Saturday, October 16, 2010

A chance to help Bradford Metcalf, an American political prisoner

Of all the commentaries I’ve written in my 20 years as publisher of Backwoods Home Magazine, the one that still haunts me to this day is titled, “America, land of the free …ha, ha, ha!,” which appeared in Issue No. 104, the March/April 2007 issue. It is about Matt Bandy and Bradford Metcalf, both wrongfully prosecuted by the U.S. Government.

Bradford Metcalf remains in prison these past 12 years on trumped-up charges concerning weapons possession, but the Supreme Court may hear his case. I got the following email this evening from the Metcalf family:

The Supreme Court will confer regarding “10-6452 Metcalf v. US” on Oct. 15, 2010.

Metcalf was convicted in 1998 of Conspiracy to Possess Automatic Weapons and 8 other possession charges (no violence) and sentenced to 40 years (he acted as his own attorney – his jury thought he would get 3 to 5 years…). You can contact the Supreme Court Public Information Office to urge their consideration at this address:

Please join me in contacting the Supremes to consider this case. Bradford Metcalf is a political prisoner left over from the Janet Reno/Bill Clinton crackdown on conservative dissidents in the wake of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Unfortunately, he is not the only political prisoner still languishing in federal penitentiaries.

Here is a chance to at least speak up on behalf of one nearly forgotten political prisoner.

Original report here


Metcalf was indicted, tried and convicted for a “conspiracy,” which was created solely in the mind of federal prosecutor, Lloyd K. Meyer. Meyer had political ambitions and needed a “big case” to make a name for himself. So, he created one.

One of the elements of this prosecutor-created conspiracy was “possession of machine-guns.” But Metcalf had no machine-guns and Meyer knew it. Prior to the trial, Meyer furnished Metcalf with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) regulations concerning machine-guns, which plainly stated that the Browning .50 caliber and .30 caliber “machine-guns” in his possession without the right sideplates are not “machine-guns.”

This didn’t stop Meyer. In his closing argument to the jury, Meyer said Metcalf had the right sideplates buried on his property. But no evidence was introduced during the trial to show that Metcalf had the sideplates in his possession.

The jury dutifully convicted Metcalf of all the charges on the indictment. Judge Richard Alan Enslen of the Western District of Michigan then sentenced Metcalf to 40 years in federal prison.

The first count of the Metcalf indictment charged a “conspiracy.” A federal conspiracy charge consists of an agreement to commit an illegal act with an act performed. The agreement to commit the illegal act—the object of the conspiracy—is whatever the prosecutor says it is when he drafts the indictment.

Metcalf and his two co-defendants, Randy Graham and Ken Carter, had a few telephone conversations about the sorry state of the federal government in general and the federal judiciary in particular. Those telephone conversations were secretly wire-tapped and recorded by the government.

Meyer wrote the Metcalf indictment before he submitted it to the grand jury for the usual rubber-stamp approval. The original reason for a grand jury investigation and grand jury secrecy was to keep governmental attorneys out of the criminal investigation and out of the grand jury room.

Metcalf, along with Graham, submitted 15 pre-trial motions that pointed out the defect in their case and the indictment. They received a detailed six-page denial of all their motions on Sept. 23, 1998, signed by Judge Enslen. More than a month later, in open court, Judge Enslen told Metcalf he hadn’t read the indictment and didn’t even know what Metcalf was charged with.

Judge Enslen refused to allow Metcalf an expert witness to testify as to the legality of his weapons. His reason: “Because you didn’t have a lawyer.” Metcalf fought his case pro se because he didn’t trust anyone who was part of the system to fight the system.

More here

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was a material witness at Brad & Randy's trial. I have much supporting documentation and news clippings from the trials, if anyone is interested in them.
On Jan 27, 2013 I attended a town hall meeting for Federal Representative Justin Amash, a very honorable man. I gave a packet of documents from the trials to his chief of staff and spoke to him at length about their situation. He promised to review it.
On Feb 2 I got a letter back from him to confirm their i\office is reviewing the documents and my concerns.
I encourage further correspondence be sent to
Rep Justin Amash
Washington Office
114 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
(202) 225-3831

or to
Rep Justin Amash
District Office
110 Michigan Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 451-8383