Sunday, February 26, 2012

Judge Martin Responds: On "Zombie Mohammed" Case

Judge Martin:  I did use the word “doofus,” but didn’t call him that directly; 
I said something akin to “ if you’re going to mock another religion or culture, 
you should check your facts, first- otherwise, you’ll look like a doofus.”
Volokh Conspiracy supposedly has the response from Judge Martin on the case.  Professor Volokh does not have the link, but he says he got an email from someone who knows Judge Martin.  It seems to be written in Judge Martin's voice...did Judge Martin send Volokh the e-mail?  Judge Martin claims he did not do what he is being accused of doing.  Judge Martin also outlines his duty in Iraq and Afghanistan (which involved combat and seems very honorable and commendable) and states that he is not a Muslim.   
Original Post:  Pennsylvania Sharia Law?  Free speech vs. Insulting Islam
Granted the tapes were partial, but do they square with what Judge Martin is claiming now?   There must be an official taping or court reporting system for the hearing in question.  Shouldn't that resolve the issue (probably not for official judicial council review, but at least in terms of immediate public interest)?


Update:  Hundreds of death threats to "Zombie Mohammed" victim.
Update II:  Volokh Conspiracy makes a good follow on point:  
More from Judge Mark Martin (of the Zombie Mohammed Incident), on CNN
From a CNN interview (starting at 2:15):
Interviewer: When I spoke to him over the phone, Judge Martin acknowledged it’s his job to protect the rights of people like the atheist, no matter how offensive they might be.
Interviewer to Judge Martin: … There are some who believe you were failing to protect that right.
Judge Martin: No, I don’t think so. Here’s the thing: It’s a right, it’s not a privilege, it’s a right. With rights come responsibilities. The more that people abuse our rights, the more likely that we’re going to lose them.
But I don’t quite see how this is “the thing,” at least in the sense of an explanation of the judge’s actions at the trial. I don’t think that we’re in danger of losing our free speech rights because some people say things that are offensive to Muslims. I do think that free speech rights are in danger when judges berate alleged crime victims for their anti-Islam speech, and thus convey the message that the legal system may be biased against those who engage in such speech and may fail to protect those people because of such speech.

Categories: Blasphemy    

9 comments:

  1. here at 31:31 will be heard his actual voice. he says and i listened 5 times. I'M A MUSLIM.. I FIND IT OFFENSIVE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv9IyrpOnbs&feature=player_embedded

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    1. I am very skeptical of his explanation. Whether he is Muslim or not is not, however, the central issue. My problem is the methodology he used. The judge was flat out wrong in how he acted on the bench. But let's have the whole transcript so we can all review it.

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  2. Just a few additional facts:

    - The only charge was harassment. No one is claiming that Elbayomy committed assaulted. From Perce's video, any physical contact that did occur could have lasted at most 15 seconds. After the confrontation, Perce seems to be fine and continue walking and chanting just as he had been doing.

    - The harshest punishment would have been a fine or community service.

    - Perce's sign, in addition to "I'm Mohammed of Islam" also had "Only Muhammad can rape America!" on the back.

    - In addition to offering testimony, the Police Officer acted as the prosecutor. When he pushes Elbayomy about conflicting testimony, Elbayomy says he told the officer that Perce may have pushed him. He only offered Perce the opportunity to submit a written statement and did not make the same offer to Elbayomy.

    Say if Perce had dressed up as zombie Jesus with a sign that said, "Jesus rapes America!" and an Irish-Catholic father of four confronted him. Who would you believe about physical contact in that case? If you were a Judge, would you not be a bit pissed at Perce for wasting your time?

    -Bruce

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    1. I thought the charges were assault and harassment. I am not suggesting that the defendant should have been punished severely (a fine just to make the point would have been appropriate and a warning that physical "self help" will not be tolerated in the future). But I am suggesting he was wrong to interfere in the parade and touch "Zombie Mohammed", however offensive he found him.

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    2. And Bruce, "Zombie Mohammed" was accompanied by his buddy as "Zombie Pope.: No one watching the parade bothered with Zombie Pope. They ignored him. Which of course is the proper response to a rather boring protest.

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  3. On the night of the altercation the sign said "Muhammed of Islam". There was nothing on the reverse side at that time. The comment on the reverse was added on a later date, at another event (an Occupy event, actually). The issue isn't the lack of physical injury or the minimal property damage (the sign WAS bent and creased...and it was foamboard). The issue is that a Muslim jumped into a LAWFUL PROCESSION, disturbed the procession, assaulted a participant of the procession (although, PA's simple assault law, written strangely, probably would not apply) and his excuse for doing so was to defend his son, his family, his religion, and his prophet"! There most certainly WAS a physical altercation. The Muslim was in physical contact with Zombie Mohammed. Yet, at the trial, the judge spends most of the time berating the victim, and only mentions, in passing, that it was wrong for the Muslim to touch ZM. Someone needs to ask the Chief of Police (he's an attorney, too) why they didn't add the charge of disrupting a lawful procession, sec. 5508 of the PA crimes code!

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    1. I 100% agree. Obviously this attack was minimal, but so what? It is still an assault. I am not saying the offended Muslim should have been sent to Guantanamo, but it is not acceptable to interfere with a lawful event.

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  4. How can the USA have such people in positions of authority? The man is an insult to Human Rights and an embarrassment to American and the American people.

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    Replies
    1. It was a position of minor authority and this "Judge" showed he was not up for even this task.

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