Ademo Freeman was quickly ordered caged today at a sentencing hearing at Manchester district court for his charges from the Chalking 8 arrests. Just under two dozen supporters came out to Manchester to have lunch with Ademo, support him in court, and chalk the entryway to the Valley Street jail after he was taken into custody. Ian Freeman reports from Free Keene:
If you’ve been reading the blog in the last few months, you may have seen Ademo’s piece/video where he updates us on the situation surrounding his chalking arrest from Manchester last year. In short, the “superior” court there sent a hearing notice to the wrong address – an address that doesn’t even exist, and so Ademo was unaware of his pending court date, and therefore missed it. Ademo has never missed a court date. He would not have missed this one – especially since he’d requested it! He was trying to get a “de novo” (from the beginning) trial in front of a jury since a robed man had convicted him in a bench trial. He figured he’d have a chance to convince a jury of his innocence.
Well, not only did the court send the hearing notice to the wrong place, but Ademo could prove it and he filed motions in both district and “superior” courts to correct their error and re-set the trial date. The motions were denied.
So, to recap, all the courts need to do to screw you out of a jury trial is send a notice to the wrong address! Apparently their mistake counts against you.
When a case from “superior” court is kicked back (“remanded” in legalese) to district court, the original sentence is imposed. That’s what Ademo expected to happen today, though others including me thought that it would be insane for the court to do that, especially considering the error was so clearly the fault of the “superior” court clerk.
Sure enough, Ademo was immediately ordered into the custody of the sheriff’s deputies to be taken to the Manchester jail on Valley Street to begin serving a two month sentence. The robed man, Lyons, told Ademo that he could not do anything to help him and that he could appeal the “superior” court’s decision to the “supreme” court. Should he try to appeal, he’ll probably be out before the “supreme” court gets around to even docketing his case! Ademo offered him the evidence that proved he was not at fault and pointed out that Lyons did not have to send him to jail.
Lyons did anyway. He didn’t even apologize.
The crowd erupted in disapproval, saying things to the bureaucrats like “you should be ashamed” and generally expressing outrage at this insane, inhumane system, as the court thugs came to cuff and take my friend away to a cage.
No one was harmed by Ademo’s actions at any point. The court system made clear once again that they will do as they please and will not be held accountable for their injustice.
How many more people’s lives are they destroying that don’t have the benefit of two dozen friends and activists coming to support them at their trials? Countless. The courts and jails are chock full of peaceful people who have never done anyone harm. The jailers and court staff know this, but they keep going through the same oppression day in and out. It’s a job, after all. Right and wrong need not be considered.
Ademo will be in jail until further notice. In theory he should be out sometime in late August if he gets 2/3 good time, however he also has a jury trial coming up in early August for three counts of “wiretapping” where he recorded phone conversations with Manchester school and police bureaucrats. He faces 21 years in prison for trying to hold bureaucrats accountable.
Video of today’s travesty of justice to come. Stay tuned to FreeKeene.com for the latest. Meantime, you can write to Ademo in jail via the handy service, Mail-to-Jail.com! If you appreciate all that MTJ does to connect you to imprisoned liberty activists in NH, consider donating via the options in the right panel of their site.
Another overview of Ademo’s caging today has also been posted at CopBlock.org.