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May 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Surprise: Detroit Judge Orders Militia Members Free on Bond

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

UPDATE: The Judge late Monday granted a request by the U.S. Attorney  to delay until Wednesday at 5 p.m. the release of the  suspects to give the government time to decide whether to appeal her ruling, the Detroit Free Press reported.
By Allan Lengel

In a ruling that raises some questions about strength of the government’s case, a federal judge in Detroit on Monday ordered that nine members of Michigan based-Christian militia called the Hutaree be freed on bond. The members were accused of plotting to kill cops.

“The United States is correct that it need not wait until the people are killed before it arrests conspirators,” U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said in a 36-page written order. “But defendants are also correct: their right to engage in hate-filled, venomous speech, is a right that deserves First Amendment protection.

“The Court’s own Pretrial Services Agency, which makes bond recommendations, concluded that but for the seriousness of the offenses charged, the defendants are all people it would normally recommend for release on bond.”

The men must remain under court supervision while free and follow a number of guidelines.

The release seemed particularly surprising in wake of the allegations that the militia planned to kill law enforcement officers and ignite a revolt against the government, and raised some questions as to where one steps over the line when engaged in hateful and scary talk.

The defendants  face charges of seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Susan Plochinski,  a U.S. Attorney spokeswoman, responding to the ruling,  told the Detroit Free Press: “We will be reviewing and weighing all of our options.”

Read Judge’s Ruling

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