Three crooked politicians named United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates (above), Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence R. Sommerfeld and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin E. Sanders have nothing better to do than to continue to try to punish a couple of motorcycle enthusiasts named Sean King and Howard Brown – apparently because King and Brown refused to be human props in the stage managed spectacle of Yates, Summerfield and Sanders’ war on motorcycle clubs.
You have probably read this before. If you have, you probably can’t believe you are reading this again. Deal with it. Federal “justice” happens.
King, Brown and an American Outlaws Association regional club officer named Larry McDaniel were all prosecuted, not once but twice, for obstructing a federal proceeding after McDaniel ordered that patches and other items in the clubhouse of the Cleveland, Georgia chapter of the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club should be repossessed. McDaniel had learned that the chapter had been infiltrated by an undercover FBI agent and additional informants. Brown was the Georgia President of the Black Pistons. King was an Outlaws patch holder. Both men helped collect club insignia from members of the Cleveland chapter.
A federal judge dismissed the original case against the men after deciding that none of them had actually committed a crime. Then the government indicted the men again for obstructing the investigation. The government persisted even after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FBI investigations are not court proceedings in August 2013. A judge dismissed part of the indictment last May. The rest of the indictment was dismissed in late September after a judge ruled the prosecution had failed to prove its case before a jury at trial. One of the defense attorneys said, “The Government’s legal foundation for this case was based upon a gross extension of the statutory language beyond reason.”
What Is Reason
Of course the case was beyond reason.
The point in a federal case like this one is not to arrive at justice, or lawfully punish someone for committing a crime. The point of cases like this is to short circuit the Fifth Amendment and the ancient concept of due process by using prosecution as a form of punishment. Victims targeted by the government are punished with home invasion, assault, slander, public shaming, pretrial incarceration and draconian fines that take the form of bonding fees, asset forfeiture and attorney fees. King and Brown both had to pay about $15,000 up front in order to secure actual, competent council – rather than some two-bit pettifogger who survives by ingratiating himself to narcissists like Yates, Summerfield and Sanders. And the ordeal is never speedy. This case has been going on for 28 months, not because it is a complicated but because Yates, Summerfield and Sanders intend to advance their careers by denying their victims justice.
In October, the two wronged men filed a motion for the reimbursement of their legal fees, citing a law called the Hyde Amendment which authorizes federal judges to reimburse innocent defendants “where the court finds that the position of the United States was vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith.”
The government replied to the motion last month in a shameless, sophistical document that complained that because King and Brown had behaved legally the government ““was not able to bring the additional charges or indict the new targets it had anticipated it would charge.” The motion complained about “the contempt for law enforcement permeating throughout the outlaw club.” Finally the motion argued that the government need not “justify its prosecution.”
King’s lawyer, Adam M. Hames, replied to the government’s reply last Friday. Largely, he argued that, in this one case, prosecutors had clearly misbehaved.
One of the more interesting passages in his rebuttal, a recitation of fact that reinforces the argument that prosecutions are intended to punish without due process, reads: “Finally, yesterday the Government agreed to return a significant amount of the property seized from the Atlanta Chapter Clubhouse. Such evidence included pictures of deceased members, memorials to deceased members, patches, mirrors, clocks, t-shirts that were for sale, club jewelry, a Santa Claus riding a motorcycle, and other memorabilia. None of these things had any evidentiary value at all. Yet they were seized by the FBI and kept for two years without any real justification. None of these items were or could have been admissible by the Government in their case against these defendants. However, some of this evidence was exculpatory, but was not turned over.”
The motion filed last October might not be enough to reimburse King and Brown for a small part of the grief they have endured over the last two and a half years. A Georgia attorney who has looked at the case told The Aging Rebel:
“This motion has only a slight chance of actually being successful. No one remembers anything like this since the Richard Jewel case and that predated the Hyde Amendment. Even if Judge Story grants the motion, I do not know if the Government will write a check or appeal. The Government has a long time in which to make that decision. The local Assistant United States Attorney has to write a memo to the local Deputy U.S. Attorney. If he wants to proceed he has to write a memo to the U.S. Attorney for the District. If they still want to proceed, the U.S. Attorney has to write a memo to the head of the criminal division. If the criminal division wants to proceed then they run it past the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. As you can imagine this process takes time. Given Ms. Yates ambition to move up at Justice, I would expect that the leaning would be towards appealing any award of fees or costs.”