THE COURT: Wait just a minute. Thank you for waiting. I'm just making a note of what you said, Because I think it will be helpful. Is there anything else that you claim to be inaccurate in the report?

MR. THOMAS: Like I say, Your Honor, there's a lot of little things in the history that are inaccurate, but --

THE COURT: They're not material to sentencing?

MR. THOMAS: I don't think they're material to sentencing, I think that you're not going to hold against me what I did when I was 21, and if you are, I understand.

THE COURT: Are there any offenses listed here that


were not in fact correct, except the one?

MR. THOMAS: Yeah, there's another one for DUI and no license in Albuquerque.

THE COURT: That's incorrect?

MR. THOMAS: That never happened at all.

THE COURT: The court will disregard that in connection with the exercise of its sentencing responsibilities. Anything else, sir?

MR. THOMAS: No, nothing that I want to get specific on.

THE COURT: Pardon?

MR. THOMAS: There are other things, but I'll -- just wait.

THE COURT: But this is an important matter, Mr. Thomas.

MR. THOMAS: Well, I don't know that it's, excuse me but I don't know that it's really material. I think that I would just be giving you stories about extenuating circumstances of different things and adding in things that they left out, mostly. Everything, they left out a lot of things. All the things they left out were charges that were dismissed, basically. I think that's that.

THE COURT: Well, I wouldn't consider those, anyhow, sir. So you can't hold that against Miss Robinson.


MR. THOMAS: No, I can't, but from my point of view, I think in terms of it's not me who's doing this; it's the other side that's doing this. I'm trying to be good. That's how I see it. I may be wrong. So I think if I have a record with a whole bunch of arrests and only a small percentage of convictions, that's something in my favor. That's the way I look at it.

THE COURT: Well, I think that's correct. I think that's correct, but the convictions you did have, which were not set aside and which were validly rendered, did result in seven-and-a-half years of time you have spent in your 40-odd years on this earth in prison.

MR. THOMAS: That's right, and I think that, first, I think that whatever I did wrong, by virtue of the fact that I did that time in prison, I paid for it; and, secondly, while the report notes my drug history, and I would like to note that being in jail isn't what cured me. I only overcame drug abuse by myself. Putting me in jail didn't do it, but I personally, I feel like society and I are about even. I did some stupid things when I was 16, 21 years old. I think I paid for it.

THE COURT: Let me go back. Well, you were born in New York

MR. THOMAS: That's true.

THE COURT: Outside the City of New York, in



MR. THOMAS: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: You are 40 years of age.


THE COURT: And you are presently married to Ms. Ellen --

MR. THOMAS: Thomas," that’s correct.

THE COURT: And I take it there are no children of that union.


THE COURT: What about your other children, sir? Are they being cared for by you now?

MR. THOMAS: My first wife, I had children by a previous marriage. Their father died and left them considerable trust funds. The youngest one died of leukemia. The oldest one is financially very well-off.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. THOMAS: And I'd also like to say that when I left my wife to walk across North Africa, I left her a lot of money. I didn't owe anybody anything. There was money in the bank and there was big inventory in the business that was free and clear, and I did return to her afterwards, but our perceptions of reality had grown so far apart that we just decided to go separate ways.

THE COURT: All right, sir. Anything else that you


would like to tell the court before it imposes sentence?


THE COURT: I think you've been very articulate.

MR. THOMAS: I think you've been very patient.

THE COURT: Well, thank you, Mr. Thomas. Nobody likes to, with very, very few exceptions, I've never known a judge, and I've known lots of them, as you can imagine, by this time, who enjoys the responsibility and the duty of imposing sentence. In any case, when that time comes, it's just not an enjoyable function or experience, but that's the way our government is structured, and it's fallen upon the lot of judges to do that.

Now, if you'll just stand aside by the lectern there, since you have nothing further to say or advise the court of with respect to any material inaccuracies in the presentence investigation report, I'll ask the government if they have anything they want to say, and you can stand right here beside the lectern, please, and I'll hear from the Assistant United States Attorney, and you tell me if there's anything, after he finishes, that is incorrect.

MR. THOMAS: All right.

MR. DUBESTER: Thank you, Your Honor. I would like to make only two points, and I would like to make them, and I'll make them briefly. The first is that we submit that probation is essentially not an option


for Mr. Thomas. In a way, it's just not fair to the Probation Department. They don’t want him. They feel they can't supervise him. Their perception that Mr. Thomas is unsupervisable and not a good probationer is reflected and is woven into the report.

Mr. Thomas says he is making efforts to avoid rearrest. We do take some quarrel with that. Mr. Thomas has chosen a lifestyle which inevitably will cause him to be rearrested. His approach to his vigil is to walk as close to the line as possible, and when he does that, he's bound to cross it. He'll cross it in the way the evidence in this case showed he crossed it, by sleeping and camping on sleeping bags and under sleeping bag bags. He'll cross it by storing property. He'll cross it by violating rules about the sizes of signs. He'll cross it by doing other things to park property. He'll cross it by certain of his protesting activities which cross the line from the lawful to the unlawful, and in every single area, Mr. Thomas has chosen to walk as close to the line as possible.

And in this sense, when the Probation Department says that the man has done nothing to avoid rearrest, we agree that that's a pretty fair perception. He has chosen to confront the rules, confront the regulations, and to adopt a lifestyle which will cause him to be rearrested, and the Probation Department's suggestion that that is what he has


done, we submit, is accurate. Mr. Thomas continually protests. He doesn't understand the rules and just wants to know what he is allowed to do and what's not allowed to do. We submit that these regulations could not be more lucid. They are absolutely clear that the camping activity that Mr. Thomas' was involved in -- the use of bedding material, the falling asleep at night under the pillow, under the blankets -- there's no question that that was crossing the line.

It may be that there is some gray area inherent in every criminal statute. Hopefully, it's not a big, broad, amorphous one, because then there will be problems, but right on the fringes there may be a touch of an area which Mr. Thomas wants to stick his foot over the line a bit and wonder if he's going to be arrested or not. That's not what's involved in this case, and that's not involved in the vast thrust of the arrests for which Mr. Thomas has been arrested for. Mr. Thomas could easily choose to comport with what are the clear thrusts of lawful behavior, but he doesn't want that; he wants to walk as close to all the lines as possible and in that sense it is inevitable that he be arrested.

I believe Mr. Thomas indicated that he has not really been arrested since 1984. It’s my understanding that right now Judge Flannery is waiting to rule on a motion by Mr. Thomas, after a trial, another camping trial, which happened


March of '87, subsequent to the facts of Your Honor's case, and that was a citation case for the same conduct which occurred either in March or April of 1987, and that Judge Flannery, I think, is still waiting to rule. That was a trial that occurred the day before the trial in front of you. You may recall there was some scheduling problems at that point because Mr. Thomas had another case the very prior day. In fact, you were waiting for Mr. Thomas to complete his trial before Judge Flannery before we started up your trial.

THE COURT: The court remembers it.

MR. DuBESTER: So it's not totally fair to say that. So, even after December, 1986, when he was arrested in this case before Your Honor, Mr. Thomas was arrested March, 1987, again, for camping, again, for the same offense, that was over a period of several days.

In short, Your Honor, Mr. Thomas has, we submit, shows a relatively callous regard for the thrust of the criminal laws as they exist to define what is lawful behavior in and around the White House. This is an interest, this is a concern, of great importance to the United States. People come to Washington, D.C., every single day. They are entitled to enjoy Lafayette Park. They're entitled to enjoy the area in front of the White House.

We do not begrudge the right of people to exercise


their rights of expression at all. That is inherent in this country, but not, but there are areas where these rights of expression can be regulated and limited, so long as the fundamental rights are not impinged upon, and that involves the right of everybody to enjoy, the right to enjoy Lafayette Park. And Mr. Thomas has proven time and time again, continually, that he does not respect this right of other people, and continually he impinges on these rights of other people because of his world view, and time and time again he gets involved in the law because of it. This is just another example.

Probation has thrown up their hands and said they don't want him, and we feel, in light of this continual conduct, that there is really only one action left for you, and that would be to sentence Mr. Thomas to a period of incarceration.

Thank you.

THE COURT: All right, Mr. Thomas, do you wish to respond to what the prosecutor has just said to the court?

MR. THOMAS: I think that, first, the probation report clearly reflects that every time I've been on probation, I have been a model probationer. If the Probation Office doesn't want to supervise me, I'm not sure why, but there is nothing in that report except that I finished all my probation correctly and I reported regularly.


I thought that we were just talking about the history up until this arrest. It's true, there was another arrest that happened after this one, but between 1984, November, and this arrest and the other arrest, there was nothing that I was doing except my signs were smaller and there were less things around, that I hadn't been doing since 1984.

I think that the government has the wrong idea. I want to communicate, and I want to communicate as effectively as I can. The prerequisite for communicating is to attract attention. I think that's obvious. There hasn't been -- Mr. DuBester mentioned sign-size regulations. There hasn't been any question about sign-size regulations or any outside signs or illegal signs since, I think, 1983.

The rights of the people, I'm not sure what he's talking about. The rights of the people, when he says that I have a right to be there, I think that basically the only thing that -- I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I mean, maybe I'm ugly, but that's the only thing that I can see is wrong, and if the people of the United States have the right to be protected from people who are ugly, then I guess it's your responsibility to put me in jail, or something.

I would suggest that Your Honor give me community service and allow me to continue to perform the service that I really believe that I'm performing for this country.

THE COURT: What would you like to continue to do in



the way of community service?

MR. THOMAS: I would like to do what I'm doing. In addition to compiling all this paper, I work with people who don't have any houses and who need counseling, don't have anywhere to go. I try to (pause) -- the main thing I do, of course, and I think the biggest service that I provide for the community, is to make people question or attempt to make people question or search for alternatives to what we presently have. I want to make very clear, I think that social change is inevitable, and I'm opposed to the idea of -- there's only two ways that I think it comes about, either through violence or through reason and logic, communication. I think there's something wrong in the world, and I'm trying to bring about a change through reason and logic. I think that's the biggest community service that I'm doing, and I think that that's community service that I would like to continue with.

THE COURT: All right. Anything else?


THE COURT: You may be seated.

Call the case of Miss Thomas.

THE CLERK: Criminal Action 87-0064, United States of America vs. Ellen Thomas.

THE COURT: Wait just a moment, Mr. Thomas. Be seated and remain seated at your table, please, sir.


Excuse me just a minute.

Ms. Thomas, do you have a lawyer here today?

MS. THOMAS: Yes, sir, I do.

THE COURT: All right. Perhaps your counsel should come forward, too. I apologize to you, ma'am. Do you want to swear the witness please?

MS. THOMAS: I affirm, yes.

THE COURT: All right. Counsel, do you wish to say anything before the court proceeds with sentencing?

Transcript Continued

Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park