Here is a summary by our attorney of what took place at the U.S. Court of Appeals in NY on Tuesday.
As you requested, here is a summary of the oral arguments:
Today, we had oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York regarding our petition for extra-ordinary relief. Essentially, we have asked the Second Circuit to reverse the District Court and to prevent Ken Miller’s grand jury deposition. We argued that forcing him to testify against his will and without an attorney present would violate his Constitutional protections to not incriminate himself and to have an attorney.
Although it is impossible to predict how the judges will rule on the motion, the judges seemed uncomfortable with the prosecutor’s position. The prosecutor argued that the Government can increase Ken Miller’s sentence if he exercises his right to silence at the grand jury deposition. The judges appeared to make clear that this punishment would violate Ken Miller’s Constitutional rights.
Since this hearing, the United States prosecuting attorney has responded in writing, stating that they do not intend to seek an increased sentence if Ken does not comply at the grand jury hearing.
See David Bercot's Scroll Publishing website for more commentary on the case. David has been helping us out in providing legal counsel.
Dec.18th is the day the NY court of appeals will hear arguments and give a ruling concerning Ken's appeal to avoid being called to give grand jury testimony in VT before his sentencing date.
We are again glad for this gift of time for Ken and his family. Keep them in your prayers.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse
40 Foley Square
New York, NY 10007
CATHERINE O'HAGAN WOLFE
CLERK OF COURT
Date: December 06, 2012
Docket #: 12-4190cr
Short Title: United States of America v. Miller
DC Docket #: 2:11-cr-161-1
DC Court: VT (BURLINGTON)
DC Judge: Sessions
NOTICE OF MOTION PLACED ON THE CALENDAR
Motions for writ of mandamus and to dismiss filed in
the above-referenced case has been added as an argued
case to the substantive motions calendar for Tuesday,
December 18, 2012 at 10:00am.
The argument will be held in the Ceremonial Courtroom,
9th floor, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007.
God is intervening again! Below is a note from Ken--sent yesterday.
It looks as though my wife and I just got a 2 day vacation in Vermont! That's really sweet isn't it! We just received word at around 4:15 this afternoon that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC is going to review our appeal and so is stopping the grand jury testimony for tomorrow. We don't know anything yet about a new date. But in the meantime we are going to enjoy our vacation by the grace of God!
Blessings in Christ,
I have now been assigned a sentencing date—March 4, 2013. Below in italics is a question Pablo
Yoder sent to me. Below that is my response.
Does this actually mean that you will be free to be about the Lord's business until after March 4,
2013. I mean, I am sure the suspense won´t be fun, but you can at least get on with life and relax
until then if that is what it means. Maybe you could explain this in a nutshell, telling us how you and
your family feel and then I could pass it on to my readers. Just an idea
By the grace of God, I will be free to be about the Lord’s business before and after March 4,
regardless of my location.
By that same grace which is coming as a result of so many of your prayers, the family is coping
amazingly well. My dear wife has a lot to do with it too. She isn’t easily discouraged; and when
mamma’s happy, everyone’s happy! It’s helped our children adapt to the uncertainty of it all.
As for myself, I’ve just had my 47th birthday and don’t know if I’ve ever been happier in all my life.
You have to understand, for a lot of my life, I lived with worry and anxiety, the pressure to succeed.
Something has changed.
We are learning Jesus’ words are true for every circumstance: “Come to me all you who are weary
and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Someone said, “Rest is simply release from (the) burden. It’s
not something we do. His own meekness, that is the rest.” What a relief to let go of the burdens!
How wonderful it is to know that Jesus is a Friend to all who are crushed by the burdens of life! We
discover that turning away from our sin and yielding ourselves to Jesus is the way to inner peace and
harmony. This is what we are learning, slowly but surely, and this is why we can be at rest right now.
We have learned that Jesus is all-- powerful. He was powerful enough to “destroy him who had
the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who all their lifetimes were subjected to
bondage.” He was powerful enough to rise from the dead. All authority has been given Him. He is
powerful enough to overcome all the sin in our lives—He proved it by His own sinless life. With our
faith in Him we are secure and nothing can shake us.
Brother Pablo, you asked how we are doing. We are seeking to place our faith fully in Jesus, and
while there have been dark days, we are discovering that He truly IS a Friend to those in need and
the Source of great joy and peace.
Blessings in His great Name,
Note: this is old news--sorry for the delay in posting.
Here is yet another update on the Grand Jury testimony. Recently Judge Sessions ruled to deny our motion to delay the grand jury testimony and the date for testimony was set for November 15th. The deadline for appealing his ruling was yesterday, Oct. 16th.
A few days ago ago our friend, Wilson Ring from the Associated Press, spoke with our attorney, Josh Autry. At that time we had no plans to file an appeal, and it was reported that way in Ring’s article. Since then, after reviewing the situation with my attorneys, and with the deadline fast approaching, we have arrived at a different place. Yesterday Mr. Autry filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals in New York City.
We have been extremely grateful for David Bercot’s legal counsel. As you may know, David is a licensed attorney-at-law. He stepped forward soon after the trial and offered to serve as a liaison between the Anabaptist community and the legal system and we have met several times now. His counsel on the decision to appeal was quite helpful. David has reviewed the case and assured me that this isn't a frivolous appeal, but that there are substantive issues at hand.
We don’t know, of course, if the appeal will be successful or how long it will take to wind its way through the appeals court. We simply trust our Sovereign God---who holds the courts of earth in the palm of His Hand--- to decide what is best.
I thought it would be good to clarify the changing circumstances with our people. No one was trying to mislead anyone, we are simply at a different place than we were two days ago, and so have decided to appeal after-all.