I last wrote about the McCloskey case on July 28 in The McCloskey Disposition: D/S/C Intentions. That article noted the final disposition in the case was yet to occur. Not any longer, as Newsmax.com reports:
Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday he has granted pardons to Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who drew international attention for brandishing guns at racial justice protesters last year.
In addition to the McCloskeys, who are personal injury lawyers, Parson also pardoned 10 other people Friday, a document from his office showed.
Obviously, Parson was as good as his word. The charges never should have been brought. It was unquestionably a political, woke, social justice prosecution.
Last July, then-President Donald Trump, a Republican, said charging the couple was an abuse of power.
And so it was, as The Guardian.com notes:
The special prosecutor Richard Callahan said his investigation determined that the protesters were peaceful.
Well, apart from their crimes of destruction of property, trespass and threats of rape, murder and arson, they were “mostly peaceful” as is usual for such things…
‘There was no evidence that any of them had a weapon and no one I interviewed realized they had ventured on to a private enclave,’ Callahan said in a news release after the McCloskeys pleaded guilty.
That would be because none of them were stopped and searched at the time. Only nine were eventually charged with trespassing, and those charges were quickly dropped because the mostly peaceful protestors were innocent victims because they were mostly peaceful protestors who are, by definition, innocent victims, and nothing they can do will make them anything but innocent victims. Convicting them of trespassing would have completely undermined the prosecution’s case, but that’s just icing on the woke cake.
As I’m sure you’ll recall, the prosecutor at the time, Kim Gardner, who was a black prosecutor, not a prosecutor who happened to be black, committed such egregious acts of prosecutorial misconduct she was removed from the case, and Callahan was appointed special prosecutor. Obviously, he didn’t want his house mostly peacefully burned down, so he let the McCloskeys plead down from multiple felonies to a single misdemeanor each. Those wise in the ways of the criminal justice system understand that demonstrates just how weak the case against the McCloskeys was. Were it not for the virtual certainly they could not get a fair trial in St. Louis, and Parson’s promised pardon, it’s likely the McCloskeys would have gone to trial, but facing those realities, they allowed Callahan to save face.
But let’s take a moment to explore Callahan’s lie about the trespassers. Who doesn’t understand if they’re on the property of someone else–they’re not standing on their own property–without express permission, they are liable for trespassing charges? Keep in mind the McCloskey’s neighborhood was fenced and gated, and the “protestors” destroyed a gate to get in. Who, entering through that destroyed gate, would not know they were trespassing? Take a look at these mostly peaceful “protestors”:
Does Callahan really think we’re sufficiently stupid to believe these people thought they were on their own property? Are we to believe they didn’t know they were in a fenced/gated neighborhood that did not belong to them, that they were merely, peacefully, passing through a public thoroughfare? That’s what trespassing is: being on the property of another without their permission.
And did the McCloskeys inform the “protestors” they were trespassing? Did they order them to leave? Repeatedly? Yes, yes and yes. Here’s the relevant state statute, 569.140:
1. A person commits the offense of trespass in the first degree if he or she knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property.
2. A person does not commit the offense of trespass in the first degree by entering or remaining upon real property unless the real property is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(1) Actual communication to the actor; or
(2) Posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.
3. The offense of trespass in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor, unless the victim is intentionally targeted as a law enforcement officer, as defined in section 556.061 , or the victim is targeted because he or she is a relative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to a law enforcement officer, in which case it is a class A misdemeanor.
So ladies and gentlemen of the SMM jury, did the “protestors” knowingly or unlawfully remain on real property? Was that real property “fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders”? Was actual communication made to “the actor”?
Obviously, the actions of the “protestors” fulfilled each and every element of the statute. They were trespassing, to say nothing of the destruction of property necessary to allow them to trespass.
If a scruffy little blog, and you, gentle readers, can apply a simple statute and conclude every one of those “protestors” broke the law, why couldn’t Richard Callahan, a learned lawyer and former judge? Let’s take a moment to review the relevant parts of Missouri’s self-defense law, 563.031:
1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person…
3. A person does not have a duty to retreat:
(1) From a dwelling, residence, or vehicle where the person is not unlawfully entering or unlawfully remaining;
(2) From private property that is owned or leased by such individual…
5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section. If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.
The McCloskeys were confronted by an angry, trespassing mob of several hundred, emboldened by their recent, non-prosecuted, success in violent rioting. They threatened not only arson, but rape and murder, and had the numbers, arrogance and rage necessary to make good on their threat. Considering the contemporaneous rioting, the McCloskeys could also, more than reasonably, believe they would act on their threats unless deterred. The McCloskeys did not use any force against them, only displayed a rifle and pistol, which arguably deterred violence. They had no duty to retreat and stood on their own property the entire time. And note it is the burden of the state to prove self-defense was unlawful. It was not the burden of the McCloskeys to prove it was lawful.
Callahan couldn’t reach the sane legal conclusion because he abused his position. He unlawfully prosecuted the McCloskeys for lawful self-defense. He didn’t do the legally and morally right thing and dismiss the charges against them. Forever after, he has to pretend they were the criminals and the hundreds of thugs that actually broke the law were innocent victims. He has to pretend Gov. Parson politically pardoned convicted criminals. Of course, that’s why governors have pardon powers: to right wrongs.
Making the political nature of the prosecution even more obvious–were that possible– Rep. Cori Bush, who represents St. Louis, and who was in that mob that day, threatened the McCloskeys:
Here are just two examples of people who were not impressed with Bush’s threat:
Finally, the McCloskeys have closure. President Trump was right, and Governor Parson did the right thing. In a city and state ruled by mob justice, by social justice, in at least this case, the rule of law, finally, won.