George, while filming the outreach event, was originally arrested and charged with felony assault on a female Court Security Officer (CSO) which, according to witnesses, he didn't do. This charge carries an eight year sentence. The conditions of his release after two days in federal custody included house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet, turning in his passport, and his firearms. By the time of his initial appearance hearing on June 22, 2010 the charges had been reduced to misdemeanor simple assault and two Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) violations . (Legally, CFRs are somewhat equivalent to parking tickets.) In the end George was forced to "voluntarily" agree to a plea bargain in which he plead guilty to a CFR concerning disobeying a federal law enforcement officer on federal property. All other charges were dropped.
This was a travesty on many levels. The three activists were merely exercising their right to inform juries that they can judge the law as well as the facts of a case. This is commonly known as jury nullification and is a clearly established legal principle. A jury may find a defendant not guilty even though the law has been broken for whatever reason, including not agreeing that what the defendant did should be illegal. Naturally, the government doesn't like this fact and apparently doesn't like the information about it getting out.
Continuing, George's attorney, Paul Hetznecker, stated that they were acceding to "modification of the facts" to arrive at the agreed upon version of the event. Which brings up the question, why do the facts need to be modified in court proceedings? The naïve may think that courts seek the truth, experience teaches us the opposite.
Ignored during this whole process was the fact that the government's story kept changing. There were two complaints filed with differing sworn statements made by the same CSO, Enrique Trevino. Both alleged that George assaulted a CSO. The final "agreed to" version of the incident makes no mention of any assault. In a rational court these facts alone would have gotten the case dismissed. After all, the prosecution presented no evidence. They deleted George's video of the incident and even though there are surveillance cameras outside the courthouse they presented none of their own.
On a lighter note, Jim Babb, who was present in front of the courthouse when George was arrested, confronted Trevino after the trial calling him a liar. This lead to threats of arrest for harassment and got us all evicted from the fourth floor, where the courtroom is located.
We regrouped in the lobby to wait for George who was in a conference with his lawyer. As we waited our friend Trevino walked by. Jim began loudly speaking about the immorality of their lies and actions, questioning whether they had consciences, and asking how can they sleep at night. Trevino sarcastically answered "very comfortably".
After a while George appeared with his lawyer and the two of them accompanied by Jim Babb and myself went into the back room to recover his, George's, stolen property. Raw footage of the taking out of the guns can be seen here.
George left immediately after the trial to attend to family matters. The rest of us went to a nearby restaurant to eat, drink, and go over the events of the day:
An observation about the whole affair. The people involved in the federal legal system may truly believe themselves to be standing up for what's right. To be defending themselves, and therefore us, from evildoers. This is pure rationalization on their part. The system serves itself and those that are part of it at the expense of the rest of the world. They are driven by fear to create a situation in which they rule only by force and lies. They, not some foreign fanatics, are the true enemies of liberty.
Some insightful protester modified a sign outside the courthouse to better reflect their priorities. Your became our: