Detroit jury finds Terry Jones guilty of breach of peace for attempted protest outside Islamic center

posted at 8:25 pm on April 22, 2011 by Allahpundit

He wanted to protest outside the Islamic center in Dearborn but the city refused him a permit, fearful that some local Muslim might go nuts as a result. So they put him on trial, with the jury asked to determine what they thought his intent would be in holding the protest. If they thought his aim was peaceful, he’d be found not guilty; if they thought he meant to incite violence, then guilty as charged. Verdict: Guilty. Which means not only was this guy convicted of a speech crime he hadn’t yet committed (a.k.a. prior restraint), but it was only a crime in the first place because of the expected reaction from his opponents. In other words, it’s a de facto codification of the heckler’s veto.

The judge, likely recognizing the problems with the verdict, set Jones’s “peace bond” at all of $1. Jones refused to pay it on principle and was summarily carted off to jail. And now here we are:

The jury had been debating since 3:30 p.m .Thursday. The main issue of the trial was whether or not Jones’ main purpose was to say or do something that would incite violence. They came back with their verdict shortly after 6:30 p.m…

At the start of the trial, prosecutors presented their arguments before the jury. They argue that a protest outside the mosque in Dearborn would pose a significant safety issue. They argued that there is concern from authorities that someone may get hurt…

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad also took the stand to testify in the case. Chief Haddad denied the permit request that would allow the protest to take place outside of the mosque. He testified that there were concerns over safety. Terry Jones also questioned Chief Haddad. He referred to a conversation he had with the Chief and asked him what his impression was after they had met. Chief Haddad responded that Jones was cordial and did not appear to be violent in nature.

In case you’re unclear on whom they expected violence from, a little clarity:

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad testified today that there have been at least four serious threats made against Jones from metro Detroiters, arguing that his protest could lead to violence if allowed…

Speaking at a McDonald’s restaurant down the street from the courthouse, Jones — who’s defending himself — said he thought the proceedings are going well. And he said the government’s case was weak.

As he spoke, someone drove down Michigan Avenue yelling “Get out of Dearborn, you terrorist!”

I’m dying to hear constitutional lawyers weigh in on this, especially given the case’s superficial resemblance to the famous Skokie ruling. A state can criminalize speech that incites a riot, but those laws typically apply to incidents where a speaker is urging people on his own side to engage in violence. In order to convict him, you need to prove that he intended violence — which was what the Detroit jury looked at here — and also that violence, based on the circumstances, was imminent and likely. But even if you can prove both elements, prosecutors are typically limited to trying people after the protest has actually happened; finding a breach of the peace before the protest has occurred is a totally new one on me.

The other constitutional doctrine at play here, which I’ve written about before, is the “fighting words” exception to the First Amendment, which is an utter travesty and which has been used by the Supreme Court only sparingly over the years precisely because it’s so susceptible to abuse. The money quote from the famous Chaplinsky opinion:

There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

It’s the heckler’s veto, in other words. If you say something that’s so offensive to someone that, gosh darn it, they just can’t help but be violent in response, you can go to prison for it. Again, though: Typically you have to say something before you can be charged. Jones didn’t get a chance here, thanks to the state’s utter panic in shutting him down before one of the locals could run amok in outrage at whatever he had planned.

And so it came to be that this guy, a bona fide book-burner, is well on his way to free-speech martyrdom thanks to a state judicial system that’s (a) too stupid to realize that it’s brightening his spotlight by trying to silence him and (b) sufficiently concerned about Muslim violence itself that it ends up supporting part of his message. Wouldn’t surprise me if being sent to jail for trying to protest here was his goal all along.

Update: Semi-related: Remember the New Jersey transit worker whom Chris Christie fired for burning a Koran? He’s got his job back, along with $25,000 for his trouble. Quote: “This is the very essence of the First Amendment.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

During their closing arguments the lawyer for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office argued, “Just because we have the first amendment doesn’t mean you can say anything or do anything at any time.”

?

tetriskid on April 22, 2011 at 8:27 PM

I’m dying to hear constitutional lawyers weigh in on this

He “acted stupidly.” — Constitutional-Scholar-In-Chief

itsnotaboutme on April 22, 2011 at 8:29 PM

“Just because we have the first amendment doesn’t mean you can say anything or do anything at any time.”

That’s technically true — see my point about the “fighting words” doctrine — but it’s a creepy thing for a prosecutor to say, especially in a case involving prior restraint.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM

So if I send death threats to Code Pink, THEY all go to jail? AWESOME!

Ronnie on April 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM

This guy is a nutcase but this verdict is just wrong on so many levels.
God help and preserve our republic…

OmahaConservative on April 22, 2011 at 8:31 PM

This is so wrong I can’t even speak….beside myself.

Minorcan Maven on April 22, 2011 at 8:32 PM

This is the new law – don’t offend Muslims, and don’t claim to have rights

Defector01 on April 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Just because we have the first amendment doesn’t mean you can say anything or do anything at any time.”

And who might I ask makes that determination?

The first amendment is dead in Detroit.

derft on April 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Unreal. So, the Muslims run Deathborn. What country do I live in?

conservative pilgrim on April 22, 2011 at 8:34 PM

We need to stop pretending that Islam and Christianity are the same thing. I am an atheist, but I am not crazy. I can see what Islam does and how it creates a culture that naturally gives rise to the Koranic duty of Jihad wherever it shows up.

This would never have happened if he was going to burn a Bible outside of a church.

sharrukin on April 22, 2011 at 8:34 PM

And so it came to be that this guy, a bona fide book-burner, is well on his way to free-speech martyrdom thanks to a state judicial system that’s (a) too stupid to realize that it’s brightening his spotlight by trying to silence him and (b) sufficiently concerned about Muslim violence itself that it ends up supporting part of his message. Wouldn’t surprise me if being sent to jail for trying to protest here was his goal all along.

-
However… The short term effect will be that rallys against Obama, or even not explictly pro-re-elect Obama… could fall under this ruling. Beware the legal system that shuts down peaceful protest because it might hurt someones feelings.
-

RalphyBoy on April 22, 2011 at 8:36 PM

I’m dying to hear constitutional lawyers weigh in on this, especially given the case’s superficial resemblance to the famous Skokie ruling.

Allah, here’s what volokh.com has to say about it:
http://volokh.com/2011/04/21/jury-trial-tomorrow-about-whether-koran-burner-has-to-post-a-bond-beforehand/
http://volokh.com/2011/04/22/dearborn-jury-holds-terry-jones-may-be-barred-from-organizing-rally-outside-mosque/

He seems to think it’s clear that this is unconstitutional, and that the courts will reverse.

tneloms on April 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Is the “Minority Report” out on this yet?

karl9000 on April 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM

So if I send death threats to Code Pink, THEY all go to jail? AWESOME!

Ronnie on April 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM

That is the basic “logic” behind this ruling. Outrageous!

JannyMae on April 22, 2011 at 8:38 PM

It’s okay to scream at mourners at soldiers’ funerals though. If you even think about going near a mosque we’ll throw you in the clink!

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Oh, and stay away from Abortion clinics. That’s a no-no too.

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Update: Semi-related: Remember the New Jersey transit worker whom Chris Christie fired for burning a Koran? He’s got his job back, along with $25,000 for his trouble. Quote: “This is the very essence of the First Amendment.”

That’s good to know. Doesn’t look good for Christie though. And Coulter supports him for prez? Oy vey.

conservative pilgrim on April 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

By this standard, when does the trial start for what is being said — what we all know is being said — inside that mosque on a daily basis?

Rational Thought on April 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I’m no expert in this context, but I thought the fighting words doctrine was limited to personal, face to face communication where one individual is insulting another (e.g., “yo momma…”) resulting in fisticuffs. Does it appropriately extend to a protest or speech not aimed at any particular individuals? Just curious…

Firefly_76 on April 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Is the “Minority Report” out on this yet?

karl9000 on April 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM

We are still waiting for Tom Cruise to bring back the important one…so until then…no reports. Or reliable ones anyway.

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

You need to make the insult first. But this is Michigan, where the cops can pull you over and download the contents of your smart phone w/o a warrant and no reasonable suspicion.

Memo to Christian Michiganders, if Piss Christ comes to your state, threaten a riot.

rbj on April 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Sure seems like this whole country is just one word, one remark, one glance and one spark from total civil breakdown. There have been other clashes of Christians vs, Muslim in Dearborn and America better decide if Sharia Law is going to prevail.

fourdeucer on April 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM

This is the new law – don’t offend Muslims, and don’t claim to have rights

Defector01 on April 22, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Breaking: Christians flood courthouses across the nation on Monday in anticipation of new Detroit precedent.

Rovin on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

They are making this idiot a first amendment martyr. This is protected 1st amendment speech, period. End of story. If you can burn an American flag, you certainly can burn the Koran.

neoavatara on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

I bet they would never find the unions guilty of breach of peace.

WoosterOh on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Memo to Christian Michiganders, if Piss Christ comes to your state, threaten a riot.

rbj on April 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Or just get out while you still can.

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Does it appropriately extend to a protest or speech not aimed at any particular individuals? Just curious…

I think their fear is that a crowd would gather around Jones during his protest and that something would happen then. So it would be face-to-face.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Doesn’t surprise me. This is the same state that will take your kids away if you refuse the get them vaccinated.

Now that’s what I call Freedom.

/

jawkneemusic on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

to*

jawkneemusic on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Okay here’s a conundrum. I intend to call Allah a beta mail which might make him violently mad. BUT he is actually a Beta male and won’t do crap. Are those fighting words if the person being insulted is too weak or unwilling to get violent?

Rocks on April 22, 2011 at 8:44 PM

So I guess we better stop making fun of those Europeans who give in to Islamic threats and sharia law.

We can just go to the bathroom mirror when we want to do that!

sharrukin on April 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Breaking: Christians flood courthouses across the nation on Monday in anticipation of new Detroit precedent.

Rovin on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Update: Jesus subpoenaed

Rovin on April 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I think their fear is that a crowd would gather around Jones during his protest and that something would happen then. So it would be face-to-face.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

And then we cut to the “reasonable person” standard. Sure, Jones would be endangering himself, but if a reasonable person would conclude that he wouldn’t be endangering anyone else, the way this should be resolved is clear.

gryphon202 on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

I think their fear is that a crowd would gather around Jones during his protest and that something would happen then. So it would be face-to-face.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

That’s why police forces have big budgets and crowd control training.

I guess now that we’ve moved straight into the Bench determined pre-crime era, we can save a lot of money…

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

I can’t STAND it… Breach of Peace??

So why can’t we find the Westboro Baptist Church guilty of “Breach of Peace”??!!?

Joy on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Would Jones have been guilty if he announced he was going to post the exact same things he intended to say on the internet using a computer in a building across the street?

Rocks on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Okay here’s a conundrum. I intend to call Allah a beta mail which might make him violently mad. BUT he is actually a Beta male and won’t do crap. Are those fighting words if the person being insulted is too weak or unwilling to get violent?

Rocks on April 22, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Replace ‘Allah’ with ‘Christians’ and you have your answer.

sharrukin on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

So has the ACLU weighed in yet? The silence is deafening.

karenhasfreedom on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Everywhere on earth that is under Islamic rule is a hellhole. This is not a coincidence. When they emigrate from their home countries they set up conclaves elsewhere that resemble what they fled from in the first place. I live in the area and Muslims do run Dearborn.

Let it be a lesson to the rest of the country. Islam is incompatible with the western way of life. We need to understand that and adjust our immigration policies accordingly.

echosyst on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

So,protesting Military Funerals is okay…and….

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Patterico covers some of the legal issues and cites Forsyth v. Nationalist Movement when he opines that Dearborn doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Socratease on April 22, 2011 at 8:48 PM

I think their fear is that a crowd would gather around Jones during his protest and that something would happen then. So it would be face-to-face.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Hmmm. But wasn’t the fighting words doctrine about the after-effects, e.g., a person is arrested because the fight resulting from the “fighting words” caused a breach of the peace and the arrested individual complains that arresting him for that infringes his first amendment rights to hurl insults?

Seems to me you have to first hurl the insults and the fight or breach of peace must actually ensue, which gets back to your point about prior restraint.

This theory literally disembowels the first amendment entirely.

Firefly_76 on April 22, 2011 at 8:49 PM

So has the ACLU weighed in yet? The silence is deafening.

karenhasfreedom on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Actually, they’re watching the case closely and I read even had a representative in the courtroom to observe the proceedings.

I suspect they’ll be stepping up to the plate shortly.

ButterflyDragon on April 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM

So has the ACLU weighed in yet? The silence is deafening.

karenhasfreedom on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

karenhasfreedom: I left you Jerome Corsi`s interview on
CoasttoCoast,on the QOTD Thread!!:)
======================================================

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/20/quote-of-the-day-611/#comments

Page 3,at,
————
canopfor on April 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Patterico covers some of the legal issues and cites Forsyth v. Nationalist Movement when he opines that Dearborn doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Socratease on April 22, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Well hell, if you’re going to look quite simply at how the Westboro Baptist debacle was handled, then why are we even having this argument?

gryphon202 on April 22, 2011 at 8:52 PM

I think their fear is that a crowd would gather around Jones during his protest and that something would happen then. So it would be face-to-face.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 8:43 PM

I could be completely wrong, but I thought the First Amendment was designed to protect people who might want to speak out against violent mobs? Wasn’t that part of the “peaceful assembly” thingie in there?

If people are assembling to promote violence against someone who is speaking, well, that’s illegal. Not the speech.

ButterflyDragon on April 22, 2011 at 8:53 PM

That’s the last we will see of Free Speech kooks (free speech too but it is worth it’s loss not to sadden/anger Islam)

That mosque in the emirate of Dearborn is pretty impressive. It is comforting to know the mad man Jones is imprisoned for his presumed thoughts at this very moment. Now there can be outreach and compensation for the victims.

BL@KBIRD on April 22, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I hesitate to say this but Jones is genius. He has unmasked Islamo-fascism for what it is, pulled the pants down on the cowardly appeasers and demonstrated that the Religion of Peace is a fraud, a farce and a source of predictable mindless violence. I tip my hat to you, Sir.

Mason on April 22, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Sure seems like this whole country is just one word, one remark, one glance and one spark from total civil breakdown. There have been other clashes of Christians vs, Muslim in Dearborn and America better decide if Sharia Law is going to prevail.

fourdeucer on April 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Oklahoma passed a ballot measure by %70 (SQ 755) banning Sharia.

U.S. district Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ordered the state board of elections not certify the election.

The SQ and the will of %70 of the people was then overturned by Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange.

tetriskid on April 22, 2011 at 8:55 PM

If people are assembling to promote violence against someone who is speaking, well, that’s illegal. Not the speech.

ButterflyDragon on April 22, 2011 at 8:53 PM

It sounds to me like this is being done on the grounds that it could jeopardize someone’s safety. I don’t see how it’s any different than those WBC goons.

gryphon202 on April 22, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Based on the decision Jones was required to submit a peace bond. The judge set the bond at $1. He also ordered that neither Jones nor his associate could enter the property of the Islamic Center of America or the area surrounding it for 3 years.

3 years??? WTF!?!?!?!

Rocks on April 22, 2011 at 8:56 PM

I suspect they’ll be stepping up to the plate shortly.

ButterflyDragon on April 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Yeah right! they’ll jump in the way N.O.W. jumps in to protect Sarah Palin’s children.

Rovin on April 22, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Wouldn’t surprise me if being sent to jail for trying to protest here was his goal all along.

Is anybody else starting to get the strange feeling that this guy knows exactly what he is doing…and it may actually be good for the Constitution that he’s doing it?

I know it’s fashionable among the conservative blogosphere to preface every statement about him by saying he’s obviously a Christan religious fanatic and an attention-whore who should be ashamed of himself and isn’t helping anybody but himself…but he’s doing a pretty good job of taking a snapshot of state of ‘British like’ leftist PC right now that most bloggers could spend years explaining…and he’s doing it in a few days.

I don’t think he picked Detroit by accident and his willingness to go to jail over $1 pretty much shows he’s playing a serious game.

Time to give some credit and say he’s doing something useful here…now we know who (and more importantly, who doesn’t) get to exercise their first amendment rights in this country.

AUINSC on April 22, 2011 at 8:59 PM

I could be completely wrong, but I thought the First Amendment was designed to protect people who might want to speak out against violent mobs?

Why, I thought so too.

Allahpundit on April 22, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Good times!

BallisticBob on April 22, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I had heard stories about what has happened to Michigan and I guess now they’re confirmed.

FloatingRock on April 22, 2011 at 9:03 PM

For those criticizing the ACLU, they filed an amicus brief on Jones’ behalf and they apparently intend to represent him on any review, according to volokh.com

Firefly_76 on April 22, 2011 at 9:04 PM

An Open Message to Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad
********************************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEWgno8uFoE

From
=====

Arab Festival 2010: Dearborn Police Defending Islam against the Constitution
Jun 21, 2010
***************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smw9QuH1xkA&feature=related

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 9:04 PM

The SQ and the will of %70 of the people was then overturned by Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange.

tetriskid on April 22, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Incredible, an attempt at how incredible would be beyond my ability to remain rational. Happy Good Friday everyone and Happy Easter.

fourdeucer on April 22, 2011 at 9:05 PM

finding a breach of the peace before the protest has occurred is a totally new one on me

Just think of how many people can be arrested for what they MIGHT do.

On another note, how come Westboro gets away with trashing funerals, but Looney Jones gets arrested BEFORE he does or says anything?

GarandFan on April 22, 2011 at 9:06 PM

If this stands up, we’re much further along the road than many of us thought…and the constitution really doesn’t exist anymore…except as an abstract thought experiment or formality.

AUINSC on April 22, 2011 at 9:06 PM

BTW, don’t think for a second this ‘standard’ applies to any lefty or Jihadist. It only applies to people who have certain beliefs (who don’t, btw, advocate assault or beheading others as a matter of religious or political creed).

AUINSC on April 22, 2011 at 9:08 PM

I notice crr6 is strangely absent. Does she disagree with the ACLU?

Firefly_76 on April 22, 2011 at 9:10 PM

I’m beginning to think Jones is pure genius. People look at the funny mustache, and our Christophobic media say, “Oh, he’s one of those fundamentalist nutjobs” and they write him off.

The guy is playing them like Perlman with a Strad.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the guy eventually ends having his protest at the mosque — and preaches a peaceful “Jesus loves you” sermon that never mentions Islam.

Hilarious.

CJ on April 22, 2011 at 9:10 PM

The thought crime will become a reality as soon as the technology allows. And it will be a tool used only by the Left.

keep the change on April 22, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I notice crr6 is strangely absent. Does she disagree with the ACLU?

Firefly_76 on April 22, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Last I checked she was busy debating the merits of Ayn Rand in a headlines thread.

gryphon202 on April 22, 2011 at 9:12 PM

So,protesting Military Funerals is okay…and….

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM

If this goes to SCOTUS Dearborn loses.

CWforFreedom on April 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Getting dangerously close to the courtroom scene from “Idiocracy”.

lowandslow on April 22, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Americas willingness to surrender free speech made its dazzling first appearance when it refrained from the unpleasantness of printing a few cartoons lest the awesomeness of Islam be flustered. This silencing will make it official.

BL@KBIRD on April 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Getting dangerously close to the courtroom scene from “Idiocracy”.

lowandslow on April 22, 2011 at 9:14 PM

BRAWNDO!

tetriskid on April 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM

The thought crime will become a reality as soon as the technology allows. And it will be a tool used only by the Left.

keep the change on April 22, 2011 at 9:11 PM

It doesn’t require any technology at all if courts can just decide that having a thought or idea is a crime.

In other words, we have arrived.

AUINSC on April 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM

I wonder if part Michigan’s problem are that the illegal aliens dropping the terrorism manuals on the border tend to conglomerate there. Perhaps it’s time for a sweep of the state.

CurpliTium on April 22, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Terry Jones,speaks,U-Stream!
===================================

I will tell you this: Islamic law (Sharia) cannot, must not, and will not have its way over our free speech. That is worth fighting for, worth dying for.

UPDATE: More on this outrage…….

Pamela Geller, Big Government: Islamic Law Comes to Dearborn
Fri April 22 2011
*****************

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

*Pay attention to the Muslim’s screaming at him,Jones that is!!

*’Your NOT WELCOME IN OUR COMMUNITY’!!

*’You are a MACHINE with NO FEELINGS’!!

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 9:20 PM

The lesson is:

Threaten violence at any criticism and then you can silence that criticism.

CWforFreedom on April 22, 2011 at 9:21 PM

When prop 8 passed out here in California all of the gay activists protested outside mormon churches. I guess the mormons should have gotten all crazy and threatened violence and then the gay activists would have been arrested for breach of peace and put on trial. Right? Yeah, right.

This incentivizes violence.

JohnInCA on April 22, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Every time a non-Muslim anywhere in the world draws a breath, it’s a “breach of peace”.

Mr. Wednesday Night on April 22, 2011 at 9:22 PM

How soon before we need predator drones over Dearbornistan?

profitsbeard on April 22, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I know it’s fashionable among the conservative blogosphere to preface every statement about him by saying he’s obviously a Christan religious fanatic and an attention-whore who should be ashamed of himself…
I don’t think he picked Detroit by accident and his willingness to go to jail over $1 pretty much shows he’s playing a serious game.
AUINSC on April 22, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Agreed. Some of the right’s eagerness to condemn may reflect exhaustion at the rabid left’s abuse of rights, in their design to tear the country apart. It is the same sort of thing with Bush Derangement Syndrome. The lies of the left made many resent even principled criticism of Bush.

Feedie on April 22, 2011 at 9:24 PM

The lesson is:

Threaten violence at any criticism and then you can silence that criticism.

CWforFreedom on April 22, 2011 at 9:21 PM

The Left is going to make great use of this. “We’re going to riot over anything Rush or Glenn say. . .”

rbj on April 22, 2011 at 9:24 PM

He should have done something much less offensive…like shouting about how God hates at a funeral. That’s completely protected.

DrAllecon on April 22, 2011 at 9:24 PM

So if I send death threats to Code Pink, THEY all go to jail? AWESOME!

Ronnie on April 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM

hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh, in this decidedly un-funny situation.

Alana on April 22, 2011 at 9:29 PM

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 8:47 PM
================
If this goes to SCOTUS Dearborn loses.

CWforFreedom on April 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM

CWforFreedom:What A mess!:)

canopfor on April 22, 2011 at 9:29 PM

This jury should be laughed out of the courtroom, this is what happens when you stop teaching people what the Constitution says. If this gets to the SCOTUS (and it might since Jones has refused to just pay and go away) they will rule for Jones based on the Westboro Baptist case just decided and Brandenburg v Ohio (1969) case which is still standing precedent and established the “imminent lawless action” clause. In order to charge someone with a crime for something they say, the state must prove that they or the persons they are inciting (encouraging) are in the position of perpetrating imminent lawless action.

Govgirl on April 22, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Guilty, $1 and, 3 years of not stepping onto the Mosque property — how nice…

Gohawgs on April 22, 2011 at 9:31 PM

This incentivizes violence.

JohnInCA on April 22, 2011 at 9:22 PM

It sure does.

The Framers were extremely wise and the people currently charged with enforcing their work, not so much.

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2011 at 9:32 PM

I can’t STAND it… Breach of Peace??

So why can’t we find the Westboro Baptist Church guilty of “Breach of Peace”??!!?

Joy on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

When Westboro stops badgering non-Muslims who no one expects to react violently and starts badgering Muslims who everyone knows *will* react violently, things will be different.

Midas on April 22, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Sadly ironic that, on the day Christians mark the Crucifixion of Christ after a rigged trial, the state of Michigan has crucified the First Amendment with an equal amount of due process.

RhymesWithRight on April 22, 2011 at 9:35 PM

When prop 8 passed out here in California all of the gay activists protested outside mormon churches. I guess the mormons should have gotten all crazy and threatened violence and then the gay activists would have been arrested for breach of peace and put on trial. Right? Yeah, right.

JohnInCA on April 22, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Um, no, because gays are higher on the liberal food chain than Mormons, so it would’ve been the Mormons being arrested.

If Mormons threatened violence against Christians, both would be arrested.

The conundrum will be when Muslims threaten violence against gays. It’s going to happen, and the libs head’s are going to spin trying to figure out what to do. I suspect they’ll *want* to support the gays, but they’ll be *afraid* of the Muslims, so the Muslims will probably win that coin toss of justice.

Midas on April 22, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Memo to Christian Michiganders, if Piss Christ comes to your state, threaten a riot.

rbj on April 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I belive that it was destroyed in France recently by some offened French citizens.

darwin-t on April 22, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Verdict: Guilty. Which means not only was this guy convicted of a speech crime he hadn’t yet committed (a.k.a. prior restraint), but it was only a crime in the first place because of the expected reaction from his opponents

“I am finishing my coffee..”

Caper29 on April 22, 2011 at 9:39 PM

I keep going over this, but all I can come up with is: A man was sent to jail because he planned to hold a protest.

He was SENT TO JAIL because he wanted to hold a protest.

Alana on April 22, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Living in a suburb of Detroit I can tell you there was no way he was going to win. Dearborn is a Muslim state within the state of MI.

Bullhead on April 22, 2011 at 9:40 PM

So why can’t we find the Westboro Baptist Church guilty of “Breach of Peace”??!!?

Joy on April 22, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Because the people at the soldiers’ funerals who are subjected to the Westboro creeps’ offensive speech don’t threaten to riot and murder them, that’s why.

I wonder if Jones was hoping to get sent to jail so that he could then file a civil lawsuit against the city for violating his Constitutional rights. I hope he does, and wins millions!

This reminds me of the “flying imams” case from a few years back, when a bunch of imams deliberately behaved suspiciously on a plane in the hope of getting thrown off so that they could then sue — which they did, and the airlines paid them off. Seems to me that Jones may just be taking a page out of CAIR’s own handbook. If so, more power to him, because what’s going on in Detroit is outrageous.

AZCoyote on April 22, 2011 at 9:40 PM

I missed the “Unless Muslims are offended” exception to the First Amendment. Let me read my Constitution again.

amerpundit on April 22, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Jones didn’t get a chance here, thanks to the state’s utter panic in shutting him down before one of the locals could run amok in outrage at whatever he had planned.

Dhimmis.

A sane government would back up the First Amendment with ICE and the National Guard.

Feedie on April 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Allah – you are right – this is almost exactly like the Skokie case and we know how that one ended. Nazis had the right to protest (though I didn’t like it). It was backed by the courts.

HondaV65 on April 22, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Nazis had the right to protest (though I didn’t like it).

HondaV65 on April 22, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Dang I though for sure you were all for the Nazis …you know being a rightie and all.

/

CWforFreedom on April 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM

I think Terry Jones is about to become a very rich man.

Courtesy of Detroit taxpayers.

HondaV65 on April 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM

We need to stop pretending that Islam and Christianity are the same thing. I am an atheist, but I am not crazy. I can see what Islam does and how it creates a culture that naturally gives rise to the Koranic duty of Jihad wherever it shows up.

That’s just not true of all Muslims, any more than it’s true that all Christians will turn the other cheek. Yes, there is a violent — and let’s agree very popular — strain of Islam that poses the dangers you mentioned. We should be careful about condemning something like a third of the population of the world based on their religion, though. Historically, that has led to some horrifying things.

This would never have happened if he was going to burn a Bible outside of a church.

sharrukin on April 22, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Or attend a march in Spain, say.

RightOFLeft on April 22, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3