The first case: People v. John Moyer, case #’s 16-004913-FY, and 16-004972-FY, in Berrien County. The Berrien County Sheriff Dept., (yes, the same dept., where deputies commit perjury when writing speeding tickets), had surveillance set up on Moyer, a medical marijuana caregiver. After deputies observed a person go in and out of Moyer’s home, they followed him (Moyer’s friend who recently had back surgery), and pulled him over for failing to use his turn signal. They found marijuana, and determined he did not possess a medical marijuana card. The man confessed he bought it from Moyer. Deputies then executed a raid on Moyer’s home, took his plants, marijuana and any cash. Moyer was charged with several felonies, including manufacturing and distributing marijuana, as
well as resisting arrest.
The next day the man called the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Dept., to report the incident. The deputy who called back refused to come to the home and take a report because he was investigating a possible drunk driver who had left his/her vehicle. Ultimately, the deputy wrote the man’s complaint as a disturbing the peace case. The man then had to go to the sheriff’s dept., and file a lengthy, detailed report of the incident with pictures of the damages. The man did get a PPO, but it was reduced to a period of 6 months, rather than the statutory 1 year. Blanchard was also criminally charged, but with only misdemeanors.
In State v. Moyer, after a full pre-sentence investigation and recommendation from the probation department, Moyer received a 90 day jail sentence, with 30 days served, 60 days on tether, and 1 year of probation. His total costs, fines and fees were approximately $2,500.00, not including the $1,260.00 the jail billed him for the pleasure of being caged for exercising his freedom, not harming a single person or anyone’s property.
While in Blanchard’s case, no pre-sentence investigation took place, and the probation department did not receive the victim’s impact statement from the prosecutor. However, a notation in the court file mentioned: “quickie sentencing”, full restitution, a $500.00 fine, and no probation recommendation. Ultimately, the victim filed a victim’s impact statement supplement with the court, provided a copy to the judge, and attended Blanchard’s sentencing. Blanchard had to pay full restitution, but received only 9 months’ probation, and was fined approximately $1,000.00, when it could have been thousands more.
Similarities between Moyer and Blanchard: For both it was a first offense; and both are educated
professionals. Differences between Moyer and Blanchard: Moyer is a man, Blanchard a woman; Marijuana was involved in Moyer’s case, but not with Blanchard; Moyer caused no harm to anyone’s life, liberty, or property, Blanchard terrorized and attempted to harm a man, violated his home and freedom, and caused extensive property damage.
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines bigotry as an, “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one's own opinions and prejudices”. I cannot state with certainty that bigotry caused the differences in the severely disproportionate outcome in these cases. But, I can state with certainty that Moyer’s actions did not violate the principles of freedom (Life, Liberty and Happiness), nor was there a victim. In short, he was victimized for exercising freedom. While, Blanchard’s crime did violate the principles of freedom that harmed a victim. In short, she was destroying the freedom of another. Yet Blanchard received penalties and suffered far less than Moyer. WHY?
Till next month, as always, keep rolling on.
Disclaimer: This is an informational article only. It is not to provide individual legal advice. If you need legal services, feel free to contact me, or any attorney of your choosing.