This has become one of the most overwhelming projects I have ever undertaken. Appealing my case pro se. Lawyerless. Clueless. And yes, even fearless.
I need to file my appeal by Monday in order to reverse my resisting arrest without violence conviction; the last of the original nine charges I was slapped with in February 2007 for photographing cops against their wishes.
I’ve already been granted a 30-day extension so there are no more delays. No more extensions.
It is crunch time. The two-minute warning. Deadline.
I’ve spent the last several days immersed in legal research, analyzing laws through various Websites, combing through case files and portions of transcripts of my trial that I’ve purchased, and listening and re-listening to portions of the trial on audio to decide what other portions I need transcribed.
Am I stressed? Well….just a little.
Although I was unable to afford the ten thousand dollar going rate for an appellate lawyer; and although I was unable to find a pro bono lawyer; and although I was unable to afford the $3,000 to get the entire trial transcribed in order to let the ACLU review it; I am not alone.
I have a lawyer in my corner. A coach on my sidelines. A guide by my side.
Some of you might know him.
His name is Señor Cohiba. Cigar Mike. Michael Pancier. Lawyer by day, right-wing blogger by night. And photographer when he gets away from it all.
And did I mention he was a photographer?
Check out his work below. The photo (not painting) he is holding was taken on a recent trip to Maine, part of a series of prints he is selling for the holiday season. Excellent work, and I’m not just saying that because he is helping me with my case.
Whatever you say or think about him, he has guided me through this process since I was convicted last June, even donating to my Legal Defense Fund as well as sending me sample appeals and tweaking my Motion for Extension to legalese where I was able to file it in on the very last day allowed.
This week, he has responded to the multitude of questions that have popped up for me along the way, sending me statutes and case laws that help build my case, encouraging me when I’m headed in the right direction and informing me when I’m headed down the wrong path.
It will soon be two years since I spent the night in jail for crimes I did not commit and I know I’m going to win this thing. I guarantee it.
Those are strong words but I’m building a strong case. And I have Mike on my side, who believes just as strongly as I do about photographers’ rights. Perhaps more lawyers should get into photography.
Please contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by clicking at the top of the left sidebar. Donations will help pay for transcripts I need to purchase this week, which go for six dollars a page because of the rush job.