Nearing the end of a long sentence for tax related crimes, Hovind was convicted on March 12, 2015 for contempt of court. The more recent conviction arose out of filings that might have interfered with the government's sale of property seized in relation to the earlier conviction. The jury hung on more serious fraud and conspiracy charges, which Hovind and his supporters view as a victory.
Ernie Land, an old friend of Kent Hovind, who had been a trustee of Creation Science Evangelism before Glenn Stoll came on the scene, played a key role in the social media campaign to raise public awareness about Kent's cause and seem to have been, behind the scenes, coordinating aspects of the defense. Ernie was in Pensacola for the trial. Hovindicators were outraged when a trial subpoena silenced him and kept him out of the courtroom for a couple of days. I asked Ernie for his thoughts on the trial.
It was clear we were in a very biased court. Four days of so called expert witnesses for the Prosecution and the Judge cut Kent off at his mid point on bringing in defense evidence. The Judge herself questioned the potential jurors and struck more than half of the pool, basically being sure those who identified as Christians were eliminated, not saying no Christians were in that pool, but those whose identities became known were eliminated. So I contend the jury was slanted in favor of the Prosecution before official Attorney eliminations even occurred. It was obvious to those who attended.
The other power she held was to allow that four days of so called expert witnesses for the Prosecution, while limiting many things from being brought into evidence that would favor the defense. Note here the Prosecution said in motion of limine #3, “for the sake of argument, that the evidence is relevant, any relevance it has is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.” Give me a break, in a trial where the Government has to prove beyond a “reasonable doubt” guilt they want relevant evidence curtailed because it might create reasonable doubt. Where has the American Justice system come to?
That said the trial began with all of the playing field advantages in favor of the Government, including and done so by the Judge. It is clear to those who have 100% of the whole truth, the Government has no case and the Prosecutions strategy seems to have been, throw a bunch of expert witnesses, like forensic scientist, at the jury to confuse them on the fact of law, and then maybe the jury will rule in favor of a powerful Government that has so much creditability, brought in so many experts, gave mountains of information, which should have been excluded by the Judge, and maybe they will render a “guilty” verdict.
Well, it worked, the jury was so confused on the facts they hung themselves, and the one charge they came back with a “Guilty” verdict, will most likely be vacated by this very Judge. If not, she will be embarrassed by her peers on appeal with an order for her to dismiss it.
Why? The 2007 injunction, Kent was found guilty of the contempt on is law, but it has no fact of law as to applying to Kent, so BAM it loses.
What next? Well, if this case had cost $300,000.00 before trial it’s got to be over a half a million now. Simple math of dozens of U.S. Marshals, Court Security Officers, the Judge herself, a dozen more supporting D.O.J staff, and 3 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, you do the math, that alone for 2 weeks cost $200,000.00. There is nothing here for the Government to gain, except persecution and revenge on a simple man with nothing more for the Government to take except his freedom.
I interviewed Ernie in January. Ernie does have a weakness for conspiracy theories even rather quaint ones. He came away from the interview with the notion that I had been a Jesuit for eight years. In an email exchange I explained that forbes contributors sometimes received in embargoed press releases. This allowed us to get our posts ready to comment on something that was due to be released shortly. I asked Ernie if he might be able to arrange something like that if a prominent person were to announce that he was taking up Kent's cause. Somehow this got translated into the story being embargoed.
Those of you who have been following the Hovindication narrative carefully may have noticed Hovindicators adopting the terms "embargo", "piling on" and "prison industrial complex" and mentioning Jesuit involvement in the persecution of Kent. (One of the prosecutors was a graduate of Georgetown) When future historians study the movement I am confident that those terms and concepts as they relate to Hovindication will be found to originate with me, with some help from Ernie.