THE COURT: Very well.
The court has received a series of motions, various motions,
rather, by the defendants, on behalf of the defendants. The court
has considered them and, to the extent there's been an opposition
thereto, the opposition, and determined that the requirements
of law require that they all be denied.
Now with respect to the matter of sentencing, each defendant
has been here in the court this morning, has been given a full
and complete opportunity to be heard and to respond to any claimed
inaccuracies in the presentence investigation report, and to the
allocation on the part of the United States through the Assistant
United States Attorney, Mark DuBester.
With respect to Mr. William Thomas, who claims a legal
residence in Washington, D. C., it appears to the court without
dispute that he is a gentleman of 40 years of age, having been
born, by his own verification here this morning, in Terrytown
New York, approximately 40 years ago. He is married to his co-defendant,
Miss Ellen B. Thomas.
Obviously, Mr. Thomas is a gentleman who inspires and has
inspired the respect of his co-defendants in this case, and undoubtedly
many others. It appears to the court that Mr. Thomas, by his admission,
has served time in prison in the past some seven-and-a-half years
as I recall him saying
earlier today, and I also recall, the court also recalls Mr.
Thomas indirectly urging the court to the position of the time
that he has spent previously for other offenses that he has spent
in jail as debts to society for having committed those offenses.
It appears that Mr. Thomas claims to have been arrested more times
than which the probation officer is aware of, and the court notes
in his favor that, since 1984, he apparently has not been arrested
except for this pending case.
It appears from the records not only in the sentencing
proceeding, but previously to this date, that the defendant William
Thomas also engaged in a rather continuous dialogue with the National
Park Service of the Department of Interior and its representatives
in an effort to find out what he could or could not do at Lafayette
Park. The fact, however, is that Mr. Thomas, regardless of his
intentions or motivations, has been found guilty by this court
based on the facts and the allegations that were set forth in
the citation and his arrest. He stands exposed to a six-month
jail sentence and/or a fine of $500, or both, together with a
$25 special mandatory assessment.
These defendants who have been engaging in these activities
in Lafayette Park for some period of time, as the court has already
said, have been found guilty. Some of them have been given probationary-type
probation by various judges of this court. What has happened?
They've gone right back and done the same thing again.
It appears to the court, Mr. Thomas, that what you're saying
is that you're not going to change and really, it's not the office
or the purpose of the court to ask you to change. The only thing
the court's concerned about is whether you obeyed or disobeyed
the law and, in connection with the sentence I impose this morning,
whether it can reasonably expect that you will obey the law in
the future. If it is your intention to go right back up to Lafayette
park from Third and Constitution Avenue and do what you've been
doing all along, and if that's contrary to the regulations or
found to be, and is in essence a so-called petty offense or a
crime, then probation isn't going to do any good.
One of the fundamental purposes of sentencing in our criminal
jurisprudence in this country, which we inherited from England,
is deterrence. Whether you can be deterred by virtue of a sentence
or incarceration, I don't know, but I do know this: that sentences
of incarceration to jail, together with fines, is said, by virtue
of our history not only in this country but in England, to be
a deterrent to others against commission of the same of similar
Now, I think there are some mitigating circumstances in
your case. I don't hold it against you or any of your
co-defendants for exercising your rights to the extent that
those rights are consistent with law under the First Amendment.
As a matter of fact, this member of the court believes and hopes
that it would be the last judge in the United States to impair
or impede anybody's ability to express themselves as they deem
appropriate; but, by the same token, as Justice Brandeis once
said, you can't yell "fire" in a theater. And these
regulations have been upheld, the validity of them have been upheld,
in your very case as a result of my decision in this instance.
And so having found you guilty, William Thomas, and having
considered all the relevant facts to which there is no dispute
that are material to sentencing, it is the judgment of the court
that you are hereby sentenced to the custody of the Attorney General
of the United States or his authorized representative for a period
of 60 days, and that you be required to pay a fine of $25. The
defendant will stand committed.
Case Listing --- Proposition
One ---- Peace Park