Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Heretical Two Finally Get A Hearing

Simon Sheppard and Stephen Whittle have finally gotten their first hearing on their application for political asylum in the United States, after eight months in prison. Most asylum seekers with black or brown skins are routinely given low bail, or simply released into the community, and given a perfunctory court date at which they are politely asked to show up, in the full knowledge that's probably the last that will be seen of them unless and until they commit another crime and are arrested later.

Sheppard and Whittle, however, are Caucasian and dangerous thought criminals to boot, so they have been imprisoned for eight months for the "crime" of asking America to fulfill its promise and let them be free.

This is from Tony Hancock, with my own comments in red:

"To-day the Heretical Two's asylum hearing proceeded before the U. S. Immigration Judge, Her Honor Judge Rose Peters. Simon Sheppard and Steve Whittle were brought into court in handcuffs and leg irons. (The feds may have been afraid they might try to type.) They presented their own cases, as their attorney, Bruce Leichty, had withdrawn from the case by leave of the Court, since he was not satisfied with the substantial retainer that he had received from friends of Simon and Steve. (The right to counsel in certain courts and certain kinds of cases is a myth, as I myself can testify from personal experience.) The U. S. government was represented by its attorney, Miss Myers.

"The Court heard evidence from Simon and Steve about their experiences at the hands of the British police and Crown Prosecution Service, and also from their English counsel, Adrian Davies, who gave evidence about the relevant provisions of English law (the Public Order Act 1986, as amended) and the English court's assertion of jurisdiction over web pages hosted on a server located in Torrance, California.

"The hearing was conducted in a very fair, courteous and thorough manner, though inevitably Simon and Steve were at some disadvantage, because they are not lawyers, and are moreover being held in prison, where they have had very limited facilities to prepare for the hearing. After a lengthy sitting, the Court adjourned until 1 p.m., West Coast time, on 24th March."


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