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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Pastor released from jail after being held on $1 'peace bond'

• Oralandar Brand-Williams and Tom Greenwood
A controversial Florida pastor and his associate were released from jail tonight after being held briefly for refusing to pay a $1 "peace bond" after a jury ruled they would "likely breach the peace" with plans to protest a mosque.

Judge Mark Somers of Dearborn's 19th District Court jailed pastors Terry Jones and Wayne Sapp about 7 p.m. The order came after a six-member jury at 6:30 p.m. sided with prosecutors who argued the Quran-burning minister's demonstration outside the Islamic Center of America could spark a riot.


Prosecutors had sought a $45,000 bond. Somers also ordered both to stay away from the mosque for three years. The order drew gasps, confusion and shouting in the courthouse.

The pair were tried under a rarely used law originally passed in 1846 that requires those who are likely to breach the peace to post "peace bonds."

"Nobody expected this," said Charlie Langton, a lawyer and legal analyst, who added the pair could theoretically be jailed for five years if they continue to refuse to pay the bond.

"It is prior restraint, but the judge followed the letter of the law. It's purely legal because it's never been challenged. That is not right. It's an old law that I don't think applies to this case. I think they'll have to appeal it."

At the Islamic Center, a cheer went through the crowd of 100 after police announced the jailing.

"That's what should happen when people say they are going to break the law," said Neda Kardri, 29, of Dearborn.  

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

A really big question here:

"When is the letter of the law also the spirit of the law?"

So, make sure that if you have a case, that the Government follows DUE PROCESS, because it is the letter of the law and also the spirit of the law.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:$1-‘peace-bond

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