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On Kenneth Miller: An Eyewitness Account of Today's Events!

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  • rlbaty50
    Forwarded Message: What a day! What a hearing! We gathered in the hallways of the US District courthouse in Burlington, VT. waiting and visiting for a few
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2013
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      Forwarded Message:

      What a day! What a hearing!

      We gathered in the hallways of the US District courthouse
      in Burlington, VT. waiting and visiting for a few minutes
      while Judge William Sessions finished a previous case
      involving extradiction of an illegal alien back to Mexico.

      Many of us had met on a similar occasion last August; Ken
      Miller's trial.

      With children present, there were well over 100 friends
      and supporters gathered - plus a few reporters. Very few,
      if any, seemed to be supporters of the prosecution.

      We entered the courtroom at about 2:45 filling it tightly
      over capacity.

      The judge came in about 10 minutes later.

      First he heard arguments from the prosecution and the defense
      about whether Ken should receive an "enhanced" sentence for
      his crime.

      The defense argued that there was nothing extra-ordinary
      that separated this crime from a typical similar crime
      and that Ken's character was such that supervised release
      was sufficient penalty.

      The prosecution argued that the crime could not have
      occurred without Ken so his role was substantial.

      She also said that by selecting a foreign country without
      close diplomatic ties to the US and by continuing to
      conceal Lisa and Isabella's whereabouts, there was
      substantial interference of justice and significant
      extra involvement and expense for the federal government.

      The judge responded with a 2 fold question direct to Ken
      and his attorneys.


      Is your position still the same-that you acted for reasons
      of faith and conscience in helping Lisa and Isabella and


      Would you do it again?

      He said there is significant evidence that a defendant who
      will not express sorrow for his crime will much more likely

      Upon consultation they responded that "yes" his position
      is still the same, but that the second question is a bit
      hypothetical and they were unable to give a definite answer
      whether he would or would not do it again.

      Ken said he does not believe a similar situation would occur
      again, that he was far more knowledgeable of the legal issues
      and the implications for his family and others in such a case
      than he had been, and that if a similar situation came up, he
      would need time for counsel and prayer to make a decision.

      The judge found his answers troublesome and there was continued conversation.

      The defense emphasized that he had been sought out by Lisa,
      that he had a clean record as far as other violations of the
      law, that he had acted on deeply held convictions, and that
      there was evidence that quite a number of his people would
      have done a similar thing if the request had come to them

      Ken was given the opportunity to address the court.

      He spoke clearly and quietly for several minutes.

      He said he has a family of six children which he cares for
      very deeply. From a very young age he has been taught that
      the conscience is a priceless gift from God and that it is
      primary to allow this inner light to function properly in
      our lives.

      He said he acknowledges that the government and legal system
      is also ordained of God and he finds himself in a great
      dilemna - On the one hand desiring to honor the state, but
      on the other desiring to live with a clear moral conscience
      before God.

      He desires to do both, but he also knows that his highest
      loyalty is to Christ.

      He said respectfully with some emotion that it seems to
      him this court is judging his faith and conscience before
      God and he does not know what to do.

      So he chooses to look beyond this court to a higher court
      to which everyone of us, even this court, will give an
      account and to follow the example of our Lord Jesus who,
      in the words of the apostle Peter, "committed himself to
      Him who judges righteously".

      This brings peace of mind, rest of soul, and a willingness
      to yield himself into the hands of this court to accept
      whatever decision they make, even if it brings hardship.

      The judge asked him to clarify how his faith led to this

      In a quiet, clear, but slightly faltering voice Ken responded,

      > "I and my people would believe and teach
      > that marriage is ordained by God as being
      > the union of a man and a woman and that a
      > child's parentage is of a father and a mother."

      It was 3:45 and a 15 min. recess was called.

      A few brethren met for prayer outside the courtroom during
      this time acknowledging the Lord and His power.

      After the recess, the prosecution proceeded with their
      sentencing request.

      She spoke for 10 to 15 min.

      She spoke words of appreciation for Ken's beliefs, but said
      that these beliefs must be held within the bounds of the
      law and cannot be exercised contrary to the law.

      She requested a sentence of 30 to 36 months based primarily
      on 3 points.

      First, Ken assisted in the removal of a child from the US.

      She said it is impossible to overstate the immense proportions
      of this offense and the devastating effects it will have on a
      child because the US is the privileged place where everybody
      wants to come.

      They even sneak across borders to get here.

      Apparently in the trial just previous to this one she had
      argued that it was better for an illegal immigrant's child
      to stay in it's home country; because the judge somewhat
      humorously replied,

      > "I thought in the last trial you objected
      > to a child being brought to this country.
      > I find that amusing."

      She proceeded with her second point that Ken had robbed Ms.
      Jenkin's of her child-an unimaginable nightmare to a parent
      who was present when the child was born.

      She said Ken professes to have compassion for Ms. Jenkins,
      but his actions clearly show otherwise.

      He sees her as a homosexual-an associate of the powers of

      Her third point was Ken's lack of acceptance of guilt for
      his actions. He claims to answer to a court higher than
      this one. He welcomes the hero status he receives and
      blames the victim (Janet) for his crime.

      We have every reason to believe he would do it again.

      His supporters also answer to a higher court than this one
      and tonight in the state of Vermont a woman is without her

      The defense gave no response and the judge gave a ruling on
      the prosecuter's request for an "enhanced" sentence.

      He agreed that Ken's role was substantial but he did not
      agree that it had been clearly shown that there was
      substantially more expenditure or effort required of the
      government in this case.

      He gave a 2 level enhancement.
      They had sought a 5 level.

      The room was quiet as the judge spoke for some time to an
      attentive audience-first about the seriousness and sadness
      of the offense, but then also about his respect and admiration
      for Ken's faith and character.

      He said he does not feel Ken is being sentenced for his
      religion, but for actions contrary to the law.

      As one whose responsibility it is to uphold the laws and to
      protect the system of law in this country, he also finds
      himself in a dilemna.

      Many people commit crimes in the name of religion (even
      murder), and if we discard the criminal justice system
      because of everyone's personal beliefs, we will have
      anarchy-a country without laws.

      He finds it painful and hard, but this court must enforce
      the law which exists. (I cannot appreciate the derogatory
      statements that are made in some comments on public news
      sites about judges, especially this judge.)

      Judge Sessions said he will sentence Ken the maximum length
      of time according to the sentencing guidelines for this crime.

      He sentenced him to 27 months imprisonment and 1 year probation.

      He waived any fine (which should have been from $6000 to
      $60,000) and stipulated that his imprisonment should be in
      a minimum security setting near his home in VA if possible.

      He also said Ken has the right to appeal his sentence.

      There were 2 remaining issues to be decided.

      Because Ken chose not to give the testimony the prosecutors
      wanted from him in the grand jury several weeks ago, it
      resulted in a civil contempt charge and Ken was placed in
      prison to reconsider.

      On that charge he could be held in prison for up to 18 months.

      The judge said Ken has had sufficient time to consider and he
      is convinced that more time will not change his mind so he
      eliminated the civil contempt charge.

      The other issue was a response to a motion filed by the defense asking for a stay of the sentence till after the appeal is

      The appeal alleges that according to federal law, it was
      improper for Ken to be tried in VT because his crime took
      place in VA.

      The judge said the appeal raises substantial questions about
      the case and could take as long as several years to complete
      so he grants the stay and Ken is released to go home for now
      subject to the same conditions he was subject to at home

      The court was dismissed at about 5:30.

      It came as a surprise to all of us that Ken was released for
      now and was not held on at least one of the charges.

      With grateful hearts, we shared in the graciousness of our
      Father in heaven giving Ken the joy of being reunited with
      his wife and children.

      Such a joy for us all, esp. Ken's family!

      His dear wife, Linda, was beaming.
      The children were overwhelmed.

      Ken's testimony was that they thank God for this experience
      which has drawn them closer to God and to eachother.

      Ken had no other clothes but his navy blue prison garb so
      one of the brothers from Stuarts Draft gave him a coat to
      keep him warm and make him more presentable to the news
      media as we left the building.

      David Bercot, one of the consulting attorneys, explained
      the future prospects this way:

      > "Two to three years from now, we should receive
      > a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
      > on our appeal. If they agree with us that venue
      > in Vermont was improper, then the federal government
      > will have to start over. Such a ruling would erase
      > Ken's sentence as well as his felony conviction.
      > The government may elect to try Ken in Virginia,
      > or they may decide to drop the case. If the Court
      > of Appeals rules that venue in Vermont was proper,
      > then Ken will have to report to the prison to which
      > he will be assigned to begin his sentence."

      If I understood correctly, one of the defense lawyers in
      court mentioned also that the decision by the Court of
      Appeals may be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

      The air was cold, snowy, a bit raw and blustery, but the
      mood was one of quiet jubilant thanksgiving as we gathered
      on the street, offered some prayers, and sang a few songs.

      Ken spoke to several reporters.

      In prayer, Ken acknowledged our Creator God, the love of
      Jesus, His gift of life eternal, and prayed for the judge,
      for this nation, and for the friends he had anticipated
      returning to at the prison in St. Albans, VT. With meaning
      in our hearts we sang together, "There is a God He is
      alive..., O victory in Jesus my Savior forever..., The
      love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever
      tell..., Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus..., and I was in
      sin's prison O so dark and cold...". The words of the
      song "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" were especially
      meaningful to my own heart as we sang there on the street.

      'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
      Just to take Him at His Word;
      Just to rest upon His promise,
      Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord!"

      Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
      How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
      Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
      O for grace to trust Him more!

      O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
      Just to trust His cleansing blood;
      Just in simple faith to plunge me
      'Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

      Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
      Just from sin and self to cease;
      Just from Jesus simply taking
      Life and rest, and joy and peace.

      I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
      Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
      And I know that Thou art with me,
      Will be with me to the end!

      The conflict is not over, and it never will be over on this
      earth till our Lord returns.

      But our conflict is not primarily a fleshly conflict between
      people or groups though sometimes we see some of it's effects

      It is the struggle of finding and abiding in the grace of Jesus
      in a world of sin, of experiencing His salvation continually
      in our lives.

      It is the struggle of learning how to more fully represent Him
      and be of use to Him, dying to our own life, and allowing Him
      to impart to us His resurrected life and His eternal wisdom
      and to use for His own eternal purposes these lives of ours
      which would be forever ruined without His restoring work.

      This is God's plan for us, each in the capacity he calls and
      enables us to fill, for however long He needs us here.

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