Friday, September 19, 2014

Wake County D.A. Dismisses Moral Monday Protester Charges


September 19, 2014

Contact: Tom Wolf, NC NAACP - or 504-940-4441

Wake County D.A. Dismisses Moral Monday Protester Charges

A Statement from the North Carolina NAACP

RALEIGH, NC - This morning, the Interim Wake County District Attorney dismissed charges against many of the Moral Monday protesters. The dismissals represent a victory for the "Rule of Law" in North Carolina and uphold the rights of citizens to protest and instruct their representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly, the People's House. The North Carolina NAACP released this statement:

"We never went in to be arrested," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP. "We went in to challenge what we believed then, and believe now, are constitutionally inconsistent, morally indefensible and economically insane extremist policies. The regressive agenda of Speaker Thom Tillis, Senator Phil Berger, and Governor Pat McCrory is hurting the poor, the sick, working people, public education, the environment, the principle of equal protection, and voting rights. 

"The General Assembly is the People's House. We went in to try to arrest the legislature's conscience by pointing out the moral and constitutional high calling for elected life. Rather than meet with us for a fair debate on the issues, they arrested us

"Today's decision to dismiss virtually all charges against the messengers of justice sends another message to extremists who would take our state backwards. The Constitution is alive and well. It stands for justice and fair play. It pumps oxygen into the halls of democracy. This is a great victory for the voice and protest of all people."

"We are indebted to the 941 people who put their lives, status and safety on the line in order to fight for the recognition and exercise of these rights," said Irving Joyner, the Legal Redress Chair of the NC NAACP. "We are also deeply indebted to more than 100 local attorneys who volunteered their legal talents and skills to fight the persecution of those patriotic citizens who were wrongfully arrested. Those lawyers understood and appreciated the constitutional value of those rights and decided to become engaged in this battle. This is one of the highest duties of a lawyer, to ensure that the constitutional rights of the people are protected and defended.

"We regret that the charges against 51 people were not dismissed. The prosecution of these remaining 'defenders of the constitution' will waste judicial resources and subject these individuals to the undue distress of many trials and legal wrangling, while preventing the District Attorney's office from prosecuting the tremendous backlog of criminal cases which presently clog the Wake County court calendar. Prosecution of these 51 individuals is a waste of time and, based upon the legal opinions by three Wake County Judges, have no legal justification. We demand that these prosecutions should cease immediately."



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