Bernard von NotHaus was convicted. There's very little information available, regarding the details of the trial.
There was one article mentioned in the mainstream media, for local news. It probably was a press release by the prosecutor, parroted by the State media.
This FBI press release was offensive.
Along with the power to coin money, Congress has the concurrent power to restrain the circulation of money which is not issued under its own authority in order to protect and preserve the constitutional currency for the benefit of all citizens of the nation. It is a violation of federal law for individuals, such as von NotHaus, or organizations, such as NORFED, to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.That's false. Following that reasoning, it's illegal to use gold and silver as money. It's illegal for me to tell people to use gold and silver as money, whenever possible.
According to that press release, bitcoin is illegal.
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”I guess that makes me a criminal.
It's illegal to advocate for nonviolent resistance? When I hear prosecutors talk like that, it makes me want to join a militia. If nonviolent resistance is illegal, then there's no reason to be unarmed.
If I did join or start a militia, several of the members would probably be undercover cops. Unfortunately, organizing a militia doesn't work. If you prepare to defend yourself from State thugs, they will assault you.
This leads to the famous quote "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Whenever I read a press release by a prosecutor or judge, it's a clear indication of how evil State thugs are. This is the first time I've heard a prosecutor explicitly say "Nonviolent resistance is illegal." (It's indirectly implied by the way "victimless crimes" are enforced. It is a new low point, that a prosecutor explicitly said so.)
How about infiltrating and dismantling the Federal Reserve? That's a greater threat to economic stability than anything NotHaus ever did.
The jury deliberated for only 90 minutes. That's disappointing. Can you imagine being sentenced to 15 years in prison, after the jury deliberated for only 90 minutes?
If you're 67 years old and sentenced to 15 years in jail, what incentive is there to peacefully report to prison? It's effectively a life sentence.
I don't like the Liberty Dollar. You'd be an idiot to pay such a huge premium to spot silver. However, I would have voted "not guilty".
NotHaus' biggest mistake was "The Liberty Dollar sort of looks like State-issued money." A really stupid person might think that the Liberty Dollar was State-issued money.
Nobody goes to jail for "criticizing the government". According to that FBI press release, criticizing the current form of government is illegal.
Once a prosecutor decides you're a criminal, he'll insist on strict enforcement of every law. Even if NotHaus wasn't convicted for that, prosecutors would have found something else.
The State is one huge criminal conspiracy. Once you realize this, you have a moral obligation to avoid supporting evil. Most people who criticize the State wind up in jail. Once you realize the State is evil, you try to avoid taxes and you boycott the State's paper money.
Once a prosecutor decides you're a criminal, you're SOL. An overzealous prosecutor probably could decide I'm a criminal based on my blog. It'd be rough on the judge and prosecutor and police, because I don't have the body language of a criminal. I'd be clearly pointing out to them, that they're evil. However, if it's a priority, especially if I get a wider audience, they'll kidnap and torture me.
If you tell a policeman or judge "WTF? This is unfair!" They'll respond "Everyone says that." State thugs become desensitized the the emotions of their "customers". It's probably pointless, to try and convince them that they're doing evil.
I don't understand why NotHaus used a public defender. He should have represented himself. A criminal trial is stacked against the defendant anyway.
His public defender did a good job. NotHaus was convicted!
There are a couple of reasons to go pro se instead of using a public defender or lawyer:
- I can read people well now, and should be able to pick people who might vote "not guilty".
- If I do a lot of speaking, I can develop a more personal connection with the jury.
- You need to emphasize that the jurors have to give a straight acquittal or hang. If the jury gives a "compromise verdict", then the judge can do an "upward departure" from sentencing guidelines based on the counts they convict.
- If you're going to be convicted anyway, at least you save $50k-$100k+ on legal expenses.
- A pro se defendant can more easily mention "jury nullification", compared to when you use a lawyer. Even if the judge finds you in contempt, you were going to jail anyway when the jury convicts you. If the judge interrupts you, then you can point out to the jury that it's not a fair trial.
However, if you're jailed for months/years pending trial, and tortured, it could adversely affect your ability to coherently represent yourself.
I'm disappointed that Bernard von NotHaus was convicted. I'm not surprised.