Finnish Prosecutors Appeal the Christians’ “Innocent” Verdict

Finnish Prosecutors Appeal the Christians’ “Innocent” Verdict April 27, 2022

We blogged about how the Finnish court exonerated the Christians of hate crime charges for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality.  Well, now prosecutors are appealing that innocent verdict.

Yes, they can do that.  In the USA, our Constitution prohibits “double jeopardy,” being tried again after a court finds you innocent.  Without that protection, if you are charged of a crime, the state can keep putting you on trial until they get a guilty verdict.

Our Founders considered that to be tyranny.  Never take for granted the liberties and the rights we have in the United States, which often go far beyond even those in supposedly “free countries.”

Anyway,  Dr. Päivi Räsänen–a member of Parliament and the former Minister of the Interior, no less–was charged for hate crimes for writing a pamphlet about homosexuality, tweeting a Bible text in the context of opposing the state church participating in a gay pride parade, and taking the wrong side in a radio debate.

Notice too how those charges also violated her freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.  Those are  “inalienable” and “natural” rights that belong to all human beings, according to our Founders, and they are affirmed in Finnish law too.

Having been found innocent, now she is in legal jeopardy again.  Bishop Juhana Pohjola, of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese (which is in fellowship with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) was also charged for publishing Dr. Räsänen’s pamphlet.  He too was found innocent in his trial.  The news story did not say that prosecutors were appealing his verdict.

Here is Dr. Räsänen’s comment about the appeal, as well as the response of her lawyer, which is especially telling (my bolds):

In a statement late Wednesday, Ms. Räsänen said, “This case has been hanging over me and my family for almost three years. After my full exoneration in court, I am dismayed that the prosecutor will not let this campaign against me drop. Once again, I am prepared to defend freedom of speech and religion not just for me, but for everyone.”

Paul Coleman, ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom] International executive director and an attorney on the defense team, called the appeal an “alarming” move by authorities.

“Dragging people through the courts for years, subjecting them to hour-long police interrogations, and wasting taxpayer money in order to police people’s deeply held beliefs has no place in a democratic society,” Mr. Coleman said. “As is so often the case in “hate speech” trials, the process has become part of the punishment,” he added.

Exactly!  Despite all of our liberties, this is happening in the United States as well, in a wide range of cases, both criminal and civil.  The legal process, with its huge expense and emotional toll–whatever the final verdict–has become a means of punishment!

 

HT:  Bob Foote

Photo:  Double Jeopardy by Nick Youngson via Blue Diamond Gallery,Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0

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