Look to the Word

Here are some corrections to the article [News, "Barnhill lives," July 3] (http://www.readthehook.com/93681/news-barnhill-lives-prosecute-me-not-my...) of which you should be aware.

Catherine maintains a legal residence in Michigan.

The charges after the stop in May were a) a violation of child restraint; b) "obstructing official business" for allegedly refusing to provide identification (that was, in fact, provided); c) "no valid license," for showing something other than a driver's license as identification.

The child restraint is void because Ohio law says to look to the state of residence if one is not from Ohio, and MCL 257.710d(2) says that the child restraint law of Michigan "does not apply to a child being nursed." Ohio calls this charge a "minor misdemeanor," which means that one must provide only "satisfactory proof of identity," not a driver's license.

Almost a full month later in June, Sean Scahill, the assistant prosecutor, brought a charge of endangering children when ORC 4511.81(D) says that you cannot use a violation of the child restraint law as evidence of negligence (of any kind), and "failure to comply" (fleeing) when the video and audio from the stop show the troopers saying they are not going to charge her with fleeing.

This is intimidation, because a good faith plea bargain does not mean instituting new charges that the officers themselves would not have brought.

Furthermore, leaving $150 of the fine and 90 days in jail suspended– so that the next time they catch her doing something they can impose the suspended fine and toss her in the can– is not much of a deal. The prosecutor wanted her to plead to something that she had not done, and folks like us call that bearing false witness.

The purpose of my ministry is to help people understand the relationship between themselves, their Creator, and these mere "fictions of law" that presume to govern us. What standing will such fictions as the "United States" or the "Commonwealth of Virginia" have when the Redeemer comes the second time? Do you think He will care about statutes that violate Free Exercise, or will he care about the keeping of The Word?

Decisional law shows that if we make a prima facie case showing that there is a substantial burden on our Free Exercise, then the state must show our Free Exercise constitutes a "clear and present danger to the public."

Otherwise, they have to find the "least restrictive means" to accommodate it.

Brad Barnhill
Pittsburgh
bradbva@mindspring.com