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The First Amendment - not just for Muslims

Reader comment on item: Radical Islam's Hypocrisy

Submitted by Gloria Stewaart (United States), Jan 26, 2005 at 15:28

Before we start celebrating Dale Ehrgott's relatively light sentence, let us look at the implications. Mr. Ehrgott was entirely within his first amendment rights in his actions. He should never been indicted, must less put on trial. When the trial ended in a hung jury - actually the jury should have rendered a verdict of not guilty and offered to send the government attorneys a copy of the Bill of Rights - Mr. Ehrgott should not have accepted a lighter sentence. He should have asked for a dismissal of charges or a new trial . There is no shortage of public interest law firms that would have acted on his behalf pro bono.

Do you want the following precedent: The government, acting out of a political agenda, indicts a person for what is protected speech? No one wants a trial and its fiscal and psychological costs. The person may plea bargain to community service and a small fine. The next person with knowledge of the precedent, may forgo his free speech. After a while, kiss the first amendment goodbye.

Gloria M. Stewart

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