FIVE CASE SUMMARY
Diamond, Amy Antonucci, Tom Jackson, Macy Morse and Rob Wolff are defendants
locally known as "The Newington Five," who, on October 8, 2002, visited
the Portsmouth office of US Senator Judd Gregg with a written document,
requesting answers to their list of questions regarding the then impending
invasion of Iraq. (Attached: see "Iraqi war Resolution: We Demand answers")
standard position paper was faxed from Washington to Greggıs office, but
the group felt it did not answer their questions, so the five NH activists
refused to leave his office and were subsequently arrested for "criminal
five were tried and convicted of criminal trespass in Portsmouth District
Court on April 9. The groupıs lawyers, Barbara Bradshaw and Joshua Gorden,
withdrew from the case a few weeks before the trial, citing a conflict
of interest within the group: a conflict they were unable to disclose
and of which the charged individuals never became aware. The five appeared
in court pro se because they didn't want to delay the trial until after
the war, when, in their opinion, it would have lost its relevance.
to the group, Judge Sharon De Vries was not open to hearing much of anything
from them. She only wanted arguments that would be saying they hadn't
trespassed. She didn't want to hear why they had trespassed. They were
not allowed to have their expert witnesses speak: John Schuchardt on civil
disobedience and Guy Chichester on the use of Article 10 of the NH Constitution
Bill of Rights as a defense. They weren't supposed to talk about the war.
The following quote has been transcribed from a video made of the trial:
Judge Sharon DeVries' ruling on the N5 case:
"Based on the evidence presented here and the .. I've entered a finding
of guilty on each of the respective charges against you. The fine is $1200,
900 of which is suspended. The suspension is on the condition that there
are no like offenses within a 2 year period. That makes the total amount
of the fine due $360.
I am not convinced that any one of you recognizes the degree to which
you placed 3 people at harm by your actions and choices and by your very
testimonies and statements here today not one of you exercised good judgement
in what you choose to engage in.
You have principles, you have political views, you have what you think
is a license to go against the statutes but that is not what the case
law says and your actions frankly defy them.
So you are each responsible here today for the $360 fine which I expect
you to pay downstairs today. You may go."
courtroom held many supporters and a number of reporters. People turned
their backs when the verdict was given, and a supporter, Mary MacArthur,
began to deliver a statement as the trial ended, when she was escorted
out of the room. (Attached: see "Mary MacArthurıs statement")
Closing arguments necessarily formed the basis of their defense. (attached:
see "Closing Arguments of Thomas George Jackson" and "Closing Argument
for the Newington Five Defense")
Tom Jackson felt the US was in violation of Articles 2 and 33 of the UN
Charter, the Geneva convention, the Nuremberg Charter, the US Constitution,
the NH Constitution- Bill of Rights, and cited NH Law re: criminal trespass.
Tom also stated that Senator Gregg had been served a subpoena, yet was
not in attendance.
David Diamond cited Articles 8 and 10 of the Bill of Rights of the NH
Constitution; Criminal Trespass Law RSA 365:2, and NH Law RSA 627:3, Competing
harms provision, as the basis for the groupıs defense. In these arguments,
the defendants specifically cited each section of the above documents
relative to their accused action of criminal trespass.
The five were sentenced to the maximum sentence of $1,200 each - $900
suspended for two years- and were told if they didn't get arrested for
similar offenses within two years time they wouldn't have to pay the suspended
amount. - They were required to pay $360 each by April 14, 2003, or go
to jail at the customary rate of $20 a day, taking 18 days to pay off
the entire $360.
April 14, 2003
Amy Antonucci of Madbury and Tom Jackson of Durham, each paid their fine
Macy Morse, an octogenarian, refused to pay her fine, and met privately
with Judge DeVries, where the judge tried to convince Morse to fill out
a financial statement and give her an extended period to pay.
"It's not a question of ability. I can't in good conscience pay this fine,"
responded Macy. On 4/15/03 she was temporarily placed at Rockingham County
Jail due the other prisons being full. Here there were no separate parts
of the prison for men and women and consequently she had no privacy even
when most needed.
She was then moved to the Hillsboro County House of Corrections.To my
knowledge she was not allowed visitors. Her son reported late yesterday
evening, that prior to her being transferred to the jail in Brentwood,
NH for release, Macy was shackled with leg irons. She fell down some stairs,
injuring her head and hip during the transfer. She was examined by a nurse,
but not allowed to see a doctor.
Her son was unsuccessful in his attempts to secure doctorıs care, early
release, or an emergency hearing for her. Macy will be released at 7:00
am, May 1.
Rob Wolff and David Diamond planned to serve 5 of the 18 days, but spent
only several hours incarcerated. According to David Diamond: "We were
essentially tricked into paying our remaining fine because the guard told
us, erroneously, that the judge had offered to reduce the total fine to
$130 if we paid it then." According to a Rockingham County Corrections
officer, Wolff was released at 7 p.m. and Diamond was set free a half-hour
later. (See attached as: "David Diamondıs statement submitted to Portsmouth
District Court April 15, ı03 re: monies erroneously paid to the court
Dave Diamond wrote: "It turned out to be a little like, as an old saying
in my family goes, 'holding the lantern while grandma chops the wood,'
but at least we'd better hold that lantern high."
Back to the top. Click here.