Schaeffer Cox

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Ray Southwell

May 29, 2018, 12:22:05 PM5/29/18
Good News!
May 29, 2018 7:06 AM

I just got some big news. The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled my case for a "conference hearing" June 7th, just a few weeks from now. This is less than a full blown grant of certiorari. But it's still good.

When the solicitor general responded to our petition, we got our foot in the door. When the court scheduled us for a hearing, we got a lot more than just a foot in the door. Only one in about ten thousand cases gets a hearing like this. So this is a great sign.

The Court will do one of three things: Throw out my charges altogether. Uphold my charges and set horrible new precedent. Or they will make a ruling only on the questions of law (as opposed to specific facts related to me) and remand my case back down to the 9th Circuit with instructions to re-hear it using the correct legal standard this time.

The question that The Supreme Court is looking at is: "Is it okay to send a man to prison for a hypothetical crime in some imaginary future that is so far flung and fantastical that it would never ever come true in real life?"

The prosecution is saying; "as long as the defendant - in his own private mind - subjectively thought that the imaginary future could be a real possibility, then it's okay to prosecute him for the thought-crime, even though he didn't do anything and never would have done anything. Under conspiracy law, it's only the thought that counts."

The defense is saying; "in order to prosecute someone for conspiracy, it has to have some sort of a connection to real life. Because a conspiracy has to be an agreement between two real life people to do something illegal, and without any specifics for the conspirators to agree to, there can be no agreement. This is just a crazy overreach that could send people to prison for having a bad dream in their bed at night. It should be what you actually do that counts. Not what thoughts crossed your mind. And how could we possibly know people's thoughts anyway?"

We will see what the Court decides. Pray like my life depends on it. Because at the moment, it sort of does. I still can't believe we are even asking these questions. I figured the "Thought Police" were only in syfy movies and George Orwell novels. I guess I was wrong. When the State plays God, it always does it poorly.

--Schaeffer Cox

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