Dread Pirate #BrettKimberlin: Year in Review 2


Yesterday, we started a review of how the legal wrangling involving TDPK turned out in those cases that reached a final judgment in 2012. We began with the first Kimberlin v. Walker peace order. When the matter was tried in Circuit Court in April, the judge threw the case out without Aaron Walker having to put on a defense because TDPK offered no evidence that supported a peace order being issued.

TDPK appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals (that’s the name of the state’s highest court). In his appeal he made three claims. First, that Judge Johnson prevented him from calling Aaron Walker as a witness. That claim was simply false. According to the transcript of the trial, at no time did TDPK attempt to call Mr. Walker.

Second, he claimed that the judge prevented him for presenting evidence of harassment. That is flatly untrue. What happened was that TDPK attempted to introduce written evidence without authenticating it’s source. It’s clear from the transcript that he understood that one way of authenticating the writings was to ask Aaron Walker if he had written them, but he failed to do so. TDPK rested his case without attempting to call Mr. Walker to the stand. The judge, being bound by the rules of evidence, did not admit the unauthenticated material.

Third, TDPK claimed that the judge erred by not requiring Aaron Walker to prove his innocence. Uh, that’s not the way our judicial system works. We have a presumption of innocence. If you have a claim against someone, you have to prove it; the other person isn’t obliged to prove the negative.

Needless to say, the Court of Appeals did not grant a Writ of Certiorari when it ruled in October, and the finding of the Circuit Court was upheld. At the close of the trial, Judge Johnson had this to say to TDPK:

So I think I’ve taken the time to answer some of the things I’ve said to you were because of things that you testified to which gave me a clue, more than a clue, of how you believe this statute works and I wanted you to go away with the full understanding of how the statute works, and that the Court is not sanctioning anything that happened here, but it just doesn’t come under the parameters that the legislature has set for issuance of a peace order, and for very good reasons.

TDPK didn’t get the message. He filed for another peace order almost immediately, a peace order that became infamous because of its unconstitutional limitations on Aaron Walker’s First Amendment rights.

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