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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Incarceration In Legal Schnauzer Case Is An "Extremely Dangerous" Development For Free Press

Roger and Carol Shuler have an
 emotional reunion. 
My five-month incarceration from the fallout of a defamation lawsuit is an "extremely dangerous" development, the head of a leading journalism organization says in a new story at Al Jazeera America.

Reporter Wilson Dizard wrote the story, titled "Case of Jailed Blogger Raises First Amendment Concerns."

Writes Dizard:

The merits of Shuler’s blog aside, journalist and civil liberties groups tend to agree that his incarceration raises flags in terms of First Amendment rights.
David Cullier, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, described the development as “extremely dangerous.”
“If he did wrong, then there are recourses in civil court, but the government should not throw people in jail for expressing themselves,” he said.

Some experts told Al Jazeera that I could have handled the case in a more effective manner. But I point out that I was arrested before even having an opportunity to answer the lawsuit or receive an order on fundamental motions regarding proper service and jurisdiction:

Shuler said he would have challenged the injunction using the First Amendment if he’d had the opportunity.
“I was never served with the restraining order. I've never seen it to this day. I certainly would have appealed the injunction on First Amendment grounds if I had not been arrested before I had the chance,” he said.
I should note that I was open to hiring an attorney, but my arrest came so quickly that it short-circuited most any opportunities to defend myself.

Could this case have broader implications for general communications on the Web? It could if the law is applied to others as it has been applied to me--but hopefully, it won't come to that. A 2013/14 Virginia case styled Dietz v. Perez, involved a preliminary injunction very much like the one in my case. Fortunately, there was no effort to arrest Jane Perez, who had posted negative reviews at several Web forums about a contractor who had done repair work on her townhouse.

One expert called my incarceration an "aberration."

Shuler suggested that his case should concern all those who write on the Web, in whatever form.
“What if people could be jailed because of comments they make on Facebook or Twitter or any other Web forum? That could happen if the law were applied the way it has been in my case,” he said.
Others warn against widening the implications of this one case. Kurt Opsahl, a senior attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet rights advocacy group, said that Shuler’s jailing was an “an aberration in the justice system that should not become a trend.”
“The Supreme Court has recognized that the full protections of the First Amendment apply online, and most courts have appropriately balanced the rights in online cases. Of course, as the Shuler case illustrates, there are some outliers,” he said.


Anonymous said...


Vernon teen suspended from school for twirling pencil, report says

Anonymous said...

Americans were 'bamboozled'.

After Nixon removed the gold standard, the over part happened, America wasn't America anymore.

Corporation War Machine.

They lie, so called 'government'.

Shadow Government is how America is run, and the lesson Roger and Carol Shuler have 'grocked' from losing their jobs to being falsely arrested, stalked and imprisoned, is about Shadow gov USA AND, the power of LOVE.

Shadow gov has no love and that's why IT can kill indiscriminately, and do what was done to the Shulers, and not feel other than smug in being Shadow gov.

The so called 'financial power' in America was greedy and allowed the nation to be used as a gambling chip in the world government agenda, that has failed.

LOVE however, prevails and stands to be witness to all Americans to stand in the love and resist at all costs, Shadow gov.

Inflation is rising high, costs are not what should be, to be expected making war is very expensive to the failed empires.

LOVE can indeed win. Thanks to the couple Shulers' we see this truth to be self evident.

Don't let Shadow gov fool all the people all the time, no more.

Anonymous said...

First Amendment. And, also the saying of Jesus: Don't sit with the hypocrites, except that ye become one of them.

First Amendment is for freedom to practice speech and religion, of course the press too.

Now Alabama says the state is a Christian State, which says that Jesus' words should be also law. The Ten Commandments, however, were in a public place. Jesus was and is the New Testament and not the Old, Ten Commandments are old, but Jesus acknowledged the laws of the Moses' tablets from GOD.

God is supposedly the driving force of the Republicans and the culture of Jesus, or the Bible.

The saying about Stalin and Hiltler was that the gulag was first step in the denial of GOD.

Alabama put Roger in a gulag and the practitioners of hypocrisy are those that decided to abandon GOD.

Fear of losing the free press right, or the right to be safe in our homes and papers, a Fourth Amendment, and what happened here?

This blog proves what happened here in America, first step into Communism, and that is what America is now.

Alabama America's Godless Gulags Shine Darkness On US.

Michelle Looney said...

Before the internet, the little people had little voice or vehicle to share their thoughts, talents or creativity with the general public. Information and talent was controlled by a powerful owned-and-managed media conglomerate of varying corporations and small businesses.

Without the help of powerful people or news sources, unrecognized victims often suffered silently; there was little hope for unnoticed oppressed people to be heard; and corruption unseen or ignored by mainstream reporters continued in silence. Some crimes remained hidden and criminals were able to manipulate the system more easily than today.

In those days, people believed all of the news that was delivered by community newspaper and tv stations that often placed economic and political interests higher on the list than investigative reporting. Reporting was selective and articles served to the public were carefully chosen.

When a story came out in the newspaper, it's authenticity and accuracy was generally undisputed by the public. The mainstream media has had the incredible power to set stories in stone whether the details are absolutely correct or not.

Today, it's different and change is occurring. The truth is increasingly at work on the internet and correcting age-old wrongs.

Today no educational requirements, nor licensing, nor memberships are required for a human being to contribute works, express opinions or display art on the internet.

It's the one place left that's open to anyone, no matter whether they were born to an affluent, educated family or to the most impoverished and desperate situation.

The internet with its First Amendment protections is the future's promise for crimes to be solved, rights to be wronged and for all of those oppressed voices, creative talents, and enlightened individuals who could never be noticed for centuries past to be recognized today.

No longer does a crime victim who cannot afford an attorney, or who can expose corruption have to sit fearfully in silence. No longer can dirty tricks be played in a court room, or prison, or at the highest levels of government, without threat of exposure.

No longer can undiscovered, creatively gifted individuals continue on in their lives without the chance of being discovered.

It is a new era for the world, a time to discover, to right wrongs and to expose what has been hidden. It is also a time for all of us to assume responsibility and use good common sense with all we create and publish, else the law will move in and begin to diminish those freedoms.

We can thank our Founding Fathers for the First Amendment and United States Constitution.

(We should also humbly and gratefully thank Mr. Al Gore for the internet.)

Anonymous said...

“[Prosecutors] had the evidence that this man was on a Disney World vacation when this crime was committed,” Fleming’s attorney, Taylor Koss, told the New York Post. “It’s disgusting.”

This is the second overturned murder conviction in 2014 under new Brooklyn DA Kenneth P. Thompson, who campaigned against Hynes and the numerous wrongful convictions over the course of his tenure that began in 1990. RT previously reported on the case of Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson, who were released from prison in February after serving 21 years for a triple homicide they did not commit.

Thompson is revamping the Conviction Review Unit (nee the Conviction Integrity Unit under Hynes), which reviews cases where the wrong person was potentially convicted. On Monday, he announced the appointment of Harvard Law Prof. Ronald Sullivan to head up the CRU.

“The term ‘tip of the iceberg’ is clichéd, but if ever it was applicable, it’s applicable to this situation,” Steven Banks, the chief lawyer for the Legal Aid Society told the New York Times, referring to the plethora of wrongful conviction cases to be reviewed. “There’s no question that this is going to be painstaking work to undo a problem that was years in the making.”

Thompson cited the newly discovered evidence, credible witnesses and the recanted testimony in overturning Fleming’s conviction. “Today’s actions follow a careful and thorough review of this case, and based on key alibi facts that place Fleming in Florida at the time of the murder, I have decided to dismiss all charges against him in the interest of justice,” Thompson said in a statement.

"After 25 years, come hug your mother," Patricia Fleming said to her son Jonathan as he was released from prison on Tuesday.

"I feel wonderful," Fleming said outside court. "I've always had faith. I knew that this day would come someday." He then talked about his plans for the future: "I'm going to go eat dinner with my mother and my family, and I'm going to live the rest of my life."


Anonymous said...

Our judicial system appears to like the right to bear arms over the right to free speech.

Unknown said...

I remember a couple of years ago crying out to the Electronic Freedom Foundation, ACLU, Freedomforum, and others for help when I had been arrested on an illegal warrant for "cyberstalking." None of them budged, but after I had been in court on this phony warrant about 10 times, I sat in the jury courtroom and penned a letter on notebook paper demanding that the DA dismiss this charge, that the charge violated my rights under 18 US Code 1942 (Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law). I was shocked when just a few days later, I got a phone call that the charge was dismissed. You can see the dismissal on my blawg.
You don't want this cancerous thing going down as a precedent, believe me. That's why it has to be appealed.
Now go to your google or bing search window and plug in "judge roger titus" and "william lawrence cassidy" and you'll see why the importance of this Shuler case is vital to viewpoint-based internet speech. I have EFF's amicus brief in the Cassidy case, and it is pure poetry. Fed Judge Titus's opinion -- also pure poetry! You need an appellate brief too, Roger. I hate it that the ACLU and RCFP and others let you down. And again, I praise Andrew Kreig for his diligent, generous-hearted work on Roger's behalf. Finally look up the great novelist, Jonathan Swift's comments about precedent in _GULLIVER'S TRAVELS._