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Free Stater faces year in prison without trial

DadaOrwell

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From NHFree.com

CT AUTHORITIES TO DETAIN EMINENT DOMAIN PROTESTER UP TO ONE YEAR PENDING TRIAL

NEW LONDON, Conn, Oct. 23, 2006 - After serving 31 days in prison, Free State Project member Lauren Canario of New London was ordered at yesterday's hearing to be held indefinitely pending a future trial.

Canario was arrested on Sept. 22 for refusing to leave one of the properties seized in the controversial Kelo vs. New London decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that government can take homes and give the land to private corporations.

Anti-eminent-domain protestors held "Free Lauren Canario" signs at the city jail after she was arrested for sitting down in an attempt to prevent the boarding up of Fort Trumbull homes. The neighborhood was recently seized by the City of New London. She has been held for the past month pending a hearing and she is refusing to be represented by a lawyer.

Protesters arrived early Monday to support Canario. But, according to Free State Project member Kat Kanning, "They told us she wouldn't be brought in until 2 p.m., so we went out until about 1:30 p.m. When we came back, it was done and no one got to see her." 10-year-old protester William asked his father, "Why would they trick us like that, Dad?"

Video of last month's arrest shows two police officers dragging her away, leaving her on her knees in the street at one point, then forcing her into a police vehicle. In a Sept. 21 phone call, New London City Police Lt. Ackley claimed that Canario "victimized" him by refusing to cooperate. "I hurt my back when I had to drag her off the floor," he said.

After the arrest, Judge Kevin P. McMahon ordered an evaluation of Canario's mental competence and raised her bond from $5,000 to $20,000. Recently, she was found competent to stand trial, and today she was ordered held until an unknown future trial date, sometime within the next year.

The Connecticut jail system received global attention two weeks ago when Human Rights Watch censured the state, in a 20-page report, for using police attack dogs to force people from their cells. "Corrections officials in Connecticut and Iowa insist the use of attack dogs is justified because they deter prisoner misconduct and reduce staff injuries," the report said. "But 45 other states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons reject their views."

Canario was also arrested during a public town meeting in September of 2005 after city officials refused to let voters into the room. Canario refused to leave the stairwell leading to the meeting room. For several weeks, she left the court, judge, and police in disarray while refusing to speak or walk as ordered. "I don't know what to do with this," Judge Hillary Strackbein said during Canario's second silent court appearance last year. Canario was eventually released and sentenced to time served.

Fort Trumbull residents were forced to leave their homes after the New London Development Corporation seized the properties with the June 2005 approval of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case received global publicity at the time, and supporters across the country rallied to help, but failed to stop the city's property confiscations. The remaining families moved out of their homes in August, and the city has apparently left the abandoned neighborhood standing for the foreseeable future.

Canario was on the porch of one of these properties reading a book when police arrested her. The property's ownership status was in limbo at the time; the owner had sold to the authorities but still had a transition phase ahead of him. She had his permission to be there but not that of the authorities who forced him to sell it.

The Free State Project is an organization attempting to draw pro-liberty activists to New Hampshire. Canario and her husband are members who divide their time between New London, CT and Winchester, NH.

# # #

Contacts: Michael Fisher, Michael-at-NHCaspian.org; Kat Kanning, bookish_lass-at-yahoo.com
Video of arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaITPIRHJ
Media articles: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=lauren+canario
Discussion: http://forum.soulawakenings.com/index.php?topic=5586.0
Action items for helping Lauren: http://underground.soulawakenings.com/tiki-index.php?page=NHFREE+Action+Items
 

rathi

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This is unacceptable. Arresting her was completely unecessary, they should have just removed her from the premises. Even if they did arrest her, charging her is also beyong necesity. Having to wait a year for trial is violating the constituion. Time is not needed for evidence to be collected or for investigations to occur. She just sat on her porch and had to be removed. I find this affair to be completely unacceptable.
 

Lord of Chaos

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Yeah, I don't get how the Supreme Court screwed that one up. Eminent domain is a pretty bad idea from the start, and its only gonna get worse.
 

BubbaBob

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Yeah, I don't get how the Supreme Court screwed that one up. Eminent domain is a pretty bad idea from the start, and its only gonna get worse.

Bad as the decision seems, the Supremes did the right thing.

They did NOT say that taking the land was OK. They said that the feds didn't have a dog in the fight...that it was a state's rights issue, and they were right. It would be nice if they paid that much attention to the 10th amendment in other cases as well.

BubbaBob
 
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