Posts Tagged ‘justice’

No Justice for Ward Bird

November 28, 2010

A responsible man posts his land to notify trespassers. A responsible man is prepared to deal with problems should they arise. A responsible man refuses to take a plea when he is innocent. The police state hates a responsible man for he has little use for the grand machine, the State.

As the story goes, in March of 2006 a person was looking to buy some land in Moultonborough, NH. This person missed a connection with a realtor and set off to find a property abutting Ward Bird’s property. Ward, being a responsible man, had his land well posted “No Trespassing”. The real estate shopper passed and ignored 8-9 of said signs on the way out to the Bird’s home. Ward had received a call from his niece, who had run into the real estate shopper, to let him know the shopper was in the area.

When the shopper/trespasser arrived at Ward’s home he told the trespasser to leave, or he waved a gun around and said ‘get the f#$% out of here.’ Either way no shot was fired and the only harm done in the exchange was the trespass upon Bird’s property. Police were called by one or both parties. As far as I know the trespasser was not charged with a crime. Ward Bird was charged with criminal threatening.

Bird, being innocent, refused to take a plea deal which involved no jail time. The first trial of this case ended in a mistrial. The State, having unlimited resources, brought Bird to trial a second time. A jury, public educated I’m sure, found Bird guilty and under minimum sentencing he received 3-6 years in prison. The Supreme Court of NH affirmed the decision on appeal.

Ward reported to the state prison on Nov. 17 and support has been growing in a movement to get him released. As a new mover with the Free State Project to the lakes region, I joined 200 new friends and neighbors at a rally on Thursday Nov 18, at Picnic Rock Farms.

A recent story in the Union Leader newspaper set off my bullshit alarm.

“If you have someone unarmed coming to his property and he knows it, that’s what put it over the edge for us,” said Carroll County Attorney Robin Gordon, the person who decided to prosecute Bird on the felony criminal threatening charge.

Unless Ward Bird is manning a TSA gropepoint at the end of his driveway, he has no way of ‘knowing’ the trespasser is unarmed.

I’m sorry to say there are a lot of legal details missing from this story. I don’t see how you get from a small skirmish to a prison cell. I suspect that Ward Bird is an honest man who didn’t realise he was living in a police state. I suspect he talked to police when he should have said nothing. I had wondered if there was some other reason the police might want to give him a hard time, but those who know Ward know of no previous disputes with the police in Moultonborough.

Ignore the police state at your own peril.

For more information go to; Facebook, RidleyReport, WMUR and FreeWardBird.org

 

The War on Drugs II

February 25, 2010

The Tompkins County District Attorney, Gwen Wilkinson, promises transparency in the investigation of the killing of Shawn Greenwood. Then goes on to say in the Ithaca Journal story:

“This investigation will likely end up as a grand jury presentation,” Wilkinson said. “It would be inappropriate for me to taint that process by sharing a lot of details. But I am going to share with you what I can.”

Which is to say, ‘I’ll tell you things I want to tell you but you’ll only get details if there is an indictment and trial’. This will always be the problem when the government is left to investigate its own actions. Grand juries need independence from the District Attorney. Will the grand jury be allowed to report their findings:

  ยง 190.25 Grand jury; proceedings and operation in general.
    4. (a) Grand jury proceedings are secret, and no grand juror, or other
  person  specified in subdivision three of this section or section 215.70
  of the penal law, may, except in the lawful discharge of his  duties  or
  upon written order of the court, disclose the nature or substance of any
  grand  jury testimony, evidence, or any decision, result or other matter
  attending a grand jury proceeding. For  the  purpose  of  assisting  the
  grand jury in conducting its investigation, evidence obtained by a grand
  jury  may be independently examined by the district attorney, members of
  his staff, police officers specifically assigned to  the  investigation,
  and  such  other  persons  as the court may specifically authorize. Such
  evidence may not be disclosed to other persons without  a  court  order.
  Nothing  contained  herein  shall prohibit a witness from disclosing his
  own testimony.

    6. The legal advisors of the grand jury are the court and the district
  attorney,  and  the grand jury may not seek or receive legal advice from
  any other source. Where necessary  or  appropriate,  the  court  or  the
  district  attorney, or both, must instruct the grand jury concerning the
  law with respect to its  duties  or  any  matter  before  it,  and  such
  instructions must be recorded in the minutes.

That pretty well tells you that the grand jury is just another organ of the state. The purpose of a grand jury is to investigate corrupt government officials as well as standing guard over the People’s right not to be railroaded into court proceedings.

There is a piece in the article that brings to mind a very important point:

In clothing marked with police insignia and badges clearly displayed, the officers approached Greenwood’s van, which was parked but running in a parking spot in front of the liquor store entrance, Wilkinson said. When they identified themselves and tried to persuade him to exit the van, Greenwood resisted arrest, drove over a curb and hit a Dryden police officer with the front of his van. The officer was thrown onto the van hood, then off the hood a few feet onto the grass in front of the van, she said. Officers on both sides of the van screamed for Greenwood to stop as he continued to accelerate toward the downed officer.

The front of the van apparently went over the officer, and Bangs fired his service pistol at Greenwood, Wilkinson said. The incident took about three seconds, and though reports vary, Bangs may have fired three rounds, she added.

“At that moment in time, Sgt. Bangs had to make a decision about the employment of lethal force,” she said. “He made his decision, he discharged his service weapon, and Mr. Greenwood was struck by bullets.” The shooting followed officers’ attempts to pull Greenwood from the vehicle and Taser him, she added.

Now it may just be a reporting style but most people will report an incident in chronological order. I’d really like to here the details of this Taser attempt. Without the details I have to wonder if the victim was in fact shot with the Taser. If he was shot with the Taser he might not be responsible for the accelerating vehicle. I don’t like speculating. We need facts.