Keene’s Robin Hooders are heading back to the NH Supreme Court on November 9th at 9:30am for what should be the final round in a three-plus-year run through the courts. Robin Hooders are the activists who have made international headlines for saving thousands of innocent motorists from parking tickets in the small city of Keene.
The city’s persecution of the peaceful activists has failed at nearly every legal turn. In its first visit to the NH Supreme Court, only one aspect of the city’s case was sent back to the superior court for review. The city gang then lost again at the superior court level and are now appealing that most recent decision to the Supreme Court. (You can read both sides’ legal filings here.)
The NH Supreme court has already decided the allegations of “tortious interference”, “civil conspiracy”, “negligence”, and the demand for financial compensation were unfounded and the activities engaged in by the Robin Hooders are protected by the first amendment.
The appeal is for the NH Supreme court to look ONLY at the lower court’s ruling regarding the request for the “buffer zone” injunction. The court will hear oral arguments from heroic free speech attorney Jon Meyer and the city’s expensive tax-paid private attorneys on 11/9 at 9;30am. (The city’s attorneys are claiming they’re taking this case pro-bono, but that’s only after they charged the city likely over $100,000 for the first three court hearings.)
Here’s a Facebook event for the hearing – hope to see you there!
However, when asking each commission member what they want to do, representative Barbara Biggie of Milford said her concern is that regulation will “snuff the industry, the cryptocurrency industry in New Hampshire and around the country, so I think we should stay out of it right now, regulating-wise”. Hunt asked Biggie if she’d sponsor a bill to repeal the lone existing regulation which authorizes the banking department to license businesses as “money transmitters” who transmit “convertible virtual currency”, and she said she would!
While banking department representative Maryam Torben-Desfosses claimed they are not considering Bitcoin Vending Machines or businesses or individuals who accept and spend bitcoin as “money transmitters”, that did not assuage the concerns of the bitcoiners in the room. Those who attended the previous meeting were surprised at Desfosses’ claim that attendees at the last meeting saw value in the banking department’s regulation. Just in case the state representatives also misremembered the last meeting’s public comments, the people at this meeting (which included new faces from last time) again spoke firmly against any regulation whatsoever.
It’s frequently said that working inside the system is a waste of time, but in New Hampshire many state reps will listen to you and showing up and being heard absolutely made a difference here. That said, we need more liberty-oriented crypto-enthusiasts to move here and get active. Please join the Shire Society today and start planning your move to New Hampshire.
The report details the investigations of each state rep and though they believed they had a case for “dry conspiracy” charges against both former-cop-turned-LEAP speaker Lachance and Tasker, they used their discretion and decided not to charge them. The report specifically cites jury nullification when giving their explanation as to why they aren’t charging Lachance – that’s great news for activists who’ve been doing jury nullification outreach here in the Shire for years.
Jury nullification is the long-held right of jurors to vote their conscience, regardless of what the law says and the facts in the case are. Though Lachance clearly broke the law, each juror has the right to acquit simply because they believe the law is bad. It’s a powerful right and courts around the country as well as the federal courts will do everything they can to keep jurors from knowing about it. However, here in New Hampshire is established court precedent that not only can jury nullification information be given to jurors outside the court, but even defendants and attorneys can explain nullification during trial!The NH attorney general doesn’t like jury nullification, as it’s a threat to their power. They appear however to have realized that the changing political tides regarding cannabis legalization plus jurors’ awareness of nullification would likely mean they were wasting their time prosecuting Lachance. They also say in the report that a jury would likely reject “dry conspiracy” charges for Tasker as well (who is facing various felonies for other victimless crimes) and say his other charges will suffice to, “hold him accountable for his drug crimes”. Of course, there are no victims in those “drug crimes” which include possession and sale of cannabis, MDMA, and mushrooms and so Tasker should also not be charged with them, and neither should anyone else.
That’s really the question here – if the NH AG acknowledges that cannabis charges are likely to not pass a jury due to nullification, then why don’t they treat every person caught with cannabis the same way they did the state reps? The reason is they know most people will quietly take a plea deal and further, if they don’t take the deal, they can drop the charge to a class B misdemeanor which means the defendant can’t get a jury trial, virtually guaranteeing a guilty verdict and hundreds of dollars (per victim) flowing to the state’s coffers. Cannabis prohibition means big money for the state gang, so they’ll keep charging the little people until the law is changed. Hopefully that will happen in 2017 if the new governor doesn’t stand in the way, whoever it ends up being.
The audience was filled with mostly liberty-friendly folks. There were a few lobbyists present, but the only one who spoke was Darryl W Perry of the new Liberty Lobby LLC. The overall message from the speakers was against any regulations whatsoever, and the chairman of the committee, Representative John Hunt of Rindge, spoke favorably of the free market and seemed against any regulations. There was only one real proponent of regulation, Maryam Torben-Desfosses. She was representing the NH Banking Department and it’s her job to regulate, so it’s no surprise she was there speaking in favor.
The goal of the commission is to either recommend for or against regulation of cryptocurrency. After hearing from several speakers, the commission scheduled its next meeting for October 6th at 10am, room 302 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
David Brooks of Granite Geek has a good preview writeup of the meeting on his site with a full article coming. Here’s the full video:
When I embarked on my Presidential Campaign, I did so with three goals in mind: 1) to run the most libertarian presidential campaign in history; 2) to proclaim the ideas of liberty as boldly and as often as possible; and 3) to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote for an actual libertarian in November.
I am pleased to report I accomplished two-thirds of the goals I set for my campaign. I ran the most consistent libertarian campaign to date, and I took every opportunity, including my well-received Concession Speech, to promote the ideas of liberty.