The following article, Michigan Lawmakers Push Bill to Avenge Lucas Gerhard, Prevent Pro-2nd Amendment Speech From Being Classified as Terrorism, was first published on Big League Politics.
Michigan lawmakers are pushing a bill to avenge Lucas Gerhard, the young man who is facing 20 years in prison on terrorism charges for posting a picture of a rifle on social media.
House Bill 5245 (HB5245) received a hearing in the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland Twp) to classify a terror threat by the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court and stop anyone else from suffering the indignities that have been forced upon Gerhard by the cruel hands of government.
Adam de Angeli of Rescue Michigan noted that the Gerhard case will be used to warp the standard of justice permanently for all Americans in an unprecedented attack on the Bill of Rights.
“This past summer, three judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals looked at Lucas Gerhard’s case and concluded that this injustice should apply to all conservatives in Michigan, and authored an opinion that from now on, First Amendment cases should be tried under a new legal standard – impossibility of guilt,” De Angeli wrote in an email blast urging Michigan residents to support this legislation.
“As Lucas’s attorneys noted in their appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, instead of following case law holding that probable cause requires a reasonable belief of guilt, the Court of Appeals adopted a new “impossibility” standard never before recognized in Michigan law,” he added.
During the committee hearing, support of Gerhard was ubiquitous, with the only opposition to HB5245 coming from people who felt it did not go far enough in changing the law to protect the fundamental rights of individuals from a situation similar to what Gerhard is being forced to endure.
“He’s had two years of his life taken away from him because of a joke he made,” Rep. Reilly said at the hearing about Gerhard’s terrifying Orwellian struggle to hold onto his freedom.
“As a citizen and as somebody who served this country for basically my entire adult life, I am shocked and saddened at what this has become,” said retired Lt. Col. Mark Gerhard as he explained the shocking details of how his son is being railroaded by a system that has thrown ordinary Americans to the wayside.
Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) actually apologized to Lucas and all residents of southern Michigan on behalf of the horrific and abusive treatment endured by Lucas in the state’s upper peninsula.
“As a resident of the upper peninsula, to have someone from lower Michigan come up to our community and be treated so poorly, it reflects badly on all of us,” said LaFave, who serves as the chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Nancy Costello of the Michigan State University College of Law also testified in favor of Lucas despite holding far-left political beliefs.
“I do not approve of what he was doing…but I do feel very strongly about the 1st Amendment,” Costello said, noting that she wrote an expert opinion on behalf of MSU’s First Amendment Law Clinic on behalf of Lucas’ apparent innocence.
“In terms of the 1st Amendment, he had the right, I think, to say this, and he shouldn’t have been charged under the statute that could put him away for 20 years in prison,” she added.
“Our courts have failed the 1st Amendment here in the state…when you pass laws that criminalize speech, it needs to be done as narrowly as possible,” said attorney Phillip Ellison, who is one of the lawyers representing Lucas in the court of law.
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Author: Shane Trejo
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