United States, 

      v.                           Cr. Nos. 87-62,
                                   Judge Charles R. Richey
William Thomas, 


Because a presentence report is supposed to aid the Court in sentencing, the recent factual information relevent to this case, but missing from the report, disturbs me more than the many historical errors which are included.


It is undisputed that I have been convicted of an activity which "impacts no discernable victim." "Sleeping, or making preparations to sleep," were, I believe, the Court's precise words, with, perhaps, a reference to "storage of property."


Ms. Robinson wrote the report, Her/story ... one slant on reality. In response defendant offers His/story in the hope that the Court might arrive at a balanced picture. To add some life to the picture I am also submitting a videotape presentation which gives a prespective "in light of all the circumstances."

Since I would prefer to believe that Ms. Robinson would not intentionally protray me in a falsely unflattering light, I can only conclude that either she did not hear, or did not understand much of what I was saying.


1. Ms. Robinson should have known better than to say I have "done little to avoid rearrest," the hypothesis which


apparently lays the groundwork for the bottom line of her/story: "repeated violations cannot be condoned." She should have known better because I took her to my "living accommodations" at 1440 N Street, N.W., and displayed to her my "work product" of the past four years. 1/ With great deliberation I detailed to Ms. Robinson my prodigious four year efforts to obtain from the National Park Service definitions of the terms "casual sleep" and "storage of property." There is not a word of this in her/story. With God's help, and the Court's permission to introduce hard evidence, I hope the Court will agree that to say I have "done little to avoid rearrest" is, at best, patently absurd.

2. Between June 3, 1981, and November 10, 1984, according to her/story, there were sixteen arrests. In his/story there are at least an additional 6 arrests ... none of which resulted in conviction, or are mentioned in her/story. On November 21, 1984 I filed Thomas v. USA, USDC Civ. No. 84-3552 (Thomas). From that date until the present her/story lists only three arrests. Both stories agree that there has been a marked reduction in the number of times I have come into contact with the police.


Ms. Robinson simply reported that I could feel no remorse for my action. But her/story takes "remorsefulness" clean out of context by neglecting to make any explanation as to "why."

1) First, I related my sincere etymological conviction that "sleeping," even while possessing a bag of literature and legal papers, is different than "camping."

1/ Neither does her/story mention the fact that I took her on a guided tour of my "living accommodations" including laundry, cooking, toilet, clothing, and paper storage facilities, telephone, and the building mailbox where this Court and the Government send all my mail.


2) Next I explained to Ms. Robinson that I knew this Court was not foolish because, in granting the Notion To Dismiss By Reason Of An Act Of God, the Court supported it's decision with a number of citations which were precisely on target. 2/ Since the Government couldn't challenge my sincerity, and the Circuit Court assumed my sincerity, I explained by difficulty in imaginning how a "good" system could convict a person for preforming, according to a sincerely held religious belief, an activity which "impacts no discernable victim."

3) I stated that, in sum, I considered the trial to have been a process of form over substance. I stipulate that, as a monument, I am not attractive, but that's got nothing to do with the substance of what I am saying, nor should my ugliness serve as an excuse to deprive me of my rights.

4) I stated my opinion that Judge Richey, honorable and objective though he might be, did not apprehend my intent for remaining in the Park as well as I apprehend that intent. And my belief that if Judge Richey were to spend a week following me around he would be forced to conclude my "life" has not being "accommodated" through time spent Lafayette Park, and that he would never again convict me of camping.

5) Because he has not followed me around Judge Richey has no evidence upon which to objectively weigh the possibility of official hostility to my message.

6) I told Ms. Robinson that I don't know what the "truth" is, but that I am trying find out. I told her that I would welcome correction, either from herself or Judge Richey.

7) Most importantly I explained my opinion that the Court had overlooked what seems to be the definitive phrase of the regulation: "The above listed activities constitute camping when it appears IN LIGHT OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES that the participants are using the area for living accommodation purposes (intents)."


There are a number of arrests since 1981 which her/story identifies by the misleading term: "unlawful entry." None of those incidents involved any criminal activity. The incident of

2/ Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105 (1943); Thomas v. Review Board, 450 U.S. 707 (1981); L. Tribe, American Constitutional Law section 14-10.

March 20, 1981 arrest took place at the Soviet Embassey, where I went to "surrender" to the Soviets for the purpose of illustrating to the American people that they have nothing to fear from the Soviet people. That charge was dismissed. The other "unlawful entry" entries indicate the charge that the Park Police used before they revised the "camping" regulation to the form under which I now stand convicted. None of those charges resulted in a conviction.


Two of the three arrests since 1984 involve alleged assaults on police officers. Both charges were immediately dropped. Her/ story provides no details on the alleged "assaults," but Thomas alleges that the assaults were actually committed by police officers against myself.

1) The November 11, 1986 incident is depicted in the videotape. I am the person holding the sign with both hands, and the police officer is the gentleman with his arm around my neck. The police officer is applying a "choke hold," which eventually caused me to lose consciousness. Charges were dropped the following morning. This incident is now at issue in Thomas.

2) The March 19, 1985 incident occurred as I was walking through an alley. A man in a Volkswagen Beetle, and civilian clothes drove into the alley, and simply demanded my identification. I replied that I didn't have to show him any identification. The man responded that if I didn't some him my identification I would have to leave the alley. "Fine, I was on my way out." I answered, and started walking out of the alley toward Connetticut Ave.. As I neared the mouth of the alley two Metropolitan police cruisers converged on the scene, and the man who had been driving the Volkswagen came running after me, and, without warning, tackled me and knocked me to the ground. I was sent to D.C. General. Charges were dropped the following morning.

3) The June 6, 1984 assault allegations stem from an incident where Park Police officer David Haynes arrested seven people for camping. The officer began beating Robert Dorrough on the back of his head, as Mr. Dorrough knelt, handcuffed, on the ground; I began taking photographs of the attack. When officer Haynes noticed me photographing him,


he left Mr. Dorrough and began beating on, kicking, and shoving me. I tossed the camera to Ellen Thomas, who, in turn, photographed officer Haynes, and was assualted by him. After the incident officer Haynes left the scene with the camera, which later disappeared. Officer Haynes testimony went to the Grand Jury, which refused to indite, and the charges were dropped. Both Ellen and myself suffered physical abrasions, and my elbow as painfully damaged for a month. Robert received physical treatment at Goerge Washington University Hospital. This incident is also at issue in Thomas.


Her/story of my youth fails to reflect that I was amply punished for any wrongdoing I committed. For a few examples:

1) Instead of "58 days" imprisonment in 1963 I spent three years in prison.

2) For the charge of February 17, 1969 I spent nearly two years in prison.

3) Her/story doesn't mention that I spent almost a year in prison in Egypt, for trying to walk across the Siani Desert.

4) Where her/story says I spent two months in prison in England, in reality I eight months incarcerated.

By my calculations, during my life I have spent around seven and a half years in prison. Her/story reminds the Court that I have a "drug history," but fails to note that I overcame drug abuse by myself, and that prison did not alter my behavior.

I'm not afraid to go to prison. In my youth I was there for being bad. As an adult I have been there for being good. In my opinion it's better to be in hail for being good than it is to be in jail for being bad. Although I would prefer not to go to jail, perhaps I should. Maybe I'll find a more receptive audience for my message.


William Thomas