Stanley Vows Appeal
by Ari Armstrong, July 25, 2002[Stanley's release and his reply to Armstrong are reproduced below.]
Rick Stanley vowed to appeal his weapons conviction after he chose to represent himself at today's sentencing hearing and argued the Denver court holds no jurisdiction over the case.
Stanley intentionally violated a Denver disarmament ordinance December 15. He was convicted of the misdemeanor charge May 16 (see http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/stanleygun.html). Judge Robert L. Patterson handed down a sentence of 180 days in jail but suspended 150 days of that time and allowed home detention for the remainder. Patterson put Stanley on a one-year probation with 75 hours of "useful public service" and assessed a fine of $500, plus $126 in fees. The conviction carried with it a maximum sentence of one year in jail and $999 in fines.
Stanley asked for a "stay of sentence pending all appeals," which Patterson granted.
About a dozen people attended the hearing, including Stanley's wife Pam, David Bryant, and Charlie Brennan of the Rocky Mountain News. Stanley alleged an initial delay represented "a lack of judicial respect for We the People" -- he had announced sentencing would start at 8:00 am, proceedings began around 8:55, and Stanley was called at 9:20. Patterson ejected one man from the court room for failing to stand as the judge entered. Five armed men from the Denver Sheriff's Department stood guard.
Paul Grant, who had served as Stanley's attorney since the arrest, presented a motion to withdraw from the case. In previous correspondence that Stanley publicized, Grant told Stanley he didn't want to handle the appeal but would work through sentencing if Stanley agreed. Stanley decided to take over at sentencing (see http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/07/shorts19.html).
Patterson said it was his recommendation that Stanley retain Grant as counsel. He said it "might not be in their best interests" for defendants to handle their own cases without the assistance of a lawyer. Patterson thought Stanley had been "very competently" represented and Grant was "appropriately postured." Grant filed "competently written and professionally written motions."
"I prefer to do it myself," Stanley replied, because Grant is "an officer of the court." Patterson granted the motion and asked Stanley if he had any "additions or corrections" to the document concerning his sentencing.
One of the quotes was incorrect, Stanley said. The correct quote is, "If this judge was not a coward, he would throw out this conviction on constitutional grounds."
"I am a sovereign citizen of Colorado," Stanley argued. He claimed his participation in the Denver court was "voluntary" and the court lacked jurisdiction to try him. He claimed a ruling by the Supreme Court "destroys homerule cities," because the city is subordinate to the state.
Further, Stanley argued the "court has no jurisdiction under common law" because there was no injured party. He said of the judge, "If I am damaged by his actions, I will sue him..." Stanley also claimed "admiralty jurisdiction."
Paul Puckett, Denver's attorney, responded, "The facts in this case... are not in dispute... I would ask for jail."
Patterson said he'd already found the ordinance in question is "not in derogation of Constitutional law." He said he takes seriously the "use of weapons." He was looking to Stanley's statement for signs of a "propensity to repeat" the violation and for "remorse, respect for the laws."
Patterson said the fact that Stanley was not carrying the gun for an "unlawful purpose" beyond the violation of the ordinance was not a mitigating factor. The presence of a gun has the "propensity for escalating" a situation to violence. He made a parallel to an earlier case in the day in which a man had discharged a shotgun in a case of domestic violence and behaved with "violent conduct."
Stanley never attempted to harm anyone on December 15, as arresting officers testified. Patterson never questioned the presence of five armed guards in the room.
Patterson said Stanley's comments admitted "no responsibility on your part to avoid the introduction of a gun into this community... and that disturbs me greatly." Then he handed down the sentence.
* * * * *
Judge Patterson argued the mere presence of a gun can turn an otherwise peaceful situation into a violent one. He said Denver residents have a "responsibility... to avoid the introduction of a gun into this community."
Judge Patterson is wrong. People have free will -- they are not the playthings of inanimate objects. Guns do not cause violence, though sometimes violent people use guns to commit crimes. And sometimes peaceable people use guns for self-defense to stop violence.
Ironically, it is the state-sponsored drug war that drives much of American violence. And state-sponsored economic restrictions perpetuate poverty. Yet state agents such as Patterson use the mess caused by state action as a pretext to further expand the role of the state. Meanwhile, Patterson places the blame on innocent citizens like Stanley.
Patterson inappropriately compared Stanley's actions to the actions of a person involved in domestic violence. That's like comparing a baseball player with a gangster who used a bat to bash in somebody's skull. The peaceful carry of a gun only for purposes of self-defense is in no way analogous to the criminal use of a gun to initiate violence. In conflating the two, Patterson denies both free will and the right of self-defense.
Patterson's statements are also inconsistent with Colorado's concealed carry laws, which permit those with a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Denver. The fact that concealed carry is linked with a decrease of violent crime points to the flaws in Patterson's reasoning.
Patterson is greatly disturbed by the notion of mere citizens carrying a handgun in Denver, yet he seemed to have no problem sitting under the protection of five armed police agents. Patterson's own actions are inconsistent with his rhetoric. Patterson reminded Stanley that his gun was "loaded" -- there was a round in the magazine but not in the chamber -- but weren't the police agents' guns also loaded?
But perhaps Patterson doesn't really mean that the presence of guns per se leads to violence. Maybe what he means is that he only trusts agents of the state to carry guns, while the citizens should be disarmed.
* * * * *
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of Rick Stanley's campaign. I think a number of his actions have been wildly irresponsible and even reprehensible. And yet the libertarian message is that the Bill of Rights applies to everyone. Only those who initiate violence, theft, or fraud may properly be jailed, punished, disarmed, or otherwise harmed by the state. Whatever else we might say about Stanley, he has not initiated violence.
While it is unfortunate that Stanley has diminished the potential good of his act of civil disobedience through subsequent campaign blunders, still his court case is significant in its own right. I think Stanley was a fool for turning away Grant's counsel. Paul Grant is a good lawyer. He is also the former national chair of the Libertarian Party and he ran for governor and congress on the ticket. Grant continues to represent Duncan Philp, who was arrested along with Stanley on December 15. Hopefully Stanley will reference Grant's arguments in his appeal.
The large issue is that Denver's disarmament ordinance flagrantly violates the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions. Unfortunately, Patterson is probably correct that the higher courts will continue to allow state laws and city ordinances to violate Constitutional law. The only obvious solution to this problem is a long-term one: elect politicians who will appoint Constitution-friendly judges.
However, Grant made a fine legal argument at trial that may find some success on appeal. As described at http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/stanleygun.html, Grant argued the Colorado Constitution may be invoked as an "affirmative defense" at trial, though he was prohibited from presenting the argument to the jury. It would be a major victory even if juries were instructed to take into account Constitutional provisions.
From TheStanleyScoopfirstname.lastname@example.org Fri Jul 26 13:07:29 2002
THE STANLEY SCOOP - Keeping Colorado Informed
The official newswire of the Stanley for U.S. Senate Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2002
Stanley for U.S. Senate
Rick Stanley, U.S. Senate Candidate, Libertarian party nominee, Activist/Organizer of the National Bill of Rights Rallies, Activist/Organizer of the Million Gun March Petition, and Activist/Organizer of the Patriot Files gave the following media release:
"The Police State is here in Denver, Colorado and throughout America. My civil disobedience case in Denver proves that point. The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and yes, the entire Bill of Rights does not apply in the judicial system. The Common Law does not apply in Denver courts, only admiralty law, the type of court that your rights are, what they tell you they are."
I was found guilty of openly holstering a weapon, on December 15, 2001 at a Bill of Rights Rally, celebrating our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and then arrested by twenty thugs with weapons, employed by the City of Denver. Arrested, tried in the kangaroo court of Judge Robert L. Patterson, found guilty of exercising my 2nd Amendment right, I hurt or bothered no one in exercising this right, and was sentenced to six months in jail, a $500.00 fine, 75 hours of community service, and one year probation. I paid a $2,500.00 appeal bond, for a right to appeal this law, all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. My sentence is stayed, during the appeal process.
The judge sentenced what he did, because Stanley showed no remorse. Stanley will never be remorseful, for demanding the City and County of Denver, respect his constitutional right to peacefully exercise his 2nd Amendment right, to keep and bear arms, which the Constitution says shall not be infringed. What part of "shall not be infringed" do they not understand? How do they lie their way through this one? When the citizens of Denver and America, revolt against this police state one day, look back to this and thousands of other issues, to understand why it will happen again in America, and it will. Our forefathers warned us, of the tyrannical nature of government, and that our vigilance was required.
The statement I made to the Court, and Judge Robert L. Patterson, is below:
May it please the court. For the record, my name is Rick Stanley, Citizen of Colorado. I hereby make the following statements of fact, which I had previously, and naively, thought to be understood.
1. That I am a sovereign Citizen of Colorado, which is a legal standing specified in Article IV, Section 2, clause 1 of the federal Constitution, ratified in 1789.
2. That I am not now, nor have I ever knowingly agreed to be, a "United States citizen subject to the jurisdiction thereof," as created by the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution. I hereby dissolve, revoke and terminate any implied contracts between myself and any corporate entities, including and especially the corporate fiction that bears my name, which was created without my knowledge or permission.
3. That Article III, Section 2 of the federal Constitution grants the Supreme Court and other inferior courts the privilege of hearing cases in common law, equity, and admiralty/maritime jurisdictions.
4. That the Fifth Amendment enumerates and prohibits the government from "depriving me of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." As a sovereign state Citizen, due process includes the right of trial by jury in Common Law jurisdiction prior to any attempt at adjudication in an admiralty or maritime jurisdiction.
5. That this court is merely an administrative tribunal authorized by Article I, Section 8, clause 10 of the federal Constitution, with no legal authority over anyone except those who have volunteered to be Fourteenth Amendment federal citizens.
6. That all of the pronouncements of this court are mutable by my will, and I hereby declare this and all subsequent demands for my appearance to be a violation of my constitutionally protected rights, granted to me by my Creator.
7. That all elected officers of this court have taken an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution, and by implication, have sworn to protect my inherent rights. That by allowing the fraud perpetrated by the 1933 House Joint Resolution 192 to persist to this day, and by not having the courtesy to inform me of this gross violation of my rights, this court has committed an act of perjury.
8. That, until recently, I was unaware that my action of retaining the services of a member of the Colorado Bar Association rendered me "incompetent in the eyes of the law." I have recently terminated my contractual agreement with Mr. Paul Grant, and now assume full liability for myself and the higher standing in law that this allows.
9. That these proceedings are immediately under formal appeal, and will be contested on the grounds of fraud and lack of jurisdiction.
10. The City and County of Denver Home rule does not apply based upon the Supreme Court of the United States, Case No. 80-1350. "Community Communications Co., Inc. V. City of Boulder, Colorado, et al. decided January 13, 1982 which destroys Home rule Governance. "As this Court stated long ago, all sovereign authority (within the geographical limits of the Untied States) resides either with "The government of the United States, or (with) The States of the Union." There exists within the broad domain of sovereignty but these two. There may be cities, counties, and other organized bodies with LIMITED LEGISLATIVE FUNCTIONS but they are all derived from or exist in, subordination to one or the other of these." UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT.
11. I ask that a Certified Copy of the State and U.S. Constitutions be entered into evidence, as well as a certified copy of the judge's oath of office.
12. I am reserving my rights without prejudice by UCC 1-207 and their statute court and the statute that I have violated, must have an injured party, and since there is no injured party, or complaining witness, the court has no jurisdiction under Common Law. This Statue Court made a legal determination that it has the authority under the jurisdiction that it is operating, to ignore two sections of the Uniform Commercial Code which I will call to its attention and I will put him and the court on notice that I will appeal his legal determination, and that if I am damaged by his action, I will sue him under the jurisdiction of the UCC. My recourse appears in the Uniform Commercial Code at 1-103-6, which says: "The Code is complimentary to the Common Law, which remains in force, except where displaced by the code. A statute should be construed in harmony with the Common Law, unless there is a clear legislative intent to abrogate the Common Law. I am instructing you now to add this to my appeal. I am making explicit reservation of my rights at 1-207, and I insist that the statutes be construed in harmony with the Common Law. If this court will not allow the Constitution and the Supreme Law of the Land to guide its hand and the Jury instructions that he gave, I am forced to defend with the Statute Jurisdiction/Admiralty jurisdiction that he has forced upon me and which the UNIFORM COMNMERCIAL CODE is the overriding authority for his actions. To say that I am unhappy that I was never advised by the Court regarding this issue, is something that will be addressed in Judge Patterson's Court, and the appeal that I will file after the sentencing.
13. I relied upon a superior authority for my act of holstering a pistol on December 15, 2001, Article III-2, 1, The U.S. and Colorado Constitutions.
In propria persona Rick Stanley
From TheStanleyScoopemail@example.com Fri Jul 26 13:39:58 2002
THE STANLEY SCOOP - Keeping Colorado Informed
The official newswire of the Stanley for U.S. Senate Campaign
I had heard that Ari who would be Great in his Colorado Freedom Report trivialized my very lengthy comments in his last "effort" at journalism, regarding the Sentencing hearing in Judge Patterson's Kangaroo Court. Once again Ari, you demean efforts made on the behalf of Liberty, you demean the Libertarian Party US Senate Campaign with your comments, you demean the Libertarian Party of Colorado with your assault on a "Defender of Liberty" who does more than just talk or write. You are a disgrace to this Party, and a disgrace to the individuals in this Party. You continue to distort, lie, and marginalize this Party with your so called "Rationalizations" that do, and mean "Nothing". They have form but serve no real purpose, they are like whispers on the wind, meaningless. You continue to expose yourself as no friend of Liberty, or the Libertarian Party. With Ari who would be great defending Liberty, who needs Judges, Cops, legislators, lawyers, as enemies of Liberty?
Armstrong Replies to Stanley
Stanley has "heard" about my article? Why hasn't he read it for himself prior to commenting about it? Stanley's e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- is a recipient of the Colorado Freedom Report. Has Stanley blocked e-mails from me, or is he simply uninterested in reading an article prior to responding to it?
My article about Stanley's trial -- at http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/stanleygun.html -- is, I believe, the most accurate and comprehensive review of the trial in existence anywhere. The follow-up article about the sentencing hearing is also an accurate account and it includes reasoned analysis regarding the flaws in Judge Patterson's rulings and comments.
I did not comment directly on Stanley's comments to the judge, other than to summarize them. I did imply that Stanley's arguments are flawed. I wrote, "I think Stanley was a fool for turning away Grant's counsel... Hopefully Stanley will reference Grant's arguments in his appeal."
But don't take my word for it: Paul Grant himself, an experienced lawyer and former chair of the nation LP, thinks Stanley's arguments are flawed. In an exchange that Stanley publicized, Grant wrote,
I received the written materials you sent me, and have read them. I have gained nothing of use to me from the materials, nothing I could or would use in a court of law... I cannot and will not represent your views when it comes to UCC arguments, UCC or statutory jurisdiction courts/Admiralty jurisdiction/gold fringe flag arguments, citizen of federal enclave arguments - or any other argument you have sent me. (http://www.freecolorado.com/2002/07/shorts19.html)
Stanley says he "does more than just talk or write." Well, so do I. For instance, I helped pass a significant asset forfeiture reform law earlier this year. I have organized much larger rallies than Stanley has done, and attended rallies for years before Stanley even became active in politics.
Besides, what's wrong with talking and writing? The libertarian movement is not a cult of personality -- though Stanley's campaign is becoming just that. The libertarian movement is based on the IDEAS of liberty and free markets. Actions absent a sound intellectual framework are either ineffectual or counterproductive. I'm proud of my writing on libertarian issues and ideas.
The rest of Stanley's paragraph is a series of ad hominem attacks that are completely unsubstantiated. If Stanley is not going to read my articles prior to responding to them, perhaps he could at least read a summary of logical fallacies.