Last Friday I got an email from Brandon Ross, my awesome pro-bono attorney, who informed me that Michael Valentine – who works as the District Attorney for Hillsborough County – has charged me with three felony wiretapping charges. Yes, these are the exact same charges as I was previously convicted of but were overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this month.
The evidence of the defendant’s willful mental state at the time he recorded the conversations was far from overwhelming. Thus, there is the very real prospect that the jury would have returned different verdicts had it been properly instructed. Cf. United States v. Paul, 37 F.3d 496, 500 (9th Cir. 1994) (finding the plain error test satisfied where the district court improperly instructed the jury on the different mental state requirements of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, for in doing so the district court “created a substantial risk that [the defendant] was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, even though the jury may have believed the killing was neither intentional nor extremely reckless”). To allow the convictions to stand under these circumstances “would seriously affect the fairness and integrity of judicial proceedings.” Guay, 162 N.H. at 384. Accordingly, we reverse the convictions and remand for a new trial.
It’s like deja vu all over again. The last blog I wrote for Free Keene detailed how the MPD had chosen to ignore the constitution in favor of the enforcement of a city ordinance, specifically a park curfew. This time they’re using a zoning ordinance about signs to squelch protest.
July 18, 2013 was National Chalk the Police Day. Several Keene activists went to Central Square, and then to the sidewalk in front of the KPD “Satellite Office” across the street from the Square. Those who attended chalked pro-liberty messages, and had some pleasant conversations with people walking through the area. And, it wouldn’t be Chalk the Police without an interaction involving a Police Officer.