UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
v. Cr. Nos. 87-62,
Judge Charles R. Richey
DEFENDANT THOMAS' OBJECTIONS TO THE
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
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.
"DONE LITTLE TO AVOID REARREST"
1. Ms. Robinson should have known better than to say I
have "done little to avoid rearrest," the hypothesis
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
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
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.
ALLEGED "ASSAULTS ON POLICE OFFICERS"
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.
YOUTHFUL INDISCRETIONS: PAID IN FULL
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
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.