A Berrien County judge has ruled that Benton Harbor, Michigan community activist should remain in jail for violating his probation by criticizing the judge in his case.
Rev. Edward Pinkney’s Attorney, Hugh M. Davis, tells BlackCommentator.com an attempt to get Pinkney–a community organizer in Benton Harbor, Michigan who was jailed last week for criticizing a Berrien County judge–out of jail at a hearing on Thursday, December 20th failed. Davis says Judge Alfred Butzbaugh accepted their argument that the following statement was protected by the first ammendment right of free speech:
“The corruption and the deceitfulness continues in Berrien County Courthouse. Judge Butzbaugh has violated his oath. I support the constitution of the United States and the State of Michigan; we are still waiting on this racist corrupt judge to do the same. Judge Butzbaugh has failed the people, the community, his duties and his office.”
However, Davis says the Judge ruled that the following statement by Pinkney calling on God to curse the judge and his family was not protected by the first ammendment and it was a violation of the probabtion terms prohibiting inflamatory remarks:
“Judge Butzbaugh, it shall come to pass; if thou continue not to hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God to observe to do all that is right; which I command thee this day, that all these Curses shall come upon you and your family, curses shalt be in the City of St. Joseph and Cursed shalt thou be in the field, cursed shall come upon you and your family and over take thee; cursed shall be the fruit of thy body. The Lord shall smite thee with consumption and with a fever and with an inflammation and with extreme burning. They the demons shall Pursue thee until thou persist.”
Both of the above quotes are part of an article that originated in the People’s Tribune PO Box 3524, Chicago, IL 60654, 773-486-3551, firstname.lastname@example.org. written by Rev. Pinkney. There is an online version of the People’s Tribune.
Attorney Davis also tells BC he is puzzled by the ruling and has never heard of anything like it before. Another hearing on the matter will take place in about two weeks.
1) Call or write with your objections
Call the Sheriff’s Dept, Berrien County Michigan and inquire about Rev. Pinkney’s well-being.
Sheriff Paul Bailey
Berrien County Sheriff’s Department
919 Port Street
St. Joseph, MI 49085
Copy Letters to: Hugh M. Davis, Constitutional Litigation Associates, P.C.,
450 West Fort Street, Suite 200, Detroit, Michigan, 48226. Phone:
313-961-2255; Fax: 313-961-5999; email: email@example.com:
2) Demand Rev. Pinkney’s pardon and immediate release. Gov. Granholm has the ability to pardon Pinkney or commute his sentence. All individuals and organizations are urged to immediately write letters or
post cards DEMANDING his pardon.
P. O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
3) Send donations to BANCO Legal Fee Donations (non-profit so it’s tax-deductible):
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
4) Write to the Editor of the main newspaper of Benton Harbor/St Joseph and say what you think of this outrage against freedom of speech.
Herald Palladium Newspaper (letters to the editor)
P.O. Box 128
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
5) Support Rev. Pinkney and Sign the Petition:
6) Boycott Whirlpool and its subsidiaries, and spread the word:
Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Gladiator, GarageWorks, Inglis, Estate,
Roper, Magic Chef, Acros, Supermatic. ABROAD – Bauknecht, Brastemp, Consul,
Eslabon de Lujo.
Let Whirlpool know that’s what you’re doing:
Whirlpool Corp. (World Headquarters and N. America Region)
2000 N. M-63
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022-2692 Tel: 269-923-5000
7) Rep. John Conyers
669 Federal Building
231 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 226-2085 Fax
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-0072 Fax
2615 W. Jefferson
Trenton, MI 48183
(734) 675-4218 Fax
8) Demand an immediate investigation into this injustice. Contact:
The Congressional Black Caucus. Phone 202-226-9776, mail to 2264 Rayburn House Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20515.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington DC 20510, demanding a full investigation into the Whirlpool corporate takeover of the city of Benton Harbor. Phone 202-224-7703.