Feb 6, 2017
It was cold and foggy Kansas morning, but it wasn't enough to dampen our spirits. About 75 people showed up outside the Federal Courthouse at 8am to show support for these two good men who had already been convicted of several felonies. (Maybe we need to focus on jury nullification classes a little more. But that's another subject for another day, even though it sure had bearing on this one.)
The crowd exchanged their thoughts about the potential of Cox and Kettler having to go to prison, though most of us believed that they would not do any time.
We were standing on the courthouse steps on the South side of the building at 401 Market St, as we readied to hear a few remarks from Sheriff Mack and KrisAnne Hall. At that moment a couple of federal agents came and got in our faces ordering us to stay off the "federal" steps and that standing on the steps was "trespassing."
Several of us objected to the ridiculous warning and one agent (security officer) yelled at me "you've been duly warned." I told him I did not appreciate being threatened and that I was a former sheriff." He said, "Then you should know better." I firmly replied, "You should know better because this is a 'peaceful assembly.'"
He stormed off.
At about 9:30 we all went into the courtroom of one Judge Martin. The room was quite packed with only a few seats empty. When the Judge came in he directed his comments to the large crowd. Then he lectured us for about 15 minutes about all the letters he had received from some of us and how he had tried to do the right thing in following the law as best he could through this entire trial. He rambled about following the Constitution, adhering to SCOTUS rulings, and obeying the "laws" of the Tenth Circuit "who grades his homework." This poor judge is so confused about principles of liberty and who in gov't has the duty to stand for them.
Well, the bottom line is that Cox and Kettler received no prison time and very small fines. However, they will be felons the rest of their lives and will lose many civil rights for life.
So the battle rages on; appeals are being prepared and executive clemency is being sought for them in Washington by Sheriff Mack. We will not stop until the right people who can do something to stop these injustices will actually do just that; Stop These Injustices!