[saymaListserv] Fw: Bursey files Appeal
bright_crow at mindspring.com
Tue Sep 28 09:27:25 JEST 2004
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----- Forwarded Message -----
From: SC Progressive Network <network at scpronet.com>
To: network at scpronet.com
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 12:27:36 -0400
Subject: Bursey files Appeal
Below is our press release about filing the appeal of my conviction
Here is a link to a GREAT piece in Slate about the case:
For Immediate Release
September 24, 2004
Contact: 803-808-3384 (network at scpronet.com)
BURSEY TO APPEAL FREE-SPEECH-ZONE RULING
On Sept. 14, Federal Judge Cameron Currie upheld the conviction of Brett
Bursey under the statute that deals with threats to the president. Today,
Bursey filed a notice of his intention to appeal the ruling to the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bursey was convicted in November of "knowingly" entering into and
refusing to leave a secure zone established by the Secret Service for the
protection of the president.
"This case is like 'Alice and Wonderland' meets George Orwell," Bursey
said. "The government's entire case was made up after the fact to justify
Federal charges were brought against Bursey by the US Justice Department
five months after he was arrested on state charges of trespass. US
Attorney Strom Thurmond Jr. had Bursey arrested after state charges were
The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that citizens cannot be
arrested for trespassing on public property -- a fact Bursey knew when he
was threatened with arrest for trespassing while standing on public
property during an October 2002 visit to the Columbia Airport by
President George Bush.
At the Sept. 1 appeal hearing Judge Currie asked prosecutor John Barton
whether anyone had ever told Mr. Bursey he was in a federally restricted
zone? Barton responded that no one had. The trial transcript established
through both defense and prosecution witnesses said that there were
hundreds of unscreened people standing in the area where Bursey was
"The judges in this case have chosen to ignore the reality that I was
picked out of a crowd of citizens and told that I was going to be
arrested for trespassing because of the content of my sign," Bursey said.
Judge Currie noted in her ruling that Bursey testified that he was told
he was being arrested because of the content of his sign. "If accepted as
true by the trial court," Currie wrote. "(That) would have raised serious
concerns about the reason for the arrest."
But that is precisely what Bursey and his lawyer contend. "We have
established that the Secret Service is using broad and vague restricted
areas to push people into unconstitutional free speech zones out of sight
of the president and the media," said Bursey's attorney Lewis Pitts.
"Bursey's arrest had nothing to do with the physical protection of the
president and everything to do with the political protection of George
"We want the appeals court to tell the Secret Service that they can do
their job without trampling the rights of Americans who oppose the
current administration," Pitts said.
South Carolina Progressive Network
POB 8325 Columbia SC 29202
803-808-3384 * fax: 803-808-3781
network at scpronet.com
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