34 Franklin St.
Lyons, NY 14489
October 18, 2003
Honorable Gustav J. DiBianco
US Magistrate Judge RE: United States v. Murtari
P.O. Box 7396
Syracuse, NY 13261-7396
Dear Judge DiBianco:
I last wrote to the Court on July 31st as part of Motion papers I had submitted. I tried to be brief and I won’t repeat those comments here, but I hope you have had time to review that material.
On Thursday I received a copy of the reply from the Federal Public Defender’s office and I don’t quite know what to make of it? About a month ago an attorney who had represented me in State Court suggested I ask the SU Law Clinic for help in my case and I had not followed up on that suggestion. I have now done so and have attached a copy of my letter.
I wish to address some issues that I had hoped to bring up in our originally scheduled conference but that did not seem appropriate during the arraignment. But my biggest concern is the increase in animosity during the proceedings this month. I have been threatened with immediate jail in violation of any procedure and been described as a threat to safety in the community? You have asked me repeatedly from the bench if I want to be jailed or become some type of martyr?
I feel a loss of “civility” in what is going on in the courtroom. Let me make clear that I do not want to go to jail or to become some type of martyr. No more than when I was a Captain in the United States Air Force that I sought to be killed or become a martyr for America. Now, as then, I am performing what I believe is a deeply held duty – to be a father to my son and to help others through reform of our system of family law. That is why I am there and why I will continue to be there. I also appreciate your duty as a Judge and the duty Mr. Southwick has a prosecutor. But let us all please understand there are no “bad” people in the courtroom.
I am also trying to set a positive example to others in how to achieve reform. In a time where so many people feel violence against others is justified when “rights” are violated – that a willingness to risk personal sacrifice while demonstrating love for others can be more effective.
Please understand that I do NOT “set the schedule” for my activities in the Federal building. A little 10 year old boy has set that agenda for me who also aches to have a normal relationship with his father. I am humbled by my own lack of Faith in my cause and belief in my methods – if I had stronger Faith I would be there every day to continue my efforts. I have never had a desire to delay the proceedings because in the back of my mind my schedule to see my son is always at stake. For me to “play games” would invite deserved disaster.
I regret this matter always seems to come to trial during the Holiday season and I hope jail can be avoided during those times. Right now I have tickets for my Mom and I to see Domenic for the Halloween weekend this month (I hope it will be our first Halloween together in 5 years). I hope to have him with me here for a couple of weeks at Christmas time. I also know it is not my right to avoid jail during those times. Please understand I need no reminders that my activity puts these special times at risk – that thought is always foremost in my mind.
Regarding the conference issues:
- Could the court reword the stay away order to make it more limited in scope. Obviously it was issued after an event that involved other people. Could it be reworded to prohibit disorderly or other illegal conduct with others?
- Could the court reword the order to be more specific. Obviously I have been consistent in my language regarding my intentions. I am there to “petition my Member of Congress.” Could that phrase be added to the list of prohibitions regarding marching, demonstrating, picketing, or protesting. That would avoid “sophist” arguments since we would both be using the same words.
- Stop the arrests. I feel the only “status quo” that does justice to the rights of both sides in this matter is one that allows me to continue. Certainly the government had demonstrated a willingness to tolerate that conduct in the past. They have all the resources here and have not been consistent in their actions, I have.
- Discovery – Mr. Southwick has said he was going to supply written complaints for the matters coming to trial and also police reports and video tapes. I understand the delay in assigning counsel, but I hope that material will be coming soon.
- Jury request – Ms. Peebles had told me my trial “violation” was too small a matter for a trial by jury in the Federal system. I do want to make it clear that if any of the charges would allow a trial by jury – that is my request.
- Original motions – We had discussed this earlier. I hope the court will rule on them soon.
I will be in the Court on Thursday at 10AM, per the original schedule. But I assume the problem with counsel will result in some delay? Also, through counsel I would plan on submitting a motion for the appointment of another Judge in this matter that would include the activity of the past few weeks.
John Murtari 635-1968, x-211
Attach: Letter to SU Law Clinic