|LIFE LEGAL DEFENSE FOUNDATION|
|P.O. Box 2105, Napa, California 94558 — 707.224.6675|
|NEWS RELEASE||February 19, 2009|
OAKLAND, Calif.: Today the Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California was sentenced to serve 30 days in county jail and fined $1,130.00 by Judge Hing of the Alameda Superior Court after being found guilty on January 15, 2009, of unlawfully approaching a person entering an abortion clinic in Oakland. The court is allowing Rev. Hoye to serve his time by an alternative method like community service. Rev. Hoye was also ordered to stay away from the clinic. However, Rev. Hoye refused this term of probation and would not agree to a stay-away order. Nonetheless, the judge is having the order drawn up and refused to accept Rev. Hoye’s decision not to agree to the stay-away order.
Dozens in the African-American community from around the nation who came out in support of Rev. Hoye were outraged by the sentence. The consensus of these leaders is that it was a travesty that Rev. Hoye was found guilty in the first place for standing in the gap for black children targeted by the abortion industry. Now they are simply enraged.
“It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk,” remarked Allison Aranda, Staff Counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation. Allison Aranda further stated “Rev. Hoye has a legal right to refuse onerous conditions of probation. Rev. Hoye will not and should not agree to give up his free speech rights. We will appeal.”
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.” That was, until he was found guilty and jailed for “unlawfully” approaching abortion clinic patients because the Oakland City Council passed an ordinance making it a crime to stand on a public sidewalk offering alternatives to abortion.
According to 2004 statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 37 percent of pregnancies of black women end in abortion, compared with 12 percent for non-Hispanic white women and 19 percent for Hispanic women.
LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short and attorney Mike Millen, who also represented Rev. Hoye at trial, are currently challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance on Rev. Hoye’s behalf in federal court. They are hopeful the ordinance will be struck down and Rev. Hoye vindicated.
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.