Marple was arrested as he was campaigning for re-election at the polls in Hooksett, on a “failure to appear” charge relating to a charge for driving while his license is suspended. Marple believes he is not subject to the motor vehicle regulations, as they only apply to automobiles used for commercial purposes. He has citations to back his case (click for PDF of his legal brief filed with the court), but so does the state’s prosecutor.
It’s one of the most interesting cases in recent memory because for a long time we’ve heard all manner of similar claims to what Marple is saying, but virtually none of the courtroom theorists like him have any evidence they’ve actually tried their theories. (Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall I was arrested in Keene district court for “contempt” a decade ago for trying some unusual legal theories out.) At his last appearance, in front of a full courtroom of average court victims, Marple got away with things for which most people would be arrested for “contempt”. Friday, he once again refused to cross the bar, and raised his voice with judge M. Kristin Spath multiple times. However, this time the court scheduled the hearing for 3pm on a Friday when no one else would be around to see it. Thankfully, liberty activists had been given a heads-up the night before, so a small crew headed up from Keene to witness and record the hearing:
The thing with these legal theories is that beyond the scant evidence of anyone actually succeeding with them, is that the court and the government at large does not follow their own rules. The legal theorists’ main presumption is that the state does follow their rules, and when they don’t, the theorists are surprised when the guilty verdict comes in, the contempt charges come down, and handcuffs go on.
When the theorists who tried out the theories (usually alone in court and without any recording) consult their legal theory gurus, the gurus inevitably say that the person must have made a mistake and didn’t utter the right magic words at the right time. If by some miracle their case is dismissed, until someone else can duplicate the results, there’s no way to know if the case wasn’t just dropped because the hassle wasn’t worth the prosecutor’s or court’s time, rather than the drop being the result of the uttering of some magic words.
Marple’s special because he’s actually applying the theories in court and has communicated to us that he wants coverage, so we’re getting some really unique footage of these ideas actually being tried. His trial’s slated for January 23rd at 1:30pm at Concord district court, unless the judge agrees with his argument and drops the case. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.