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January 30, 2023

Federal Jury Acquits Pro-Life Activist Persecuted by Biden's DOJ on Trumped-Up Charge

This was the man the FBI sent over 30 agents to arrest early in the morning, when the wife and children were all at home.

As the left likes to say: Cruelty is the point.

He was alleged to have gotten into a scuffle with an "abortion escort," someone who escorts the abortion-seeking woman to the clinic. JJ just posted about this case last week, citing The Federalist.

The Biden [junta's] targeting of pro-lifers will be on full display this week with the Department of Justice's prosecution of sidewalk counselor Mark Houck beginning on Tuesday.

Houck's case first received national attention when upwards of 20 FBI agents swarmed his rural Pennsylvania home in September of 2022 to arrest him on charges that he had violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or "FACE," Act. The FBI executed the unnecessary SWAT-like raid -- reportedly complete with ballistic shields, a battering ram, and multiple agents aiming long guns at Houck -- while his wife and seven children watched in horror.

The spectacle was completely unnecessary, as prosecutors in such cases typically issue a summons to appear rather than execute an arrest warrant. In fact, Houck's attorney informed the prosecutor that he would accept a summons on Houck's behalf. . .

. . . A jury could begin hearing testimony as early as this afternoon, according to Peter Breen, the lead attorney for Houck. Breen also told me the trial could be over as early as Friday.

If convicted, Houck faces up to "11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000," according to a DOJ press release. Based on Houck's lack of any criminal history, however, the governing Federal Sentencing Guidelines would recommend a much lower range of six to 12 months.

But that is assuming both a conviction and one that could withstand an appeal, neither of which seems likely given the facts presented by Houck and the apparent lack of a conflicting version of events. Even an acquittal of Houck, however, would still represent a victory for the Biden [junta], which succeeded in chilling pro-lifer activities through the raid on Houck's home and his prosecution.

A federal court has now said "No" to Biden's DOJ's persecution of its political enemies.

There's a little mystery here: The jury was reportedly "deadlocked" just a few days ago. Note that does not mean there was a tie; one holdout can deadlock a jury in a criminal case, which requires unanimous verdicts.

One juror was kicked out of the jury and then suddenly the jury votes unanimously for acquittal.

Catholic News Agency:

One of the 12 jurors deciding the fate of the pro-life father of seven Mark Houck in Philadelphia federal court has been replaced by an alternate.

The alternate took the place of the original juror at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, when deliberations began again. Defense lawyers for Houck could not comment on the reason for the replacement.

The jury began deliberations on the case on Friday but said they were "deadlocked" and would not come to a decision that night.

Was that juror the one holdout? And why was he kicked off the jury? You don't get kicked off just for disagreeing with the majority, obviously; that would defeat the whole point of requiring unanimous verdicts.

No, he must have been kicked off for bringing in evidence not presented at trial or saying something like "I don't care what the facts are, we have to convict him to send a message on abortion rights." Something like that, were he is clearly acting outside the instructions given to him by the judge.

It's not all good news:

Further, Minnesota's legislature just officially made abortion legal up until the very moment of birth.

The Minnesota state senate passed an abortion rights bill that guarantees a right to an abortion up to the time of birth.

The bill, known as the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act, passed by a vote of 34-33 and now goes to Gov. Bill Walz's desk. He has indicated he will sign it.

"Minnesotans don't support elective third-trimester abortion. They just don't. But that's what this extreme bill entrenches in our state law: the right to abort any baby for any reason at any time up to birth," said Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) Co-Executive Director Cathy Blaeser. "Under this bill, even babies who are old enough to live outside the womb and to feel excruciating pain have no protection from lethal violence. The extremism of H.F. 1 puts Minnesota in the same category as just a handful of countries around the world, including North Korea and China."

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posted by Ace at 05:27 PM

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