Walter Hoye, Unjustly Convicted

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No Victims, No Evidence

By William B. May and Eugene Caputi

Walter Hoye, a good friend of CCG, a respect life activist, and Executive Elder at the Progressive Baptist Church in Berkeley was unjustly convicted of violating an Oakland, CA city ordinance targeting sidewalk counselors near abortion clinics. Convicted despite no victim or evidence, this grave injustice related to his Christian witness has drawn national attention.

See Hoye Sentencing Story 3/20/2009
More Sentencing Background 3/18/2009

What was Rev. Hoye’s crime? Standing outside an abortion clinic with the sign reading "Jesus [God] loves you and your baby. Let us help you."

Walter was arrested in May 13, 2008, under Oakland's new "bubble law". It states that pro-life demonstrators or sidewalk counselors must not move closer than 8 feet from any individual within a 100 foot radius of an abortion clinic.

Walter Hoye is supported by Catholics for the Common Good (CCG) Pro-life activist
Walter was unjustly convicted – he did not break any law. Clinic workers and escorts, bothered by his presence, approached him, crowded him, and held up cardboard placards to block his sign. They made false accusations against him and had him arrested. Because of the new “bubble” law, Walter had the foresight to have his presence video-taped just in case there was an incident.

At the trial in January, clinic workers misrepresented the facts on the witness stand – testifying that Walter was aggressive and threatening, and that two unidentified clients had complained about him. There was no supporting evidence provided and the video tape proved their testimony false. Inexplicably, the jury found him guilty of moving closer than 8 feet to the two unidentified, unseen clients. The case is being appealed. Life Legal Defense Foundation is representing Walter.

Video of abortion clinic workers
trying to block Walter Hoye's sign

After the trial, the judge told Walter that he was considering remanding him into jail pending sentencing for this misdemeanor. How could anyone treat such a kind, gentle, and loving person, as I know Walter to be, like a common criminal? The behavior of the judge has us concerned that he will give him the maximum sentence.

Read Star Parker's OpEd about this case

Black pastors from around the country rally in support of Walter Hoye.

William B. May is Chairman of Catholics for the Common Good.

Eugene Caputi is a Bay Area filmaker, and is a friend and supporter of Walter Hoye.

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