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8-Year Sentence: Convicted in Absentia

Written by Gary North on June 21, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a South Carolina conviction of a man who was tried in absentia. The man will serve 8 years.

The defendant, William Fairly, was convicted by a jury of his peers for obtaining money under false pretenses. The jury made the decision in 30 minutes. It was an open-and-shut case.

It was open and shut for a good reason: they jury did not hear his side of the story. He had not been informed of the trial.

The state is supposed to tell a defendant when his trial is scheduled. Anyway, that’s what most citizens assume. We should no longer assume this, according to the Supreme Court.

Fairey had repeatedly notified the trial court of his changes of address. He received mail from the court at his home in Florida. But prosecutors sent notification at his old addresses.

So, he was tried in absentia.

The state courts rejected his claim that there was anything improper in trying him this way. They said he had waived his right to appear.

By refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court let these judgments stand.

Moral of the story: don’t assume that you will be notified if you are put on trial.

Look at it this way. If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear. Right?

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9 thoughts on “8-Year Sentence: Convicted in Absentia

  1. Unbelievable.

  2. Max Penn says:

    Yes we are going down the road to tyranny. A sadly I see few caring.

  3. as long as one party is in control this will happen, remember this in november everyone wants to get rid of that pos obozo but it's the senate and house that we need

  4. Colonialgirl says:

    Well, it IS SOuth Carolina and they DO have a leftist Democrat as governor. I thought the lefties were "suppose" to be all about rights for the people.

  5. Hugh L. Phillips says:

    I'd like to know how each jurist voted. Sotomayer is not who I would want on the Supreme Court but in this case it seems, at least on the basis of this article, that she is correct. The fact that the man was representing himself was probably prejudical in the courts eyes, but it should not be. He may have been giving law enforcement the run a round, i.e. evading a presumed guilty verdict which he was expecting. I'd like to know more.

  6. AD Roberts says:

    Well for once Sotomayer was right. Once again, we need for the public to rise up and vote these abusive bureaucrats out of office.

    If this kind of action continues long enough, I can see the distinct possibility of a revolution against the abuses of the government. It happened in the 1770's

  7. AD Roberts says:

    In Germany, the Nazis came after people a few at a time. Because the people were acting like sheep, they never said anything because it was not they themselves being forced into internment. When it finally happened to them, it was too late to resist.

    I hope the Americans are not such sheep. Be aware that if they start picking up a few people at a time, they will eventually come for you too.

  8. Our corrupt feral gummint could not have advanced their tyranny as far as it has without the complicity of judges (who are after all gummint employees). When we have Civil War II, we need to hang a bunch of judges, too.

  9. Eight years in jail for Fairly because the court clerk is incompetent. God bless America