1st Amendment Tested | Florida Pastor’s Dearborn Protest Regulated to “Free Speech Zone”

Pastor released from jail after being held on $1 ‘peace bond’

The Detroit News

Florida pastor Terry Jones answers questions from the media as he arrives outside 19th District Court in Dearborn Friday morning. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)

Dearborn —A controversial Florida pastor and his associate were released from jail tonight after being held briefly for refusing to pay a $1 “peace bond” after a jury ruled they would “likely breach the peace” with plans to protest a mosque.

Judge Mark Somers of Dearborn’s 19th District Court jailed pastors Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp about 7 p.m. The order came after a six-member jury at 6:30 p.m. sided with prosecutors who argued the Quran-burning minister’s demonstration outside the Islamic Center of America could spark a riot.

Prosecutors had sought a $45,000 bond. Somers also ordered both to stay away from the mosque for three years. The order drew gasps, confusion and shouting in the courthouse.

The pair were tried under a rarely used law originally passed in 1846 that requires those who are likely to breach the peace to post “peace bonds.”

“Nobody expected this,” said Charlie Langton, a lawyer and legal analyst, who added the pair could theoretically be jailed for five years if they continue to refuse to pay the bond.

“It is prior restraint, but the judge followed the letter of the law. It’s purely legal because it’s never been challenged. That is not right. It’s an old law that I don’t think applies to this case. I think they’ll have to appeal it.”

At the Islamic Center, a cheer went through the crowd of 100 after police announced the jailing.

“That’s what should happen when people say they are going to break the law,” said Neda Kardri, 29, of Dearborn.

Editors Note, K.M. : “Break the Law?”  What law would that be, protesting? While I don’t agree with Mr. Jones’ methods of protest, i.e. burning the Quran, it is in fact one’s first amendment rights to so. There have many examples of protests this year that have incited some form of violence, namely union members, that have been offensive to others yet they are allowed under the constitution to carry on. Yes, the burning of ones holy book ultimately is designed to spark furor in the other, however it is the other that must judge themselves in which manner they will retaliate. So far it has shown that when confronted with an affront to their faith, Islam does not take the high road.

Read More Here

See Court Video:

Watch: Jury Continues Deliberation In Terry Jones Dearborn Mosque Case
Watch: Lawyers Says Dearborn Wins Battle With Terry Jones
Watch: Jury Deliberates In Terry Jones Trial; Peace Group Gathers In Dearborn
Watch: Pastor Representing Himself In Dearborn Protest Trial