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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2007 Issue

Jan Haagensen Is Just Asking For The Opportunity To Overturn The Hunter Harassment Statute In PA

Jan writes: This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to overturn and eliminate the hunter harassment statute in Pennsylvania. An appellate court, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in the person of a highly respected judge, found that there was no evidence whatsoever to support the criminal charges that were brought against me by the government.

The government prosecutor relied on the hunter harassment statute to raise ridiculous and false (but dangerous) charges against me. Because the trial court judge gave a narrowing construction to the statute, and it was still used by the government to find me guilty of numerous criminal offenses (even though the truth as to my innocence, based on the available evidence, should have been obvious to the state) it is impossible for state actors to argue that the statute can be “limited” in any fashion or interpreted by any judge so as to ever be fairly used in the future (i.e., in actual compliance with constitutional guarantees which do protect our freedoms.)

The attempt to limit the reach of the statute was a failure; a federal court must take that history into consideration and would have no choice but to overturn in its entirety (or on its face) a blatantly unconstitutional law that has already been used to eliminate an innocent citizen’s right to self-defense. Because this is a First Amendment case, I can argue for the guaranteed rights of parties who are not yet standing before the court, and express my concern that the statute, as long as it is on the books, can be used in the future to chill or completely take away other law-abiding citizens’ protected opportunities for free speech.

Every citizen has the right to say NO to armed invasions of private property. Without the sanctuary I provide for wild creatures in my community, they would be mercilessly hunted, without hope of any refuge from the slaughter. The Commonwealth has to be shown the futility of attempting to help the killers muscle their way onto private land, over the legitimate and constitutionally protected resistance of individual landowners.

My suit will help to save the lives of many wild creatures, in addition to protecting (sometimes physically) those property owners who exercise their free speech rights to say I DO NOT WANT KILLING ON MY GROUND. I need the protection of a federal court to carry on the fight in my community, in defense of my home, and in defense of the home which I provide for wild creatures. I am at risk if I do not repair the damage to my reputation and livelihood; I am at physical risk if the hunters are not made to understand that further attacks on me could be dangerous to their financial health, and will not be tolerated by a federal court with jurisdiction over my challenge to the constitutionality of the harassment statute.

C.A.S.H. urges you to contribute to this case and to ask other organizations with far deeper pockets than ours to back Jan’s case, not only for those who have been prevented from taking protective action for wildlife by these laws, but for the sake of the wildlife who, as Jan said above, will have no hope of any refuge should this unconstitutional law remain.

WE ASK THAT YOU CONTINUE
TO SEPARATELY CONTRIBUTE
TO THE C.A.S.H. LEGAL FUND

JAN HAAGENSON has so far received over $2,000
that has come in from the C.A.S.H. Legal Fund.
We thank our generous donors for their contributions.

Please send donations to:
C.A.S.H., P.O. Box 562, New Paltz, NY 12561,
or you can call in a credit card number to 845-256-1400,
or you can donate using PayPal at www.all-creatures.org/cash 

Go on to Activists Working to Stop Wildlife Killing in Their Communities
Back to Fall 2007 Issue
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C.A.S.H.
PO Box 562 New Paltz, NY 12561
Phone 845-256-1400 Fax 845-818-3622
E-mail: cash@cashwildwatch.org
Anne Muller - President

 

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