ORAL ARGUMENTS BEFORE APPEALS COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS ON FRIDAY, MAY 8 IN EVANGELIST MICHAEL MARCAVAGE'S APPEAL FOR “DISORDERLY CONDUCT” CONVICTION FOR PEACEFUL PREACHING IN SALEM, MASS. ON HALLOWEEN 2007

May 6, 2009

On Friday, May 8, 2009, an attorney with the Foundation for Moral Law, a religious liberties legal organization led by Judge Roy Moore, will present oral arguments before the Appeals Court of Massachusetts, in the appeal of the disorderly conduct conviction of Michael Marcavage of Repent America, who was arrested Halloween night 2007 for peacefully preaching the gospel with a megaphone in Salem, Mass. Attorney Ben DuPré, who represented Marcavage at the March 2008 trial in Salem, will present arguments before the Appeals Court Friday at the Essex Superior Court, 34 Federal Street, Salem, Mass. at 9:30 a.m.

In legal briefs submitted in the case, Commonwealth v. Marcavage, No. 2008-P-1294, the Foundation argued that under the Salem city code Marcavage had a right to use a megaphone until 10:00 p.m., as other businesses and street performers were being allowed to do. The Salem Police Department's decision to shut him down and arrest him at 8:30 p.m. was completely unwarranted and a violation of Marcavage's constitutional rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, and equal protections of the laws. (Download the Appellant's brief in Commonwealth v. Marcavage here.)

On March 10, 2008, the trial court in Salem found Marcavage guilty of disorderly conduct, a verdict the Foundation argues is completely unsupported by the evidence, including a video showing Marcavage's arrest.

“We are hopeful the appeals court will see that Mr. Marcavage's behavior in Salem was completely respectful and orderly as he tried to bring the message of the gospel to the partying crowds of Halloween night in Salem,” Attorney DuPré said. “It should not be up to the Salem Police Department to decide when the Constitution protects the rights to free speech and freedom of religion.”

Note: Attorney DuPré will be available for questions following the oral argument and may be reached on his cell phone at (334) 549-0093.

The Foundation for Moral Law, a national religious-liberties organization, is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and is dedicated to restoring the knowledge of God in law and government through litigation relating to moral issues and religious liberty, as well as education consisting of forums for pastors, lawyers, judges, and the general public.

For more information about the Foundation for Moral Law, please visit www.morallaw.org.

 

 
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