Free Doreen Hendrickson… and the American 300 million…
via Attorney Mark Cedrone, Pete Hendrickson, reported by Brian Wright
Full appeal brief here (7/20/15):
The following text is the summary of the argument in the appeal. From the little I do know about the law, and from the substantially more I know about good writing, the Doreen Hendrickson appeal brief is a stunning statement of the principles of liberty and reason that stands to imminently remedy gross injustice. The court has no moral or legal option but to grant the appeal and restore Doreen Hendrickson to full freedom.
Summary of Argument
The Order Doreen Hendrickson was convicted of contemptuously violating was unlawful. Meanwhile, for a defendant to be convicted of contempt, the underlying Order they are accused of violating must be lawful.
The district court erred by instructing Mrs. Hendrickson’s jury, over her objection, that it was not a defense to criminal contempt that the order in question was unconstitutional or unlawful. The court error:
- relieved the government of its obligation to prove each of the elements of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt,
- foreclosed a valid defense that would have otherwise been available to Mrs. Hendrickson,
- irreparably undermined her good faith defense, and
- directed a verdict with the respect to the unlawfulness and willfulness elements of the charged crime.
This Court should vacate Mrs. Hendrickson’s conviction and sentence because the Order underlying her conviction was unlawful or, in the alternative, grant a new trial given the erroneous legal instructions given by the district court.
The district court erred by refusing to instruct Mrs. Hendrickson’s jury that to convict her of criminal contempt, it had to unanimously agree she committed one or both of the two predicate acts offered by the government in support of their case. As specified in the Indictment, the government alleged Mrs. Hendrickson committed contempt by failing to file tax returns in a manner dictated in the underlying Order and by actively filing returns in violation of this same Order. Each of these acts separately correlated to one of the two injunctions detailed in the Order. Thus, Mrs. Hendrickson was accused of violating two separate and distinct injunctions by separate and distinct means, each of which involved disparate conduct (filing as opposed to failing to file returns) and occurred at significantly different periods in time.
When the means by which an order is contemptuously violated are only marginally related to one another – such as in Mrs. Hendrickson’s case – a jury must unanimously agree the defendant committed one or both predicate acts in order to convict. Because the means by which Mrs. Hendrickson allegedly committed criminal contempt were only marginally related to one another, the district court erred by instructing the jury that it need not unanimously agree that Mrs. Hendrickson committed one or both of the acts offered by the government in support of its case and this Court should order a new trial to remedy this error.
Mrs. Hendrickson’s Sixth Amendment right to conduct her own defense was violated when her standby counsel failed to ask her questions and introduce exhibits as directed at trial. A defendant who exercises her right of self-representation has a right not to have standby counsel impermissibly interfere with her case. When such interference occurs, the error in question is not subject to harmless error analysis and the defendant is entitled to a new trial. This is precisely what occurred during Mrs. Hendrickson’s trial.
At the conclusion of Mrs. Hendrickson’s direct testimony, standby counsel failed to ask a critical series of questions pertaining to her understanding of the law and the basis of her belief that she acted lawfully with respect to the conduct offered by the government in support of their case. Through the anticipated answers to these questions, along with the various exhibits counsel was instructed to introduce in support of them, Mrs. Hendrickson intended to explain to the jury the legal basis for her actions and substantiate her good faith defense. This breach of Mrs. Hendrickson’s Sixth Amendment right to conduct her own defense entitles her to a new trial.
The District Court erred in calculating Mrs. Hendrickson’s recommended sentencing guideline range. While the Court may have properly opted to sentence Mrs. Hendrickson as if hers was a failure to file tax returns case, the Court erred by thereafter imposing sentence not according to the analytical model governing such cases, but based on considerations unrelated to the offense with which she was charged and of which she was convicted.
Rather than apply the analytical model governing “failure to file” offenses to Mrs. Hendrickson’s case, the district court sentenced her based on a $20,380.96 refund received by Mrs. Hendrickson and her husband for 2002 and 2003. The receipt of this refund and/or its repayment were/was in no way part of the contempt charge levied in this case, nor was this factual matter offered as a basis of Mrs. Hendrickson’s conviction.
As a consequence of the district court’s erroneous consideration of this over $20,000 figure, the district court determined Mrs. Hendrickson’s recommended guideline range to be 12 to 18 months imprisonment, which prompted the Court to impose a within-guidelines range sentence of 18 months incarceration. Had the Court correctly calculated Mrs. Hendrickson’s sentence, the recommended range would have been either 0-6 or 1-7months incarceration and Mrs. Hendrickson would have been probation eligible. The Court erred in calculating Mrs. Hendrickson’s recommended sentencing guideline range and, if the Court does not grant her relief under the alternative grounds set forth in her Brief, should order her case remanded for resentencing.
Again, the outstanding full brief of appeal is located here:
Please circulate this information as far and wide as you can.
The “I Stand for Doreen” Action Package
I don’t have to tell you that if Doreen’s appeal is unsuccessful, the United States will have become a dictatorship—in legal fact, not in simple journalistic hyperbole. Meaning that any public official will have life and death power over you. Politically no greater issue exists today than the freedom of Doreen Hendrickson… and by extension the rule of liberty under law and the Constitution for all Americans. Here’s what each of us can do NOW:
- Read and spread this latest news story from the Pontiac Tribune:
- Watch this fabulous summary information video and take it viral with your networks:
- Support Doreen and Pete with all the expenses thru this crowdfunding project here:
Especially, people, action #3—and I’m looking directly into the souls of the hundred-thousand+ educated filers whose refunds have totaled more than $2 billion over the previous decade—lend a hand to the Hendricksons financially in their hour o’ need.
I believe the appeal will be successful. If so, be prepared for a revolution in American consciousness that parallels Independence. The nuts will definitely be flying off the buggy as Pete Hendrickson’s liberating discovery (Cracking the Code) on the true nature of the federal income tax propels every Tom, Dick, and Mary to a full productive life without being crushed by ‘the Barnacles’ (i.e. Barnacles on the Ass of Progress, figure of speech).
We love you Doreen, and we’re bringing you home!
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