We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Bernell Butler acquitted of felony charges

by mary shelton Friday, Feb. 16, 2001 at 9:49 AM

Last week, the political prosecution of Bernell Butler came to a close as a jury acquitted him of six felony and misdemeanor charges, and convicting him of one added lessor charge of misdemeanor simple assault.

The courtroom became silent, as the clerk of the court repeated the verdicts of not-guilty in the case of the State of California v Bernell Butler. He was acquitted of four felony charges including domestic assault and assault with a deadly weapon, as well as two misdemeanor assaults involving the Rev. Paul Munford. The jury found him quilty of a lessor simple assault charge which had been added to the jury instructions by prosecutor Brian Sussman.

"I knew I was innocent. They were selectively prosecuting me, throwing all these charges at me, and hoping they would stick," Butler said, after hearing the verdicts. His wife, Ramona Butler who had recanted her allegations of domestic abuse during the trial embraced him as did his son, Jerel Butler. Butler added that he is going to urge the State Attorney General Bill Lockyer to do an investigation against the Riverside County District Attorney's office to see if it engaged in any wrongdoing. Attorney Mark Blankenship was happy with the verdict, and said it was a victory to get acquittals on every charge originally filed by the prosecution.

A male juror said the jury could not convict Butler on any of the charges. While three of them believed that something may have happened, they did not believe that a crimal act had been committed regarding either incident. "It was hard believe given the description of the assault on the videotape, that there would not have been more evidence of serious injuries," the juror said, regarding the alleged assault involving Ramona Butler. On the simple assault charge, nine had wanted to acquit but bowed to the wishes of a staunch minority to avoid a hung verdict. They all agreed that if the simple assault charge had not been an option, they would never have convicted him of anything.

The case involving Butler was a highly charged political trial. Every day, prosecutors flocked and sat and snickered inside the courtroom. At the reading of the verdict, there were 30 prosecutors in the courtroom, and all of them filed silently out, frowns on their faces, upon hearing the verdicts of acquittal. Criticism had been expressed against them for sitting in a courtroom for hours on the tax payer's dollar. When asked how much the typical salary was for a entry DA, one prosecutor refused to comment, suggesting that a freedom of information act request be filed. However, according to the Human Resources dept. for Riverside County, the entry salary range for a prosecutor is $26-32/hour with supervisors making up to $52/hour.

Judge Edward D. Webster, a former prosecutor, appeared upset at the verdict, as he had been for most of the trial. Harsh criticism has been launched his way about his handling of both the trial and his temper, which he lost in front of the jury several times. This was his final criminal trial after 16 years on the bench, and he is heading off for a stint in family court.

The trial ended one stage of the DA's incessent selective prosecution of activists and relatives of Tyisha Miller who have protested against her death at the hands of four police officers in December 1998. Butler still faces a trial on misdemeanor charges stemming from the Nov. 1, 1999 prayer vigil which took place on the 91 freeway. That case has trailed the other one for over a year.

Butler will be sentenced on March 30 on the assault conviction, and faces up to six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Justice-1, Reppression-0 Fellow Freeway Protester Monday, Feb. 19, 2001 at 4:07 PM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy