Home > Uncategorized > Courthouse Vigil Arrest Trial In Progress

Courthouse Vigil Arrest Trial In Progress

Sorry I don’t have more to say, but I’ve just discovered that the trial of three persons arrested at a courthouse candlelight vigil began yesterday and continues today.  Anyone with additional information, please add to the comments.

  1. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

    If anyone who is following the trial reads this (at lunch, maybe), it would be nice to be updated. Thanks.

  2. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I was in the courthouse when it was happening. Unfortunately, I was trying a case in another courtroom. We had simultaneous breaks, when I asked Felix Omai how it was going. She shrugged and said she thought it was going pretty well for the defendants, but how do you know? It’s hard to read juries.

  3. Felix
    June 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    OK – It is very hard to read a jury indeed! The jury has more women than men (3 fellas). One so.hummer (props to that person!). Actually, one of the 3 males might be one of the alternate jurors (one male, one female, there). Sorry, I’m not taking notes – but I have been taking the bus and that has made for very long days for me, I am burnt toast – but I’ll try.
    Wed.s and 90% of Thur.s was eaten up by jury selection. A fascinating process, both sides cut many people. Maybe most notably DA Gallegos’ nanny. That cracked up the whole courtroom.
    Kim Starr and Amanda Tierney (sp?) are representing themselves and Peter Comacho has a lawyer. I believe his name is Russo (sp? again).
    The first witness was Sgt. Ireland, supervisor of the night shift on weekends and one of the arresting officers. His testimony began yesterday and finished today, but he was requested to remain for possible further testimony.
    Ms. Pizzo (prosecutor for ‘the people’) has had no trouble establishing the prescence of the 3 that night (not too hard, as they don’t deny it). Even to some degree their intent……..But K.S. has made a pretty good point with Sgt. Ireland’s having sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution? He, of course, is ‘just doing his job.’ Will an oath to uphold the Constitution trump a local ordinance? Hmmm…….
    There was a video shown which, though dark (and awful, sound quality-wise) puts everyone there. The sound is not so terrible that you can’t tell Ireland tried to get them to move to the sidewalk and them talking first ammendment….
    That opened things up to a whole big line of questioning about a “crack” in the sidewalk being the demarcation between legal and illegal and the lack of signage. Also an interesting list of possible scenarios where innocent citizens are deemed lawbreakers now – if they do things such as stop to sit on the benches in front while out walking, or dog walking (after 9:30). Or, for cry’in out loud, if you share a sandwich ANYTIME. Criminal! The traditional ‘soapbox’ or a podium would be considered a ‘structure’ under this ordinance and will no longer be permitted! And don’t forget folks – while ‘it’ is being modified (to permit the very things at issue in this case – curfews and candlelight vigils, as I understand it anyhow) ‘it’ is also being expanded to include all county properties! This will be so selectively enforced (just as ‘it’ was clearly targeted to get rid of the Occupy) it screams its potential for abuse. Which I suppose is no worry to anyone – unless you have an interest in civil/human rights……
    Comacho was on the stand when court let out – early due to an official memorial of some sort. I’m not sure if his testimony and cross examination were complete.
    It is not clear whether or not the 2 other arresting officers will be called to testify. Nor if Starr and/or Tierney will take the stand.
    The burden of proof in this kind of case lies with the prosecution being able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt…………..(innocent until proven guilty!). And ONE juror can throw the whole thing. One tiny doubt of the ‘reasonability’ (I think that’s where complaints of broadness and vagueness come in – wtf is ‘reasonable’?) in the mind of one juror.
    We’ll see. Much is inadmissable (like the ordinance’s being modified to allow…for example). If all the jurors fall in the ‘you broke the law’ doesn’t matter why, or – as Judge Miles put it during the jury selection process “even if you think the law is silly” (you will be able to convict them of breaking it?).
    Coincidentally Judge Miles was the Judge in my own recent case. As I pled ‘No contest’ to hanging a banner, she never heard my story/side and was a little more stern with me than she seems in this case. She seems patient and occasionally bemused. She is a Judge though. I think she is quite interested by the process (people representing themselves and all) and I think curious as to whether or not they (the defendants) can pull this off.
    That’s about the best I can do. There were others in the courtroom with better knowledge of the law, perhaps someone will add to this. Or, please, if I got something flat out wrong (like Comacho’s lawyer’s name) please correct.
    Come to court next week! These folks are taking risks for all of US – THIS is what ‘creeping facism’ looks like!

  4. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Let there be at least one voice of reason among the jury. Acquit acquit acquit!

  5. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks, Felix.

  6. June 30, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I have never served on a county jury. I have had an arrest warrant put out for me in PA for not going to jury duty (I had moved to CA and didn’t know). In Humboldt I got dismissed once because I had faced a similar charge as the defendant (attempted homocide of a police officer) and once for declaring I thought all drugs should be decriminalized and refused to hear a drug possession case based on a law I thought was unjust. I did, however, get to serve on a Federal jury, which was incredible. (You can read about it here and find the other jury duty stories, as well: http://cancerouszeitgeist.blogspot.com/2011/05/locked-room-and-truth.html.) I’m not sure what kind of jury these three will get, but it being Humboldt I would say just about anything is possible.

  7. June 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Eric Kirk says “it’s hard to read juries.” He knows as well as I know that statement is a total crock of C. If there is one thing lawyers know how to do, it is “read” juries. With the rare exception one will throw a monkey wrench into the works and defy the judge or public consensus.

  8. Mitch
    July 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Has this local freedom-of-assembly trial been reported, or even mentioned, in any of the press or media? If not, how can that be?

  9. Anonymous
    July 1, 2012 at 8:04 am

    KS is just a loser that has nothing else to do with her life, NOTHING. She loves the attention, she creates the drama and tries to get arrested. She could do with some serious professional help.

  10. July 1, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I have had my share of serious disagreements with KS.

    Anonymous 8:04 am, your comment is bull feces. And posting it anonymously is the act of a spineless coward.

    Oops, let me rephrase that.

    Dear Anonymous, this conversation is about three people arrested and put on trial for sitting on the courthouse steps. They were creating no health and safety issues and were not blocking anyond from entering the locked up courthouse.

    They were protesting an ordinance introduced and passed in one quick week. It went into effect immediately, not a month later as is usual, and placed numerous restrictions on all current and future demonstrations there..

    I think your anonymous comment adds nothing to the conversation of this important Constitutional issue. You might find you are more thoughtful in your comments when you put your name to them.

  11. July 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I wish I could spell and type correctly… anyond should be anyone.

  12. Anonymous
    July 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

    No problem, Janelle. People who can’t understand a point despite little typos won’t understand it when correctly typed either.

  13. Felix
    July 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Really? K.S.is dedicated, smart, politically active, compassionate woman. And one who is acting selflessly to help all of us. What are you anon. 8:04? Little doubt you simply disagree with her politics and thereby need make a personal attack.
    It would be a much better world if more people had “nothing else to do with her [their] life” than trying to ‘save the world’. Be it by changing laws or sitting trees or waving signs or sailing ships into test zones……More like, those who are not fully dedicated to this particular cause (saving the world) are the ones who “could do with some serious professional help”.
    My thanks to any and all who ARE trying!

  14. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Anonymous attacks are the underbelly of the blog culture. It comes with the good.

  15. July 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    In a demonstration for Civil Liberty. it was Civil!!! With a choice to be arrested six people (citizens) chose to be arrested I was proud
    to be there at my courthouse—Raging Grannyt

  16. Felix
    July 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    And Jean knows! I am proud to be in the company of such a wise citizen.
    Tomorrow may be it for testimony and the jury will notice if there are obvious supporters in the courtroom. It could go on through Tues., but likely not and then onto jury deliberation.
    I will be driving north tomorrow at around 7:00 – anyone wants a ride, I’m listed……….
    Anyone who can make it – JUST DO IT!
    Hope to see a few more peeps in court – there have been about 8 or 9 stalwarts, join us.
    Court convenes at 8:30, in session till noon.

  17. July 2, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Proposed Sacramento ordinance would restrict actions outside City Hall
    Share
    By Ryan Lillis
    rlillis@sacbee.com
    Published: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
    Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 – 12:21 am

    Strumming a ukulele on the front lawn of Sacramento’s historic City Hall on a sunny afternoon last week, Michael Hanson broke one proposed law after another.

    He was making noise with something other than his voice. He had signs, a table and a chair. He was harming what’s left of the front lawn by, well, standing on it.

    At least he didn’t have a fog machine.

    “We’ve never had a fog machine,” he said. “At least not that I know of.”

    That’s a relief, given that the city is exploring placing strict rules on how the land surrounding the historic and nearby newer City Hall is used – including prohibiting fog machines.

    While city officials insist Hanson and his fellow Occupy Sacramento protesters were not the inspiration for the new guidelines, many of the proposed violations under debate are committed by Occupy members every day.

    Under an ordinance to be considered by the City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee later this month, violators would be subject to fines of $250 to $25,000 for breaking laws set forth in the proposed “Use of the City Hall Facility” ordinance. Those who defy the rules would be guilty of misdemeanors.

    City officials said the new guidelines are essential to ensure a safe environment around historic City Hall and the adjacent new City Hall to protect the grounds. In recent months, city maintenance crews have responded more frequently to reports of people urinating on historic City Hall, bathing and washing dishes in the decorative fountains, and smoking marijuana.

    Councilman Darrell Fong, who patrolled many protests during his 30 years as a city police officer, said the intent of the ordinance is not to limit free speech.

    “But it gets to a certain point of: How do we balance the freedom of speech with safety?” he said. “I don’t see this as being a very complex issue.”

    Despite private grumblings from high-ranking city officials about the appearance of the grounds, the proposed rules could face opposition on the City Council.

    Councilman Jay Schenirer, who chairs the Law and Legislation Committee, said he has reservations about the proposal. Schenirer delayed a debate on the ordinance when it was originally floated in June.

    “I just think, generally, we’re a public organization and we have a responsibility to listen to the public, and the public should have access to us,” he said. “I want to make sure we’re not overrestricting access.”

    The proposed rules range from common-sense behavior – littering would be prohibited – to actions that seem rather specific.

    Helium balloons and confetti would not be allowed on City Hall grounds. Neither would fireworks, or drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Banging on cowbells during the day, leaving items unattended and cooking on the property would be outlawed.

    Oh, and guns. Those would be prohibited, too.

    Reina Schwartz, head of the city’s Department of General Services, said city staffers began discussing the new rules last year – months before Occupy protesters began showing up across the street at Cesar Chavez Plaza. That protest eventually made its way to the front lawn of the historic City Hall building.

    In the months that have followed, Occupy protesters lying on the lawn have killed a large section of grass along I Street. They’ve also broken sprinkler heads on the lawn, Schwartz said.

    “People can meet to discuss things,” she said. “That’s their right. These are just basic rules for how people should conduct themselves.”

    The possibility of stricter guidelines doesn’t seem to scare those still taking part in the Occupy protest. While their numbers have dwindled in recent months, the group still organizes regular protests, including demonstrations against foreclosures and what it says is a lack of police oversight.

    Anthony Thomas Holden, lying in the shade a few feet from historic City Hall, which also is known as old City Hall, said he’s already received several tickets for having a sleeping bag and sleeping on the grounds.

    “I’ll tell them to add (new tickets) to the collection,” he said.

    Holden was not apologetic for his group’s destruction of the lawn.

    “The lives lost in Iraq are worth more than this grass,” he said. “And those lives were lost for our very right to do this.”

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/02/4604047/proposed-sacramento-ordinance.html#storylink=cpy

  18. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Kim Starr has more proverbial balls than all the haters in this thread combined. Go back to sleep, bloggers…the bubble in which you live is not mine.

  19. July 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Peter testified yesterday and today Kim took the stand. The prosecutor seemed to spend more of her cross examination on them than on the arrest and “crime”.

    The prosecutor’s questions may backfire as she seemed a bit arrogant and to be groping clumsily to discredit them. Through her questioning the jury learned that Peter is well educated and that Kim has indeed dedicated her life to her work.

    Closing statements tomorrow morning.

  20. Felix
    July 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Seconded 12:21! Though this thread hasn’t gotten as much hater attention as one might have expected…..
    Closing arguments were very well presented and the Jury instructions, while leaving some things inadmissable, opened it wide up to the possibility of an aquital in other ways……ya shoulda been there!
    Have a wonderful Indepence day – and THINK about what you’re celebrating while ya do it!
    Power to the people! And, if you value YOUR rights, remember these folks are fighting for them!
    Good luck and many thanks to these first 3 to be tried for challenging this obscene ordinance. It’s NOT about a campout on the courthouse lawn! But if you don’t get that now….it will be too late when you wake up.
    Occupy everything!

  21. July 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Today the jury deliberated from 8:30 to noon, with a break at 10am.
    At noon they were excused for the day. So back again tomorrow morning.

  22. I work for a living
    July 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Here’s hoping they go to jail for at least 30 days. They knew they were breaking the law and did so on purpose. So be an adult and take your punishment.

  23. July 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws. They were sitting on the courthouse steps in peaceful protest. The Courthouse was locked up for the night so they could not be blocking access for people wishing to do business.

    “…shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”

    I am so glad that you have a job in these difficult times. Are you sure you want your hard earned tax dollars spent on punishing people for taking time out of their lives to protect our fundamental freedoms?

  24. Felix
    July 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    To our true representatives in government – THE DEFENDANTS!. For America, justice and freedom, acquit!
    The Constitution trumps an ordinance…….like Fed law trumps State!

  25. July 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Today the jury asked for and receive instruction from the court on the wording of the first amendment. The returns Monday morning to their deliberations.. .

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