Acquitted on all 13 counts of vandalism, jury says Jeff Olson should be free

Judge Howard Shore is dead wrong. Not a single media report ever said it was likely that Olson would be sentenced to 13 years in prison but that is the possible sentenced he faced under California law. Judge Shore had the discretion, under California law to sentence Olson to 13 years in prison and a $13,000 fine for exercising his First Amenment rights. The fact that such a sentence was unlikely, or that he never intended to impose such a draconian sentence, is besides the point. It was possible, and would have been legal which is what fueled the outrage. His self-serving post-verdict rationalizations are meant to mask the fact that he made a mockery of the Constitution by becoming the first judge in the United States to issue an order specifically prohibiting the words ree Speech"and First Amendment¨ from being mentioned in a court room and then issuing a general media gag order. His insinuation that the jury was influenced by media publicity is an insult to the jurors and the entire jury system. If the City Attorney didn´t intend for such a draconian sentence to be a available to the judge as a sentencing option, than why did they overcharge the case in the first place? Because Jan Goldsmithś intent was to send a message to protestors that dissent the establishment finds offensivewill be suppressed with the full force of the law. But it is the people who sent a message to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and Judge Howard Shore. Both should be removed from office at the voters earliest opportunity.
— July 2, 2013 6:18 a.m.

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