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April 22, 2006

Dear Magistrate Judge Rita Federman,

I attended the trial of McGregor Eddy in your courtroom recently, including the hearing in February on the motion by Sharon McCaslin to eliminate Eddy's defenses related to international law and necessity. I was disappointed that you gave validity to specious arguments and precedents while neglecting to the follow the Constitution of the United States.

Although I am writing to you on behalf of McGregor Eddy, I am even more concerned about your own spiritual peril. You are not fulfilling your oath to uphold the US Constitution, which is your primary responsibility. The Constitution established the judiciary as an independent branch of government to check abuses of power by the executive and legislative branches. The United States is currently undergoing a constitutional crisis because President George W. Bush and the US Congress are committing serious crimes, not only against international law and US treaties but also against the Constitution and many federal statutes.

At great personal sacrifice McGregor Eddy is performing her duty as a citizen by calling to account a government that is violating human rights, the laws, and the Constitution. By your decisions so far you have taken the side of a guilty government and have condemned an innocent person.

The state of California protects the right of a jury trial in criminal cases. However, the US Supreme Court has mistakenly ruled that the United States Constitution's guarantee of a jury trial in all criminal cases does not apply to petty offenses because six months in prison is not a serious disruption in someone's life. This horrendous decision effectively prevents nonviolent protestors from getting a fair trial. When they are challenging government wrongs, federal judges naturally tend to favor the government that appointed them and may appoint them to a higher position.

Because your oath is to uphold the US Constitution, I do not believe that you are bound by precedents that violate the Constitution. Higher courts may incorrectly overturn your decision, but you are independent and should not allow such erroneous precedents to impair your own judgment. Only by conscientious citizens and judges upholding the Constitution can such errors be corrected.

In my trial before US Magistrate Patrick Walsh in Los Angeles on May 1, 2003, the prosecuting attorney, Sharon McCaslin, stipulated to the fact that Vandenberg Air Force Base was involved in fighting the war in Iraq. McGregor Eddy attended my re-sentencing hearing and is aware of this admission. She should have been allowed to present to you the arguments as to why Vandenberg's participation in this illegal war is criminal activity and why she therefore had the right and the obligation to attempt to report the commission of these crimes to authorities who could stop them from continuing. Where was she supposed to go to bring these crimes to the attention of those who could prosecute them?

In my opinion, according to the definition of direct civil disobedience in the Schoon case, this is a good example of when it applies. Just as those working for civil rights went to the lunch counters that were segregated and demanded service, she went to the very place in her community where people were collectively involved in war crimes and mass murder. Because they would not listen to her, she had to take an additional step to try to get to an independent judge, who would be able to listen to her arguments as to why these crimes should be exposed and stopped.

The United States is currently violating many treaties that have been ratified by the US Senate and which are the supreme law of the land according to the US Constitution. This is how the US Constitution applies international law to US domestic law according to the principles taught by Grotius, Vattel, and others. When the United States violates the United Nations Charter and other ratified treaties, it is acting illegally. Therefore those killings are mass murder.

The defense of necessity, which is more accurately called the justification defense, allows a person to disregard a minor infraction or misdemeanor in order to act to prevent serious crimes or harms that are imminent or ongoing provided that one has no better alternative that is effective. Surely a peaceful "trespass" that harms no one is justified in order to report and try to prevent the murder and illegal imprisonment of thousands of innocent people!

McGregor Eddy has been working to stop these war crimes in many ways, but she has found that such a protest at Vandenberg AFB is her most effective way of trying to stop the murder of thousands of innocent people. Surely mass murder is a violation of US law, and to punish the persons who peacefully try to stop these crimes is nothing less than fascism.

I believe that a conscientious person has the right to act on this obligation to prevent mass murder by protesting in a way that harms no one so that the case can be heard in a court of law. McGregor Eddy is not a criminal, but she is performing an important public service.

In my opinion any judge who refuses to apply the US Constitution in such cases becomes complicit with the crimes of the US Government. I am warning you that, like the judges portrayed in the movie Judgment at Nuremberg, you too could be prosecuted someday for war crimes if you persist in your errors and try to punish an innocent person while ignoring and covering up the crimes of the war criminals.

These crimes of the United States Government that are being perpetrated at Vandenberg Air Force Base threaten the very future of our civilization, which may be destroyed unless conscientious people act to stop these destructive activities. The decisions you make in this trial may be among the most important you will ever make and could even affect the survival of our civilization.

Although it may be awkward and embarrassing to change your previous decisions at this point and either give Eddy a new trial or change your verdict, you could admit that you did not have enough information before and that you have recognized your obligation. Therefore you could suspend her sentence, and in the future you could apply the US Constitution to such cases. This would require courage, but your soul would know that you were doing the right thing and would be at peace.

Love and Light,

Sanderson Beck

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Opening Statement by Sanderson Beck, May 1, 2003
Testimony by Sanderson Beck, May 1, 2003
Closing Arguments by Sanderson Beck, May 1, 2003
May 2003 Letter to Judge Walsh by Sanderson Beck
Nonviolent Strategies for Protesting the US-Iraq War
Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan
2003 Peace Campaign (Sanderson wrote this account of his educational peace campaign for the Presidency of the United States during his four-month incarceration for nonviolently protesting the illegal invasion of Iraq.)

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