Burke Shows Mercy in Victimless ID “Crime” Sentencing (Full Video)


Edward Burke

A name change costs just over $100 through the probate court in New Hampshire.  It involves a simple form and a super fast hearing in front of a judge.  (So fast it was over just after I got my camera rolling!  Literally, less than 30 seconds.)  However, when you are a known activist with a message of ending the idea of the violent monopoly state, a simple name change could get far more expensive.  This one is going to cost 100 hours of community service, plus having a year of jail hanging over my head for two years,  the arrest, bail conditions, and time blown in court.

While judge Edward Burke of Keene district court should have dismissed the ridiculous case against me for victimless ID “crimes” outright, he ultimately issued a sentence today that from his perspective, made sense to lay out.  The state police prosecutor asked for a $500 fine, 60 days in jail, and 10 months suspended.  Since I was facing two “class A misdemeanors”, Burke could have gone draconian and hit me with two years in prison.  Ultimately, after statements from me and my business partner Mark Edge, Burke sentenced me to 100 hours of community service (50 per charge) and hung twelve months in jail over my head for two years.

His sentence was also smart from Burke’s perspective because it still appeases the state’s power over others while at the same time disincentivizes me from appealing the case to a de novo (“from the beginning”) jury trial.  Why not appeal?  Well, it was my plan to appeal if I was hit with significant jail time (more than a couple weeks). Consider my experience in 2011, where despite beating one of my two charges at a jury, the robed man there sentenced me to a 50% greater sentence than Burke had for both of the charges at the initial bench trial! So, jury de novos have their own risks, at least until NH statute can be changed to prevent de novo trial judges from sentencing harsher than bench trial judges.

Burke has in recent years made some pro-freedom rulings when he threw out the outrageous “NO TRESPASS FOREVER” order banning from the entire Cheshire superior court property several liberty activists (including myself) as written by the Sheriff.  Burke later tossed out the illegal no trespass issued against Graham Colson by the “city of Keene”, banning him and others from Central Square.  I am grateful that he denied the state’s request for jail today as I will now be able to take care of my senior family member and my growing radio show and network rather than sit in a cage.

I learned some important things today.  Namely, that character witnesses can be motioned for in advance (it may be possible to just bring them without notice) and they are subject to cross-examination.  Also I learned that if you are in court often enough and you have made it clear that you refuse to pay fines to the state, Burke won’t even mention it as an option.  This is a smart move on his part, because it prevents me from announcing to the court audience my refusal to pay fines.  In this case, there were a couple of people still left in the court that I didn’t know and were presumably awaiting a case, though the courtroom had been mostly cleared of cases before my hearing.

More takeaways from this case: Besides the violent way the state police acted over a paperwork error (and their subsequent bragging to the media about my arrest), it’s worth noting that I did not hire an attorney nor did I take a plea.  Strangely, the state did not offer a plea deal, not that I would have taken it if they did.  Since I did not hire an attorney, I saved thousands on the case.  Now, in theory an attorney could have done a better job, but there’s no way to compare apples-to-apples to know for sure how the attorney would have done instead.  Ultimately I’d only have brought in an attorney for the jury trial, because had I been facing significant time in jail, bringing in a professional for the “de novo” trial would likely help reach a jury more effectively, and of course attorneys are better at objections and the legal process in general.

Thank you to all who came out to watch and support me!


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  1. It’s sad that they feel they must perpetuate the illusion of the state! Honestly, how many logical fallacies do the antagonists have to glom onto to come to these ridiculous conclusions that turn the only aggressor in the situation into the “victim” in their very weak little minds… It just blows me away! Sad you were served with any sort of sentence, but happy he didn’t throw the full might of the state at you for a completely NON-CRIMINAL act.

  2. LoL … shut the fuck up, you pathetic douchebag.

  3. so, I’m kinda new to this, but you must be part of the stopfreekeene welcome schmucks… so I guess I’m officially welcomed now… haha…

  4. He’s just mad that his fearless leaders didn’t give Ian a two year prison term.

  5. Yeah I figured as much…

  6. Was this a plea bargain? You should have taken your own advice and done the time like a good little activist.

  7. It wasn’t a plea bargain, and he does more good on the outside.

  8. Why don’t you try to make him, pathetic pussy?

  9. “Now, in theory an attorney could have done a better job, but there’s no
    way to compare apples-to-apples to know for sure how the attorney would
    have done instead.”

    Ah, the Dunning-Kruger effect evidenced again.

  10. congrats!

  11. Holmes this is just scraps Burke and Kennedy toss us now and then. Chuckie . affleck has lost his holmes ..dey serve the system

  12. Yes, it was a plea bargain, Ian could have asked for a jury trial for lesser but probably knew he’d be going to Shawshank and get auctioned off the “sisters”.. So, yup ….Plea Bargain, he took it.

  13. No. Pleas happen before trial. I went to trial and was found guilty. You may want to read up on court procedure.

  14. No. Pleas happen before trial. See above post.

  15. Keene Guy is a Coward who ides behind a keyboard and threatens people.

  16. I should take back all of those things I said about Judge Burke.

  17. “does more good on the outside?” care to supply some examples of the good thing Ian Bernard/Freeman does on the outside please? And I don’t mean things that benefit Free Keene or FSP, but things that shows he contributes to everyone in Keene.

  18. Well to be honest were all probably guilty of that at some point.

  19. Sorry to be a troll state but don’t play the violence game have more fun with them than that. I hate them buts lets Troll with some more class. I’d say something like “KeeneGuy has a huge boner for Ian and just wants to fantasize about them being together in prison.”

  20. Most attorney’s in my experience just tell you to plea bargain. I would have moved for a different judge or attempted move the different area claiming concerns of bias. Appealing at this point means the state will try to seek the full two years most likely.

  21. Depends on your definition of good, care to elaborate? If you mean following the state like mindless cattle and paying taxes likes a slave, than yeah he is a total failure.

  22. This is America folks. All of this over paperwork. We used to abhor this kind of treatment of people by their government. In fact, the US government has sent young men to die fighting this in other countries and now, some people in Keene seem to be cheering for it. Those same people probably cheered when the wall came down in Berlin and some them likely think US involvement in WWII was absolutely necessary for human freedom. How terribly oppressed those people over THERE were when they were being stopped randomly, searched and asked to provide all their gov’t issued paperwork to prove who they were, or face arrest. But as long as it’s packaged in good ol’ red, white & blue, these people eat it up.

  23. lol!

  24. I’m sorry, but the simple fact that you are incapable of comprehending that less violence, or threats thereof, is a good thing, does not negate the fact he alone has probably done more than most to advance freedom in our lifetimes… he is human and is capable of making mistakes, I’m pretty sure we all have erasers on our pencils… I appreciate what he has done, and hope that as he continues his work, others will continue to follow in his footsteps, ignoring the authority of the state every chance given until they are completely irrelevant or are relegated to “will do work or provide service for a voluntary exchange of mutually beneficial ‘value'” Instead of the “give us x% of your blood sweat and tears each day or we will throw you in a cage and shoot you dead if you try to resist or stop us from doing so” current paradigm…

  25. lol, comprehension skills are not present with this one… just another smoker of jack booted thugs cocks, who I guess just loves being a serf to the kingdom of we will take from you what we want, and you will keep what we allow you to, when we feel like it.

  26. some states your first request to move is granted without question, and rightfully should be ANYWHERE, but this is just more proof of how the system is rigged not to side with lady justice, but rather with the aggressor in most cases (being that the state is the aggressor in almost every case it claims to be the “victim”)

  27. Yeah that is true and a big problem to overcome. You should check out Randy Strouds page called Sovereign Tactics. I absolutely do not guarantee that anything he says will work and there is a good chance you will be found in contempt. It really depends on how you do it and what kind of judge you get. He has some interesting legal arguments you can try to do before you take any plea. Like I said its very risky as you don’t know how the judge will respond as no one ever does this.

  28. “Strangely, the state did not offer a plea deal”

    Well, that says ist all. The prosecutor wanted your incarceration badly. Normally, everyone gets offered a plea deal.

  29. yeah, I’m not too keen (no pun intended) on the whole “sovereign citizen” thing, which is what that sounds like… I just don’t think there’s any magic words you can say in court, especially when the first rule in court is they are allowed to throw all the rules out and make up their own if they so choose… maybe that’s not what Strouds is about… but anytime I see sovereign that’s what I start to think…

  30. He doesn’t claim to be one as he thinks the word sovereign citizen is basically a oxymoron. He mostly promote the use of logic and the understanding legalese if yoru going to fight. Case law is mostly irrelevant unless its procedure law. Appeals courts and review boards are way more interested in procedure than case law violations.

    Stround looks at the courts from a contract perspective as most laws are treated as contract breaches instead of criminal harm… no real complaining victim. Stroud claims the best defense is to try and trick the court into agreeing ahead of time on what procedure is going to be used. The main goal is always to challenge the courts impartially and attempt to back the judge into a corner on common law court procedure. Problem is, judges and the state attorneys are pros at preventing you from doing this.

  31. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, long speech full of bullshit, fucking YAWN!!!! How about you run along and go eat up on some nut sacks.

  32. You need to take your own advice about reading up on court procedure Deputy Dip Shit. You really didn’t know that plea bargains can be made anytime during trial with the agreement of both sides to initiate the negotiation?

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