Quran-Burning Pastor Terry Jones to Appeal
Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones, known for inciting riots in Afghanistan after burning the Muslim holy book last month, has found a new cause: free speech.
In response to being jailed after a jury decided that his planned protest at Dearborn, Michigan's Islamic Center of America would breach the peace, Jones has vowed to appeal.
Oddly enough, he may win.
Jones wanted to have what he called a peaceful protest in front of the mosque on Good Friday, but local authorities repeatedly denied permit requests believing that he would incite violence, reports the Detroit Free Press. He still planned to protest.
Local prosecutors then request that the local court issue a "peace bond" which requires a person to post a monetary bond that they will forfeit should they breach the peace.
The jury agreed with the prosecutors, who argued that there were death threats against the Quran-burning pastor, that he planned to protest while armed, and that he would disrupt traffic flow in a crowded area, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The judge ordered Terry Jones to pay $1, but he refused. He was then jailed until he paid.
Peace bonds are relics of a time past, with Michigan's law being passed in 1846. First Amendment jurisprudence since then generally provides that prior restraints, such as peace bonds, are unconstitutional.
Moreover, it's settled law that permitting decisions cannot be based on the content of proposed speech, and that it is law enforcement's job to protect protesters and that they should not pay for protection.
If Terry Jones really does appeal the peace bond, it's incredibly likely that he will win.
- Quran-Burning Pastor Continues to Beat the Free-Speech Drum (Wall Street Journal)
- Prior Restraint (FindLaw)
- Fla. Pastor Terry Jones Wins Car for Not Burning Qu'ran (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.