Krause found Not Guilty

February 17, 2009

I took the day off to hear the verdict in the Krause case in West Allis…


Judge Paul Murphy spoke at length about the decision (and I wish I could have had the full recording I tried to get of the verdict – my MP3 recoder took this as a sign that it won’t record). I’ll try to give my impressions of the case, but it looks like I’m going back to the back of the journalism school line as far as reporting goes.

Murphy spoke at length about precedent (including Heller) but seemed to put aside constitutional concerns (probably because it’s a municipal court, something he addressed at length about, saying that this was strictly to be an oral decision, not a written one).  He mentioned that Krause and the man who called the police, Dykstra, seemed to be upstanding citizens, and the crux of the case came down to “was Krause being disorderly?”*

He then brought up the Nazi flag analogy that he apparently used in the first hearing on the subject, saying that Nazis holding a rally in Illinois were protected by Fist Amendment concerns, and were allowed to march, even though they were certain to promote disorderly conduct in someone.  That, the fact that Krause was not confrontational in any way with the arresting officers, and the absence of any statute on West Allis’ books that said explicitly that open carry was against the law, led him to give the Not Guilty verdict.

There was a nice turnout for the hearing (mostly men, though).  The local affiliate of Fox showed up for media coverage (maybe I can get some of that on the web later today?).

Now- where’s our Milwaukee Gun Examiner, and what’s her take on this?

* And this got the most reaction out of me – Murphy sounded at one point to me like he wanted a cut-&-paste statute for this hearing, so he could go back to doing simple things like traffic violations, rather than giving 2A supporters fuel to perform open carry in Wisconsin.  He even spoke at length about how the legislature failed to address this for several years, sounding, in my opinion, like he’d be in favor of legislation against both open carry and concealed carry.

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