[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.
Contact: Rhoda McKinney-Jones
<mailto:rmjwriter at sdpconference.info>rmjwriter at sdpconference.info or
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 couldnt 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.
Pinkneys 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 ministers religious and civil rights. Before
a full courtroom of supporters and Rev. Pinkneys
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 That probation was revoked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 Pinkneys 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.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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