The Due Process that is afforded to all alleged do-badders is getting ready to take its next formal step for Jim Babcock (who stole Grokster Norm’s political sign back a while ago. As I posted before, I took the liberty of adapting my own instance of Norm’s sign and added my own:
Related: The Jim Babcock Chronicles
And yes, Mr. Babcock has seen it – first his wife spotted the sign and then we watched him stop on his walk, turn around, and read me addendum. He merely walked away – and he really no longer walks (or rides his bicycle) much around the neighborhood anymore.
His Theft by Unauthorized Taking day in court is almost here. I had emailed Norm to find out the hearing meetings particulars. Looks like those data points had not yet been made known to Norm, either (reformatted, emphasis mine):
Dear Sargent Bredbury:
According to my calendar, the first hearing on this case is scheduled for this coming Thursday, August 20. Inasmuch as I am the victim, I would like to be advised of the time and place of the hearing so that I can attend and testify if needed.
It seems to me, as a member of the Bar, that for the case to be prosecuted effectively and properly you need the testimony of the victim as to the placement of the sign that was stolen and its value, which I am prepared to do. I believe you already have the sworn statement of the witness, who should also be notified about the hearing.
Although I assume it is possible to view this matter as a “simple” theft by unauthorized taking, it is actually much more than that, which is why there is a separate RSA in the Election Laws dealing with unauthorized removal of campaign signs. This type of behavior tears at the fabric of free and fair elections and the First Amendment’s rights protecting freedom of speech.
I have previously mentioned that there is media interest in this case. That continues and some representatives of the media wish to be present at the hearing.
And yes, that would obviously be GraniteGrok.
This type of offense is not confined to Gilford or the Lakes Region. I have been advised by a Town Moderator in the Southern part of the state that some candidates there have experienced similar problems with their campaign signs and they have actually had to institute surveillance to determine who is doing this kind of stuff. That Moderator has inquired about the status of “my” case and may also wish to attend the hearing, whether it takes place in person or by some type of video service such as Zoom.
Finally, and once again, while I appreciate your candor regarding your having known the defendant for a long time, I again suggest that if your longtime “knowledge” or acquaintanceship of him may tend to interfere with your vigorous prosecution of this case, you should, respectfully, recuse yourself and let the County Attorney’s office take over the prosecution.
I look forward to hearing from you as to the specifics of the holding of the hearing.
Norman J. Silber
Member of The Florida Bar & the New Hampshire Bar
Candidate for the NH House of Representatives
Belknap County District 2- Gilford & Meredith
So, while Due Process always assumes innocence before guilt (although the Left is trying to alter our “social contract” to “reform” it that the accused must prove their innocence instead of The State having to prove said guilt), Mr. Babcock did admit to his guilt to the Gilford Police. The question is, at least in my mind, is whether or not this hearing will be
- a “reconciliation”
- determination of penalty
Frankly, here in the Lakes Region of NH, there are a number of Conservatives that are running for office that are reporting that the signs that they are displaying, either their own or on behalf of someone else, have been stolen or otherwise destroyed once, twice, three times, or more. While I know that it does happen to those on the Left, it seems to be much less in frequency.
Thus, just from the aspect that “Free Speech hold ESPECIALLY in cases of speech you don’t like in the least”, and given that Norm is a retired lawyer with plenty of time on his hands and CHOSE to be on the Election Law Committee while in the NH House, I’m betting that Option #2 is going to be pushed for. The only question that I have is will be the outlook of The Judge – is Free Speech high enough on their priority list of Rights such that it really does matter (and perhaps the IRS technique will be issued as a deterrent)?