[Ppnews] Rev. Pinkney Denied Right to Attend His Own Hearing

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jun 11 13:15:23 EDT 2009


via: Rev. Pinkney 
<<mailto:banco9342 at sbcglobal.net>banco9342 at sbcglobal.net> & Sister Marpessa
=============

Subject: Michigan Pastor Denied Right to Attend his own Hearing

SAMUEL DEWITT PROCTOR CONFERENCE, INC.

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June 10, 2009

Michigan Pastor Denied Right to Attend his Own Hearing

A Michigan judge ruled this week that the Rev. 
Edward Pinkney, a Benton Harbor minister and 
longtime vocal community activist who recently 
served 13 months in jail couldn’t attend his own 
hearing in Grand Rapids before the Michigan Court 
of Appeals. Rev. Pinkney who is now under 24-hour 
house arrest and probation for quoting the Bible 
was requesting to be released from his home 
monitoring system so he could be present for his day in court yesterday.

Pinkney’s case has gained the attention of the 
ACLU, religious and social justice groups 
throughout the country who feel his treatment and 
sentencing of 3 to 10 years, is not only 
excessive, but it is also a gross violation of 
the minister’s religious and civil rights. Before 
a full courtroom of supporters and Rev. Pinkney’s 
wife, his attorneys presented their arguments and 
now await an Appellate Court ruling that could 
take months. Meanwhile, a Michigan Supreme Court 
ruling on whether Rev. Pinkney should be denied 
the right to leave his house without court approval is expected any day.

Rev. Pinkney led a successful recall election 
effort against a prominent politician in response 
to a land grab deal involving the Whirlpool 
Corporation. As a result of these social activist 
efforts, he was originally arrested for a charge 
of voter registration fraud and was eventually 
placed on probation. That probation was revoked 
and Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to jail because 
the judge perceived that Pinkney’s citing of 
Biblical scripture (Deuteronomy) in an article he 
wrote questioning the ills of racism and an 
unjust judicial system were direct threats. As a 
result, the Judge ruled Pinkney forfeited his 
first amendment protection and sentenced him to 3 – 10 years.

Benton Harbor is the poorest community in 
Michigan with a long history of racial and class 
injustice. In the last few weeks there have been 
rallies of community unity and support for Rev. 
Pinkney and protests against the detailed and 
extensive list of probation conditions to which 
he must adhere. Not only is Pinkney confined to 
his home, but he also must pay the cost of his 
monitoring system, which is $105 weekly. The 
following probation conditions exist for Rev. 
Pinkney. He cannot be directly involved in any 
community organizing. He cannot preach or speak 
publicly at any church. He is not allowed to 
leave his home without permission and his ability 
to speak or write publicly has been severely limited.

The Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference has been 
working with other organizations and persons to 
bring awareness about the conditions of Benton 
Harbor and to get support for Rev. Pinkney. 
Support for Rev. Pinkney and the friends of the 
court brief include The National Baptist 
Convention USA, the Progressive National Baptist 
Convention, the Gamaliel Foundation, The Nation 
of Islam, the African Methodist Episcopal Church 
and the National Action Network, National Black 
United Front and the State of the Black World.



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