NEWINGTON FIVE CASE SUMMARY

The action:
David 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")
A 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 trespass."

Disposition:
All 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.
According 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 Š.. 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."

The 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")

Arguments:
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.

Sentence:
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 of $360.
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 by him")
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."

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