AFRICAN AMERICAN PASTOR FOUND GUILTY AFTER BEING PROSECUTED UNDER UNCONSTITUTIONAL CITY ORDINANCE

LIFE LEGAL DEFENSE FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 2105, Napa, California 94558 — 707.224.6675
NEWS RELEASE January 16, 2009
Contact: Dana Cody, Executive Director
(916) 727-4396

OAKLAND, Calif.—Late yesterday the Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California was found guilty of unlawfully approaching abortion clinic patients at a clinic in Oakland. Rev. Hoye is the plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance under which he was prosecuted.

On May 13, 2008, subsequent to the filing of the lawsuit challenging the ordinance, Rev. Hoye was arrested for allegedly violating the newly-enacted law. Rev. Hoye is an African-American pastor who feels a special calling to work for the end of the genocide-by-abortion taking place in the African-American community. As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion clinic in Oakland with leaflets offering abortion alternatives and a sign reading, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.”

Despite the video tape the defense presented at trial showing that prosecution witnesses conjured up phantom patients whom Rev. Hoye had allegedly harassed, as well as claiming that he threatened two escorts and the clinic director, the jury rendered the guilty verdict.

“This is a miscarriage of justice and we will appeal this verdict. After speaking with several jurors after the verdict was read, it is clear that the court’s failure and outright refusal to instruct the jury regarding the key elements of the crime led to the erroneous conviction of Rev. Hoye,” commented Allison Aranda, Staff Counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation, who is representing Rev. Hoye.

See more details about the inconsistencies of the testimony given during trial.

Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to the sanctity of human life. For more information, call Dana Cody at 916.727.4396.

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Please see additional stories on this case:

Black Religious Leaders Say Free Speech Rights Violated—Come From Around Nation to Support Pastor Facing Prison Term
OAKLAND, Calif. (Christian Newswire 2/17/09)—Top leaders in the Black pro-life movement are flying here to attend the sentencing of an African American pastor they say was wrongly convicted of violating Oakland’s ordinance barring contact with women approaching an abortion clinic. [read article]

Star Parker (Scripps Howard News Service 2/13/09) has written an OpEd piece addressing Mr. Hoye’s case:

Root of nation’s economic crisis is moral crisis
A travesty of justice has occurred in Oakland, California. But realities surrounding this local issue point to how the economic crisis in our nation is symptomatic of and flows from a deeper fundamental moral crisis. [read article]


On cross-examination, Ms. Barbic and the jury watched the video of this incident. The video showed Ms. Barbic approaching Rev. Hoye and pointing a tape measure at him and Rev. Hoye not moving an inch. In the video, she can be seen lecturing him, and then talking to others. Mr. Hoye moved away. A few minutes later, the same scene plays out again, with Ms. Barbic again pointing the tape measure at Rev. Hoye, and him moving down the sidewalk in a different direction. more.

City Attorney Calls Obstruction by Pro-Aborts “Creative” more

Jan. 19, 2009 article in California Catholic Daily

[Clinic escorts routinely block Rev. Hoye’s sign with blank signs to prevent women from seeing his message: “God loves you and your baby. Let us help.”]

ADDENDUM

Thank you for your interest in Rev. Hoye’s case. Please be assured that we will appeal the verdict.

In 2000, a law similar to the Oakland ordinance was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in an outrageously bad First Amendment decision, Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703. (See Lifeline, Fall 2000). So the answer to the very natural question as to whether the Oakland ordinance is constitutional is that, at first glance, under Hill, yes, it is.

That being said, in addition to appealing the verdict against Rev. Hoye, we are also continuing with our federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance, which lawsuit was filed last spring.

Based on the facts elicited in Walter’s case, facts unlike those before the Supreme Court in Hill, we are cautiously optimistic that the federal court will strike down the ordinance. Depending on how far each side appeals, this could be the vehicle for overturning Hill itself.

In the meantime, however, we have to deal with the fall-out from this criminal conviction and the sentencing scheduled for February 19. We will be soliciting letters, testimonials, etc., on Walter’s behalf for the court to consider in sentencing. Please keep in contact with LLDF for more information.

Author: Life Legal

The Life Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit law firm that specializes in the defense of vulnerable human life, especially life in the womb.