Retired Maryland Judge Cornelius J. Vaughey had blogger Aaron Walker arrested for violating a Peace Order against convicted bomber/drug dealer/suspected murderer/Democratic Party activist Brett Kimberlin.
Judge Vaughey’s order makes the finding:
A.1. That there is clear and convincing evidence that within 30 days before the filing of the Petition, the Respondent committed the following act(s):
Placed Person Eligible for releif in fear of imminent serious bodily harm: COUNTLESS NUMBER OF BLOGS EITHER THREATENING DEATH
2. That there is clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is likely to commit a prohibited act in the future against the Petitioner.
I’m quite convinced that the senior citizen judge is hopelessly confused about what blogs are, as Walker has never posted anything to his blog that I’ve found that could be remotely construed as a death threat.
At the very most, blog commenters– and perhaps on a different blogs apart from Walker’s if the judge’s incomplete sentence fragment makes any sense at all–may have made comments, but the law is clear: you cannot be held responsible for comments made by others.
To a layman this is an absurd ruling, and I hope that Walker appeals this peace order and gets a judge under the age of 70 who knows what the Hell the relevant case law is.
Update: Walker made the fool’s mistake of representing himself, which is something the most basic defendant knows not to do. that was compounded by Judge Cornelius J. Vaughey being a complete freaking idiot:
Judge Vaughey had read up on the matter, knew Kimberlin’s history of felony convictions, but clearly was technically ignorant of even basic facts about what Twitter is, in one instance point saying “He Googled you 500,000 times” through the Tubes or whatever. The Judge had identified himself, earlier, as being “of the Royal Typewriter Generation,” and at another point, when confronted with the voluminous material from both sides, asked “don’t people have jobs, who reads this stuff?”
That said, Judge Vaughey did know a lot about the kind of respect a Judge is owed. He also, again, knew all about Kimberlin, saying “even a prostitute is entitled to protection.”
And Walker pissed him off. So did Kimberlin, but Walker identified himself as a Yale-trained lawyer, albeit one who was representing himself. Kimberlin made any number of allegations–essentially, everything that was said about his side–issuing death threats, harming business interests, summoning SWAT teams to the home–was said by Kimberlin to have been done by Walker’s side.
The pair went back and forth, back and forth, with Walker getting increasingly flustered, and the Judge finally asking, “what did they tell you in Yale Law School about interrupting a judge?” And later advising Walker to sit down, grip a pencil, and whenever he was tempted to speak over the Judge (or Kimberlin, but mostly over the Judge), to instead grip the pencil.
Aaron should have known better than represent himself here. What a gross tactical error. The judge, however, wasn’t competent to hear this case, and I should think that would present an opportunity for appeal on all bu the apparent contempt charge that seems to have resulted from Walker’s exasperation with the judge’s incompetence.