2016 Presidential Hopeful Jill Stein, Demanding New Trial for Rev. Pinkney, To Speak At Rally on April 14

Additional supporters plan to attend Rev. Pinkey’s hearing

St. Joseph, MI—(ENEWSPF)—April 13, 2015. An evidentiary hearing will take place at 8:30am, Tuesday, April 14 at the Berrien County Courthouse where a motion for a new trial for Rev. Pinkney will be presented to Judge Sterling Shrock based on the violation of Pinkney’s rights to impartial jurors.

Dr. Jill Stein, the 2012 Green Party nominee for President who is currently eyeing a 2016 bid, will be present at the hearing and speak at a press conferance and rally immediatly afterwards.  

In addition to Dr. Stein, additional speakers at the rally include:

Robert Mckay | Central Committee for Rev. Pinkney

Galen Tyler | Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign

Marcina Cole | Organizer To Free Rev. Pinkney Campaign

Cheri Honkala |Poor Peoples economic Human Rights Campaign

A focus of Dr. Stein’s potential 2016 presidential bid will be on lifting up the issues and concerns of frontline communities and bringing them to the frontline of the presidential debate.

In announcing her exploratory campaign in an ABC News exclusive recently, Stein noted that the “demand for deep change has grown to a fevered pitch. It’s time for a new economy, a new society and a new way forward.”

A veteran communiy activist Rev. Edward Pinkney, 66, was found guilty in November of 2014 on five felony counts of alleged election law violation after a week-long trial. The county prosecutor, Mike Sepic, accused Pinkney of changing dates next to signatures on a petition drive seeking to recall Benton Harbor’s mayor, James Hightower.

A press release issued by Pinkney after his conviction states: 

The jury’s decision came despite the absence of any direct evidence that Pinkney committed a crime. Numerous witnesses who gathered petition signatures testified that some signers changed dates next to their own names. Three witnesses testified that they saw someone other than Pinkney changing dates on the petitions after signatures were gathered. Mark Goff, a forensic document examiner with the Michigan State Police, testified that changes to the petitions were made in different ink, but he could not determine when the changes were made, by whom, or whether they were changed by the signers themselves. No witness testimony nor physical evidence supported the charges that Pinkney changed any dates. Pinkney denies all charges.

“They are saying they don’t need evidence to send someone to prison,” said Pinkney. “Now everybody in Benton Harbor is in jeopardy. We have to say enough is enough.  Here, Whirlpool controls not only Benton Harbor and the residents, but also the court system itself. They will do anything to crush you if you stand up to them. That’s why it’s so important to fight this.”

Writing from prison, Rev. Pinkney states: 

“I, Michigan political prisoner, Rev. Edward Pinkney, am a victim of injustice. I was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 10 years for supposedly changing the date on five recall petitions to recall Benton Harbor Mayor, James Hightower. No material nor circumstantial evidence, no eyewitness, and no confession was presented at the trial that would implicate me in the five felonies.

Many believe that I, an international activist and leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), am being punished by the local authorities for opposing the corporate plan of the Whirlpool Corporation, headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan. I say this is an opportunity to expose the Benton Harbor courthouse criminal enterprise and let the world know there is corruption from the top to the bottom of the totem pole where a lynch mob mentality reigns. (…)

Any time you have an economic system that refuses to feed, clothe and house it people, it must be overturned and replaced with a system that meets the needs of people.

A mass movement demanding a changed economic system, one that meets the needs of the people, not the corporations, is needed. We can win.”