel Adams sincerely wished would be forgotten as our countrymen. A law won't stop me from speaking an opinion. Neither will it keep me from pointing out the truth when I see it.

Enter retired visiting Judge Richard Markus & Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Shirley Strickland-Saffold. What did they do? They, along with the Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor Daniel Kasaris have had two bloggers arrested (h/t Walter In Denver). Their crime? According to this LP press release "...intimidation, retaliation, and possession of criminal tools (a computer)". According to the bloggers' About Me page it's 21 felon counts for "...'extortion', 'intimidation,' 'retaliation' and 'possession of criminal tools' (laptop computers) because an Ohio retired visiting judge/rent-a-judge complained about them. Both writers were held on exorbitant bonds in solitary confinement (Baumgartner on $360,000 and DuBois on $150,000) for nonviolent felony charges".

What were their actions to warrant such charges? From what I've read they seemed to have accused certain judges & prosecutors of corruption &/or misconduct. They have a page set up to highlight prosecutorial conduct that is less than cool though it seems to have been set up well after their arrests.

This page details the bloggers' take on what has happened to them & why. Also on the main page of the blog, which is called Erie Voices there's a list of court documents that have been filed concerning this matter.

Oh, lest you think these are just two tinfoil hat wearing libertarians who work at McDonalds to support their aluminum habits (bad puns are always intended), one has a doctorate in pharmacy & was a practicing lawyer while the other was (is) a u.S. Marine who may be still working for a railroad in Ohio.

If their allegations of judicial & prosecutorial misconduct are true, then it's very troubling for Ohio. & it does look like they are not totally off base.

Thanks again to Walter In Denver for pointing these things out.

Posted by Publicola at December 2, 2005 06:05 AM | TrackBack
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