Schaeffer Cox 11/8/17
I just got off the phone with my friend JB Patterson. The poor guy had to tell me that the 9th Circuit denied our motion that would have thrown out the one remaining serious charge and let me out of prison. He was hesitant to even talk about it at first. He sounded like the guy who knocks on your front door, hat in hand, and has to tell you that he just ran over your dog. “Well, Schaeffer, it’s good to hear your voice. Umm, I, umm, I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” he slowly started. The trepidation in his voice was heavy and thick. As he spoke, my mind instantaneously ran through the worst possible things he could be getting ready to say. The list of bad things left to happen to me turned out to be surprisingly short. And in one one thousandth of a second, I had considered each of them and concluded that I could survive each and every one, and still be oaky. For each disaster, there was a promise of hope. For each loss, there was an open hand to let go. For each disappointment, there was an equal gratitude. For each fear, there was a calm acceptance.
Here was JB telling me that the court had been unreasonable, that I would NOT be getting out of prison by spring as hoped, and that I’d have to fight on for much much longer. But all I wanted to do was reach through the phone and hug the guy and tell him everything was okay. I felt the pain in his voice. But I wanted him to know the comfort that comes from being truly fearless. I have lost everything through this nightmare, including my fear. And fear is always the last thing to go when you a losing it all. But once you finally lose that fear, you gain the whole world. You get a life and vitality that you would not trade for all of the precious things you lost. It is only in the deep dark woods of lonely hell that you find that rare treasure of truly resilient hope.
I have two hopes. One is to be free of this torture nightmare and get back to the people I love. But the other hope I have is to simply be a man of honor and virtue, to be alive and wholehearted in the now, and to look life in the face free of all fear. Getting out is a hope that will only come someday, but being a good man with no fear is resilient and real to me in the now. It can be real to any of us as soon as we take hold of it. I wanted JB to feel what I felt in my heart as he told me the bad news. Because I didn’t feel a sinking feeling. I felt the joy of seeing my resilient hope alive and well and unfazed. To be a good man, let come what may. That is enough for me; even if it’s all I ever have. This is the only way to live a seaworthy life. And as JB hit me with a rogue wave of bad bad news, my ship cut through the wave and surfaced on the other side. And I felt the same feeling of steadfast satisfaction that I have felt sailing through icy monster storms in the Gulf of Alaska.
I’ll be out soon enough. We win by not quitting. Here are a few good things on the horizon for us:
~ This denial of our motion for re-hearing will now be appealed to the Supreme Court. So the question we are now asking the Supreme Court is this: Can you be sent to prison for conspiracy to resist genocide during a future zombie apocalypse? The 9th Circuit has just said YES. But this is clearly nuts. And it’s dangerous because if that’s the case, then whoever is in power can jail their political enemies at the drop of a tweed hat, by simply accusing them of being potential zombie apocalypse resistors. This is almost funny. It would be if I wasn’t in prison for it.
~ Up to this point, we have not been allowed to introduce all the hours and hours of audio recordings that prove my innocence. This is because my trial attorney (Mr. Traverso) missed his chance to enter them into the trial record, and the direct appeal is limited to what’s in the trial record. But as soon as the direct appeal is over, it’s an evidentiary free-for-all! We can bring in all the audios that prove I’m innocent, all of Skroci’s emails that prove the government knew I was innocent, and any other evidence we can find from any place, including any new whistleblowers who are willing to come forward.
~ The other good thing we can get to now is the fact that I sued the Department of Justice and forced them to admit in court that they have no records at all to prove that I was indicted. I filed a motion with my trial judge to dismiss my charges and let me out of prison because of this major foundational flaw in the procedure. He didn’t deny that motion, he just said he was going to put it on the shelf until I got back from my appeal. WELL NOW I’M BACK! And if they can’t produce proof that I was indicted by a grand jury, they have to let me out. And since they already went on the record saying I wasn’t, it’s going to be a real trick for them to reverse their position now. They’d have to go into court records and falsify them — not impossible, but highly unlikely.
~ I will go back to my trial judge now and get re-sentenced. This will be almost like a mini trial where the only question is how much time I should get. In this proceeding, we can bring in all sorts of evidence. We can even bring in evidence that would not be allowed at a jury trial. The rules are not strict at all. This is great for us because we can go in there and basically prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that I’m actually innocent. This is a good way to show that the writing is on the wall, and that the charges I’m being sentenced on can’t help but be overturned sooner or later. If we do good enough job, the judge could even sentence me to “time served” and let me right out. But it’s way more likely that he will make me sit in jail while the government’s case dies a slow death.
That’s the forecast. More later. The good life is not for the faint of heart. Be well.
“My six-year-old son, Parker, is the reason this band exists,” he explains. “Because when I learned I was going to be a father, I knew I wanted to be able to tell him he can be whatever he wants to be as long as he sets his mind to it and works hard. But I realized there was something I had wanted to do that I never had the guts to try—being a singer/songwriter. And I thought to myself, if I’m ever gonna tell my kid that he can be whatever he wants to be, then I’d better at least give this a shot. Thankfully, it has worked out. But, succeed or fail, you’ve gotta try.” JB Patterson