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james_nicoll
Peter Watts Found Guilty

Toronto author Peter Watts has been found guilty of assaulting, resisting and obstructing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer.

Jurors returned the verdict today in St. Clair County Circuit Judge James Adair’s courtroom. He faces up to two years in prison when sentenced April 26.

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Aw, CRAP.

Not good. Not good at all.

I assume he can appeal?

More lawyers fees :-( Time to send in another cheque…

Yes. Appeals are much more expensive, and you enter the process with the presumption of guilt.

Maybe now that the case is over, the FOIA request for the video footage can go through.

I haven't been following the trial -- did the defense not request the video?

Without knowing the facts, I point out that, as I understand it, it doesn't matter if he was justified or if we would not think of it as assault, resisting, or obstructing.

What matters is whether his actions could be satisfactorily construed as such under the terms of the statute and the precedents and case law surrounding the statute. (The word "satisfactorily" has to include which judge and jury heard the case: what is satisfactory for one judge and jury might not be for another.)

It's a sad thing, though.

That's not actually True under trial law as I understand it. The Jury always has the right to consider the circumstances. The Prosecution, and many Judges do not like Jury nullification, but it is an accepted part of trial law.

It's something that the Prosecution are entitled to say is true however, and they often do in their summing up.

Well, you can either get in trouble trying to come in (Cheryl Morgan) or trying to leave (Peter Watts). It's no wonder that in spite of what I consider to be beneficial changes in overall leadership that the USA is not a country I feel safe visiting even though I have done nothing that would get me in trouble theoretically.

I guess the lesson here is keep your head down, do not make eye-contact, and remain submissive towards the CBP at all times, or they will beat you up and get you convicted for assaulting their fists with your head. Something I will have to keep in mind when I next visit...

Mind-boggling... just freaking mind-boggling.

And my wife wonders why I do not want to go to the USA for any reason.

So, the takeaway for this is after you've been beaten by law enforcement personnel, if you don't then crawl before them, you can be maced and then charged with a felony. Ugh.

Oh fuck. :(

tlönista

The Customs in Port Angeles WA were bound and determined I went to Canada overnight to BUY perscription DRUGS instead of the wedding I went to, and they demanded in a very snarky voice to see my Perscriptions. I gave them the "if you want" and then they started to ask me what I paid for them .. which of course was nothing since they are all from the Veterans Hopsital Pharmacy.. just like the labels show. Talk about disappointed .. it made them even crankier.

That is distressing in itself.

This is awful. Awful news. Awful.

"“Is failure to comply sufficient for conviction?”"

Sadly there turns a point of law. :(




"E's got to be guilty or 'e wouldn't be 'ere."

Alternatively: "All hope abandon, ye who enter here."

Could someone dig up the actual statute he was convicted under, and post a link to it? I tried, but no luck.

I think its this:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-750-479

(or search Michigan MCL 750-479 if that doesn't work)

I am not positive that this was the statute, but he was tried in a Michigan court and the court docket listed "People of the State of Michigan vs. Peter Francis Watts" so it wasn't a Federal charge. And the possible two-year sentence fits in with the news story and the blogs.

Globe and Mail's coverage, with the obligatory warning that reading the comments section will result in tears and woe.

-- Steve's also looking at their earlier article on privacy and the border written in reaction to the arrest.

Huh, the tenses in that sentence seem perfectly clear to me. This whole comment thread is in reply to an article about a guilty verdict; if Derek and xiaphas were talking about attitudes from before the verdict they should have said so.

I'm guessing that you're replying to me, and got lost. What's perfectly clear is that Derek wants to bust up a sympathy party with some tough talking. What isn't clear is why he wants to do that.

I'm having trouble responding to this event without bursting into profanity and rage, which is why I haven't posted about it yet.

And your comments pages has exploded. *paf!*

Or, you know, "comments page" in the singular. *muffled secondary paf!*

What were they smoking?

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