Greetings to all! To those who are following the Trial of Rich Paul, the saga continues. . .So much gratitude is going out to each individual for the overwhelming flood of loving support for Rich that is flowing his way! It has come in many forms, food, prayers, visits, mail, cash, paypal, bitcoins, oh my! Most important has been the activism supporting Rich with juror outreach and education, and the independent media coverage done by Rich’s friends right here in Keene, where history is being made and the world is able to watch thanks to them! A very special thank you goes to Ian Freeman for the incredible feat of filming the entire trial! Please tune in to this documented display of this cast of prohibition enforcement characters weaving a tangled web in the attempt to make a martyr out of Rich Paul.
Ian also did juror outreach every day of the trial (and for the last five years!), filmed Rich’s jurors as they left the courthouse after the verdict, and also filmed Rich’s interview from jail and posted it on vice.com. Thank you also to vice.com for covering Rich’s story before the trial began, and for also posting the interview with Rich from inside the jail.
As for any local NH newpapers covering this, thank you to the Manchester Union Leader for linking to the ambush interview video with Special Agent Philip Christiana of the FBI, and linking to thedailychronic.com, where Terry Franklin wrote “Despite Guilty Verdict, Rich Paul victorious in NH” in which Rich is highly honored with the statement “Like Martin Luther King, the victory is in the righteousness of his stand.” No other mention has been found in any of the NH newspapers, including the local Keene Sentinel which has been notified and has chosen to deem this story unimportant, so far. An important suggestion was made on how to get Rich’s story covered by the NH papers, thank you to David Ridley for his youtube.com video, FBI vs. Rich Paul. If we draw attention to the fact that the day after the Boston event of April 15th, the FBI’s Philip Christiana, a bomb specialist for the Boston region, was not in Boston, but was in fact sitting on the stand testifying against Rich Paul, then perhaps the NH papers may find enough of a story to deem this important! When I say “testifying” I really mean perjuring himself, multiple times, blatantly, and then just refusing to answer questions under oath, at which point Christiana was allowed to leave the stand, not charged with perjury or contempt of court, off to possibly attempt more blackmail and entrapment of other Free State Project individuals or who knows? Drawing attention to these behaviors and terrible tactics makes them much less likely to succeed, because this is not the first time the FBI has chosen a Free Stater as political target, so it may not be the last. Exposure is effective, sadly at great cost and personal sacrifice for Rich.
To help Rich make it through this unknown, I keep sending positive energy to whatever outcomes the universe is sending us, believing all the while that there are more surprise endings in this story! We have watched this go from threats of an 81 year sentence, saying that no plea bargains would be offered if Rich refused to wear a wire, that he would go to jail for the rest of his life. Then he was offered a plea bargain of serving one year in the county jail rather than the state prison, followed by the last plea offered the day before Rich’s trial began, which was to just plead guilty to the felonies and not serve any time in jail. To accept any of these pleas would have been caving in on his principles, and Rich Paul is a man who stands for his principles all the way. In making his stand, Rich put many agents of the state on the stand, who were in the process exposed as excessive and expensive enforcers of laws that will not be on the books for much longer. After having to testify against Rich, the Cooperating Human Source Richard “Rat” Dupont, Jr. will likely not be able to continue his brief career as a Rat in the Keene area due to being exposed.
Good jurors nullify bad laws, bad jurors follow biased judges, uneducated jurors convict innocent neighbors, ignorant jurors cage peaceful peers, educated jurors acquit victimless charges, coerced jurors vote unanimous guilty, competent jurors comprehend hung verdicts, juries of conscience trump juries of executioners. . . “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” It’s true, it has been said, and immediately after the word “GUILTY” was announced five times by Rich Paul’s jury, Rich’s reaction to them was “I forgive you.” As the jury members walked to their cars to drive off with their freedom, I said to them, “I will say the same thing that Rich Paul said, I forgive all of you, and I hope you find it in yourselves someday for not letting a peaceful man go free.” Check out the video.
So was it a cruel and unusual twist of dark sarcasm from the universe that Rich’s trial happened the week of 4-20, and that his 4-20 was not spent at the Statehouse rallying with a hundred of his peace-loving friends, but instead was spent alone in a solitary cell with no phone calls or visits? Since I couldn’t make much sensimilla out of it, I had to sing some songs about it. . .
Jurors had to be given the chance to do the right thing, to acquit Rich, for just one out of twelve, or even twelve out of twelve, to say “Not Guilty.” If that had happened, a unanimous Not Guilty verdict or a Hung Jury verdict, then Rich Paul would be out of that cage right now, not a convicted felon, but a Freeman on the land. If each juror had a conscience of their own, they would each act like a true peer, and set their peers free from the court with the same rights that all peers have, to leave the country and travel freely, the right to vote, and the right to keep and bear firearms. These rights, which were granted by birth on this Earth, not by any Bill of Rights or words on paper, can be temporarily taken away by tyrannical governments, and ignorant jurors. Rich chose to give his jurors the chance to stand with him against tyranny, the chance to say that the law is wrong and to love their neighbor more than they love their laws. Let it be known that the true reasons for Rich refusing the pleas were to get a fair trial by jury, to face his accusers and expose the undercover agents of the state, to put forth the jury nullification defense, and to be cleared of all felonies protecting his right to keep and bear firearms. These rights are of such great importance to Rich that he would face 81 years fearlessly, at great personal risk and sacrifice, for which I greatly admire his mighty stand, and stand by his side every step of the way. Word even has it that Rich’s righteous stand is right now inspiring new movers in the Free State Project to move to NH now and be a part of this history in motion!
I can see the way the legendary tale will be told to future Shire generations to come, as Rich Paul’s crusade to keep his piece by peace becomes known as the second shot maybe not heard ’round the world, but sure heard around the keepers of the rounds, as they remember the tale of the first shot not heard, back during the storming of Fort William and Mary on New Castle island in Portsmouth NH. It was December 13, 1774 when Paul Revere made a less famous but crucial ride to let the locals know that the British were coming, this time not yet to Lexington Green but to the fort. So in response to the crisis, the locals stormed the fort on the nights of December 14th and 15th of 1774, and legend has it that these raids were not of mortal combat since amazingly these locals brought no gunfire or deaths on these British fort guards, and brought out their cannons and kegs of powder to use in their own defense against the British throughout the Revolution! What a tale! So in keeping their pieces by peace, they fired a shot not heard ’round the world, and Rich is now peacefully firing this shot. . .
When Rich gets his appeal, another jury of his peers will be chosen. Between now and then, many outcomes are possible! Since the verdict on April 18th, there have been post-trial motions filed, including a Motion to Reconsider Bail and a Motion to Reconsider Confinement Prior to Sentencing. The Cheshire County Superior Court has already responded to these motions, and much to our disappointment and sadness, the Court denied both motions, finding in the light most favorable to the state, of course. The state really has not proven that Rich is a flight risk, in order to justify his confinement, and deny him any kind of bail or bond. He was free prior to this trial for eleven months since his arrest last May, so there was plenty of time to take flight, and Rich is clearly not a flight risk. He faced his accusers, he faced his jurors, and now he is facing 81 years, fearlessly. It should not be within the discretion of a biased judge to say someone is a flight risk merely because they have been convicted of felonies, since there are clearly many convicted felons running around free. Bernard von Nothaus is one such person, convicted of so-called felony counterfeiting in March of 2011, and over two years later remains free to prepare his appeal while waiting for sentencing.
There has been another post-trial motion filed, called JNOV for Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict, which is very similar to a Motion to Set Aside Verdict, and we are still waiting for the court’s response on this. In this case, there is a strong chance that the “Guilty” verdict on one of the five charges will be reversed, which would dramatically reduce the number of those 81 years Rich is facing. The “Purported Sale of LSD” verdict is being challenged because the three elements of the indictment were definitely not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, no doubt about it. Anyone of reasonable mind listening to all of the facts, evidence, and law presented would have to come to a different conclusion, of “Not Guilty.” This leads to my conclusion that because this one charge was included in this trial with the four other charges, some of the jurors may have convicted Rich based on perception of mixed drug charges together, even though they heard no purporting of “LSD” spoken by Rich at all, and even though they heard clear proof that the substance was not even illegal.
A Motion to Sever Charges was discussed prior to trial, which would have made two separate trials, but was not a realistic option. Other attempts were made with Motions to Dismiss Charge filed the day before the trial and during the trial, after the state rested. Judge Kissinger denied those motions, finding in the light most favorable to the state, of course. He even accepted the testimony of the Rat (Richard Dupont Jr.) as that of an expert, as if the word of a three-time heroin dealer snitch is of any value when he told the jury that “acid” is always “LSD” in street slang. At least the two Lab Analysts who testified were asked to state their training and credentials to be accepted as experts. Most importantly, it was clearly stated that the 25mm size piece of paper analyzed by the lab was proven to be not LSD, but actually 2C-I, described as a research chemical known to produce hallucinations. At this moment in the analyst’s testimony there was an objection by the Defense, which was sustained by the Judge, who then ordered the statement stricken from the record. Kissinger also had another chance to dismiss the “Purported” charge in March during pretrial, after both lab analysts had appeared for depositions, and the testimony clearly states that the 2C-I is not outlawed by any Controlled Drug Statute, but he chose to proceed with the charge, in the light most favorable to the State, of course. Now this is not the first time the State has accused a friend of “purporting” the sale of something, which was in fact a lie intended to harm this friend. In that case, this friend ended up taking a plea instead of facing over 20 years, so we will never know how a jury might have perceived that false charge when presented mixed with a Marijuana charge also. In Rich’s case, he did not take any plea, facing 81 years, giving his jury the chance to see and hear the truth presented to them, and find him “Not Guilty” on at least the “Purported” charge. However, the Marijuana and “LSD” on trial together caused such prejudice that irreparable damage was done that was not curable by jury instructions, even if they had been proper, legitimate, and unbiased instructions, and thus Rich’s jury reached a unanimous verdict of “Guilty” on a crime not even committed. This will all change upon appeal with a new jury and a new trial.
When Rich’s appeal happens, it will be based on the grounds of the evidence issues in combination with the improper jury instructions by John C. Kissinger, who really should remove “Justice” and “Honorable” from his titles since he demonstrates neither. In fact, in the event of this appeal, it may even come to a Motion to Change Venue to leave behind the bias inherent in the Cheshire County Court system, especially since Rich has gained such local fame as the highly prominent founder of the 420 Foundation. We may never know if Kissinger or any of the jurors acted on a preconceived perception, so changing venues to a different court may be helpful to the overall outcome. We do know, however, that Kissinger should have studied his case law more thoroughly as he clearly neglected to follow suit from the case of State v. Aubert. Ian Freeman referred to this case in an earlier post on jury nullification, saying “the New Hampshire Supreme Court announced that if the defense puts forth evidence to support a theory of defense, the trial court must issue an instruction concerning that theory. Thus, because the law grants defendants the right to present a nullification defense, it follows that courts may be bound to instruct the jury as to the law of nullification.” As far as getting the appeal in order to remedy the improper jury instructions, Rich is being assisted by the Fully Informed Jury Association, who have graciously offered to file an amicus brief on Rich’s behalf to address this serious 6th amendment violation Rich’s right to a fair trial. Thank you to Kirsten Tynan for interviewing Rich right before his trial to get his heroic story out to the world, so please visit fija.org, and read the interview here.
Thank you also goes out to nhjury.com for the wonderful article about Rich’s story posted by Bob Constantine, who himself has quite a tale of jury nullification success that has inspired many. Check it out at nhjury.com.
In addition to the amicus brief as a very positive show of support for Rich, there is the potential for some individuals to testify at the sentencing hearing, to support Rich as character witnesses and in doing so strengthen his chances of being released on some terms at his sentencing hearing. This would a miracle that we are all wishing for right now! Once we finally know when the hearing is actually scheduled there will be more announcements, and coordinating with anyone who will be preparing testimony. We would all be so relieved to see the state go from their plea offer of no time served to another offer of no time, and we just never know what the state will come back with, so Rich needs all the help he can get. On another positive note, we have to look into the potential assistance of testimony by Richard Van Wickler, who is the current Superintendent of the Cheshire County Department of Corrections, and who is a well-known member of L.E.A.P. (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). Van Wickler has spoken with Rich before the trial, and there is the possibility that he may be able to speak on Rich’s behalf or to advocate for his release at the sentencing hearing. This would be an act so appreciated and so powerful in the message coming from the man who is in charge of the cage holding too many prisoners of victimless crimes, stating that this man, Rich Paul, deserves to be released from the cage to be free to work on his appeal. Thank you to Richard Van Wickler for his outstanding testimony at the Legislative Office Building in Concord on February 25, 2013, speaking in support of HB 492, relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana. Here is the video of his testimony.
So at this moment in time, when time is ticking toward Rich’s appeal, the two most incredibly helpful and appreciated ways to support him are to send Lawyers, no Guns, and Money! Well seriously now, we have lawyers, Rich needs to win back his right to a gun, and needs plenty of money to do it! Mail-to-jail.com deserves much gratitude for serving as the means in between to keep mail and donations flowing for Rich’s Commissary Fund and his Legal Defense & Recovery Fund. Letters from Rich are coming soon! So please visit mail-to-jail.com for the latest posts, and for any donations to Rich through paypal or bitcoin which are so greatly appreciated!
Letters to Rich can be sent to:
c/o Cheshire County D.O.C.
825 Marlboro Road
Keene, NH 03431
Checks or money orders can be sent and made payable to:
75 Leverett St.
Keene, NH 03431
So these are really the two most important ways to help Rich, with mail or money, and since he was taken to jail on April 18th he has been gifted a generous and growing amount of Bitcoins=3.7, Paypal=$52.80, and a phone account to call out. Thank you universe! We are visualizing an amount of funds in the realm of $5000-$6000 to raise for Rich’s attorney to prepare this appeal all the way. We have experienced miracles in visualizing these funds when last week, Rich saw $800 gifted to him to hire an attorney, followed right away by another $800 gifted in an incredible matching of funds! So it is quite miraculous that Rich is already about a third of the way to his goal for an appeal that he can win! At this rate, Rich will definitely reach his goal and get by with a little help from his friends!
Once the appeal is filed, apparently Rich can seek an appeal bond, and get released at that time, so that is yet another positive outcome that may yet come! So many ways this story can go, we never know! One thing is for certain, it will be a beautiful day when Rich Paul is walking out into the fresh air once again letting his “Freeeeeeedom!” ring!