Liberty in Liberty County!
Today, October 31, 2013, Sheriff Nick Finch won his case in a farce of trial in Liberty County, Florida. Sheriff Finch was charged and arrested and booked into his own jail last June. Sheriff Finch had done something unheard of, yet noble and courageous. He nullified the arrest of a law abiding citizen who had the audacity of carrying a gun in his pocket. Sheriff Finch said “not on my watch.” So the State moves in, arrests the Sheriff and re-arrests the citizen, Mr. Parish. The end result was Finch was removed from office and went to trial. Mr. Parish once again had the charges dropped, but he had to perform 50 hours of community service and pay $200.
Let’s be very clear here, neither man was guilty of anything! There were no victims and no evidence that a crime had ever occurred. Today, a jury, consisting of six Liberty County citizens nullified the charges against Sheriff Finch and told the State officials who brought this case to trial that they were having none of their shenanigans. Sheriff Finch was reinstated as Sheriff just 15 minutes later.
The Sheriff nullified the arrest of an innocent man and the jury nullified the arrest of another innocent man. Liberty won this Halloween day in Liberty County and a tremendous example was laid before us all; do what’s right, keep your word, and have the courage to stand for the little guy. As Sheriff Finch testified in court before a badgering prosecutor, who demeaned and assailed Sheriff Finch’s dedication to his oath and the Constitution, Sheriff Finch calmly and firmly told the prosecutor and the court, “The Constitution has to count for something.”
Sheriff Finch and his good wife are to admired for their courage and commitment. I am proud to call them friends and proud that I had the opportunity to witness for myself the humility and strength of these good people as they stared adversity in the face and won! Now perhaps it is for each of us to learn from this and realize that Liberty and the Constitution only “count for something” if we make it so.