Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Inmates Acted With Disbelief When Told Journalist Was In Jail For Writing A Blog

"Why are you here?" tends to be the most common question that inmates ask each other. Inmates in the Shelby County Jail usually reacted with disbelief when I told them I was in jail for writing a blog.

That's one of several new insights from "The Accidental First Amendment Martyr," an article by Versha Sharma at Sharma points out that issues in my case go well beyond the press; they have implications for anyone who might write critically about an individual or entity on the Web--at Facebook or Twitter, for example.

Here is an excerpt from the question-and-answer format:

How did other inmates respond when you said you were in for blogging?
People looked at me like I was crazy. Most Americans have a sense of what the First Amendment means, and I can’t tell you how many times people would say, “That’s wrong.” I never should have been in jail at all under the law. There’s just no provision for preliminary injunction in a defamation case. It runs contrary to First Amendment law that goes back to the 1800s.

As for the broader implications of the prior-restraint issues in my case . . .

Why do you think your case is important?
This is not just about journalists. It’s about anybody going on the Internet. There was a case similar to mine, Dietz v. Perez. Jane Perez had hired a contractor to work on her town home. She went on Angie’s List and Yelp and wrote a critical review and wound up getting sued. The contractor sought a permanent injunction [to get those posts removed], exactly like in my case, and the trial judge granted it. She got help from a group called Public Citizens out of D.C., and they got that injunction overturned.

What about jail food? We touched on that, too.

What was life like in jail?
Jail’s not supposed to be pleasant, and I can confirm that it isn’t. There were times I thought I wasn’t going to live through it. The inmates in general were nice to me, but it’s a volatile place where violence happens, and I was concerned on a regular basis about something breaking out. I lost probably close to 20 pounds. The Shelby County Jail—some of the meals are fine, but you just don’t get as much as you normally would. I’m tremendously grateful to be back home with my wife, Carol, and our two kitty cats and trying to get life back to normal again.


Anonymous said...

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions mid 2001 said:
"When a nominee says, "so help me God", whether a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, or adherent to another faith, he knows that he is morally bound to tell the truth..... To remove this moral obligation, from the oath, would undermine the critical truth finding process in every hearing in Congress and every courtroom in America."

In response was remarked; "Indeed, Jeff Sessions himself might be well advised to reevaluate his own sense of "moral obligation" before his oath to God to support the Constitution."

Such dedication to oaths and moral in 2001, leaves one to wonder would that same commitment have been the cornerstone of political career in Alabama?

Tuscaloosa News reported that Sessions was blocking passage on bill allowing more freedom of information; now why would he be doing that?

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at time of challenge and controversy."
Doing A Good Job Murph

e.a.f. said...

I whole new crime for going to jail:

Blogging while in Alabama.

Must have really been a new one for the other inmates. Republicans have some nerve criticizing Putin for his actions and treatment of his political opponents. The teabagging republicans aren't much different. Their goals are similar, they simply use different methods. A violation of the First Amendment is a violation of freedom of speech where ever people are.

Anonymous said...

Thought you might want to see this. Looks like someone I have been communicating with may be in the same situation.
Al Sharpton Says He Wasn't A Paid Mafia Informant For The FBI
The Huffington Post | by Jack Mirkinson

Unknown said...

Al Sharpton Says He Wasn't A Paid Mafia Informant For The FBI
The Huffington Post | by Jack Mirkinson

He may be in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

our rights have been slowly and most definitely taken away.

the point of throwing a while male in jail while he was filing paperwork in the court, with his wife, seeking justice, is the serious crime and those that committed the crime get to and in the broad daylight.

how many are now hiding in abject fear, paralyzed to do anything other than what the government says we must do.

there aren't attorneys to touch this case, until the case is past the balance where the criminal government is not in full control.

could be three to ten years before the reality of how this story is for every 'citizen' in the USA.

jail and prison prove what America is in the genuine measure of civilization, roger now understands just how bad the bad has been.

Anonymous said...

[In Alabama] The Judicial Inquiry Commission, "is established in the Alabama Constitution as the body that investigates and prosecutes complaints of ethical misconduct or disability involving Alabama judges."

Canons of Judicial Ethics and Discipline; "Is charged with investigating complains of misconduct or professional wrongdoings on parts of judges."

Powers and duties of circuit's presiding judges, Alabama Title 12-17-24.

Powers and duties of Supreme Court Justice Alabama Title 12-2-2

Again, get the paper work from one process to the other, i.e. paper trail, it will be very important later. The intentional movement of your person, and/or anything causing your paperwork involving your case to move is required by law to be recorded.

Anonymous said...

Roger took on the legal tribe and they punished his family and friends pure and simple. What did "they" really have to gain from this? I encourage each of you to donate even a dollar because dollars ad up.

Anonymous said...

In 2007 Time Magazine investigations revealed previously unknown sworn testimony that landfill developer Lanny Young admitted to making donations totaling between$12,000.00 and $15,000.00 to Pryor's campaign for state attorney general.

"Despite his own blatant violations of constitutional law, Pryor used his position to initiate a criminal investigation of Seigelman within weeks of Seigelman's inauguration of governor." Time.

Anonymous said...

Please, correct me if wrong.

But remember, how Murph, Carol, and Rog got to this point first originated as far back when Seigelman testified against Pryor during his tenure linked to Sessions while being positioned by bro Rove and Canary as Alabama AG went after Seigelman, and for doing so his reward was a federal

Sessions was on a witch hunt to get Windom, with Pryor tagging right along, until Windom was not the political threat, Seigelman was!

Does the sworn oaths that Sessions [claims] to hold on to so dearly hold water involving any of these offices suspiciously accomplished?

Historically Alabama politics since has provided Murph the platform to speak truths and facts, wonder what "gate" this will be eventually called?