The Recap of my Injunction Trial
by Drew Heiss
A victory in court for any anti abortion citizen is nothing short of a miracle, especially when it involves the infamous Milwaukee injunction. I cannot think of anyone that has won an injunction case until now.
I was very zealous in asking for prayer, and I’m convinced that was the main reason I won. It was helpful that the pro aborts had a weak case against me. I certainly did not intend to violate that injunction, and they had the burden of proving it. It was also debatable if I even violated the injunction at all.
Additionally, I had an outstanding attorney, Russell Jones, that was able to find legal issues that have never been raised before. He understood juries and human nature, and he argued masterfully. Jury selection at the beginning, and jury instructions at the end of a trial are two key elements of the trial at which Mr. Jones excelled.
The 12-person jury was selected from a pool of about 25 people. Two flaming pro abort women revealed their true colors and were dismissed with cause. The State and the defense then took turns striking members off the list. It was as good as we could get. The jury consisted of 1 hispanic man, 2 black men, 3 white women, and 6 white men.
The trial went as expected. I knew their main witness, Sgt. Britton, would leave out important details in his testimony. I wanted to scream during his testimony, but refrained. Their next witness wasn’t even on the scene until after the incident.
Defense witnesses Tom Pelkey and myself took the stand on day 2 of the trial. We did our best at setting the record straight.
The State then called Barbara Caravella, the clinic director of Affiliated, as a rebuttal witness against me. Interestingly enough, the video produced from their new system was “corrupted” and unable to be used. It would have been nice to have.
Also, the jurors were allowed to ask questions of each witness after their testimony. Certain attitudes were revealed through their questions.
The jury deliberated for 1.5 hours on day 2, and picked up where they left off on the 3rd day. By 3pm on the 3rd day they reached a unanimous decision: “NOT GUILTY!” We could tell that some jurors were a little more reluctant with their decision.
Prior to reaching a decision, the jury had a couple questions during the day.
- Q: The jury is at an impasse. Some believe Mr. Heiss did have intent, some believe he did not. Now what?
A: No answer was given since they asked another question.
- Q: What is the definition of “congregating” per the jury instruction?
A: Judge J.D. Watts gave no definition. He instead instructed them to use the normal definition and keep working.
- Q: If Mr. Heiss is not protesting, is he still obligated to adhere to the injunction?
A: Of course the State argued the answer should be “yes,” and Mr. Jones argued it should be “no.” I felt the defense had the stronger arguments. The judge took the easy way out and told the jury that since it was not just a question of law, but also of the facts of this case, he was not able to answer the question.
I am grateful to God for this victory, and greatly relieved it is finally over (almost 2 years). Sgt. Britton was seen at Affiliated with a tape measure taking measurements, and was overheard saying that I was within the 25 foot restriction. Bless his heart.