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Chalk it up to the jury — not the judge — for chalking acquittal

Jul 03, 2013 Chalk it up to the jury — not the judge — for chalking acquittal

If you have not before decided that the United States’ criminal "justice" system is overcriminalized, look no further than the recent San Diego vandalism prosecution against chalk protestor Jeff Olson.

How can chalking be a crime, when it just washes away with the rain? How could Olson’s judge have barred his lawyers from arguing that Olson was exercising his First Amendment rights?

What comes next? Bans on political t-shirts in no-protest zones on government property?

Praised be Olson’s acqutting jury for recognizing the tyrannical nonsense in this prosecution.

Praised be San Diego’s mayor Mayor Bob Filner — who apparently has no control over the prosecutor’s office — for decrying the prosecution as "stupid" and a "waste of money." Filner told chief prosecutor Jan Goldsmith that Olson’s prosecution is "an abuse of power that infringes on [the] 1st Amendment." The Los Angeles Times says Mayor Filner "was a civil rights activist in the 1960s, a Freedom Rider in the Deep South, arrested and jailed in Mississippi. He is often distrustful of entrenched authority and large corporations."

The trial judge issued a gag order barring the parties from discussing the trial while it was ongoing, and Filner kept talking. The Los Angeles Times reported that Filner kept talking. If only all politicians stood up this resoundingly for civil liberties.

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