Walter Hoye Jailed -- No Mercy

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Judge Exceeded Authority
Walter and Lori Hoye Courageous Witnesses for Life

by William B. May

Walter Hoye is supported by Catholics for the Common Good (CCG) Pro-life activist

OAKLAND, CA, Mar 20, 2009 -- This afternoon, appearing slight and gaunt from his 40-Days-for-Life fasting, Rev. Walter Hoye was calmly led from the Alameda County courtroom to begin a thirty day jail sentence. The judge denied the defense's motion to stay the sentence pending appeal and remanded Walter into custody. Even people convicted of serious felonies facing long prison sentences are routinely granted bail or released on their own recognizance pending appeal. This case involved a simple misdemeanor -- an unjust conviction with no victim or evidence.

Rev. Hoye’s crime was standing outside of an abortion clinic with the sign reading "Jesus [God] loves you and your baby. Let us help you." See the background details on the case.

Write or visit Walter Hoye

Mailing address:
Walter B. Hoye II
Santa Rita Jail
5325 Broder Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568-3309
Visitation Schedule - Housing Unit 34
Thursday 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Saturday 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Sunday 6:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.

Last month, the judge initially gave Walter three years probation with the condition that he stay more than 100 yards from the abortion clinic where he was arrested. When he told the judge that he would not be willing to forfeit his first amendment rights, Judge Hing added a 30 day jail sentence with the option for alternative community service, and a $1,130 fine. The judge was stymied when both the prosecution and defense lawyers told him he could not impose a condition of probation unless Hoye accepted it. The sentencing was continued until today.

What happened today, stunned everyone in the courtroom. Even though both the prosecution and defense agreed that Judge Hing could not impose a condition of probation on Walter without his consent, he insisted on giving him the same sentence anyway. He said the jail time, the fine, and the conditions of probation are all in effect -- immediately -- something that will surely be overturned on appeal (but unfortunately after Walter has already served his time in jail). This is an outrage.

e District Attorney tried to support the stay-away order with outlandish reasoning that compared it those issued in domestic violence cases to protect victims. Allison Aranda with Life Legal Defense Foundation responded that there was no victim in this case and the judge was asking Walter to stay away from public streets and sidewalks, forfeiting his first amendment rights. In addition, his lawyers made the point that judge did not have authority to impose restrictions on him that are more stringent than those contained in the anti-sidewalk-counseling ordinance under which he was charged.

Before the sentencing, a crowd of about 80 supporters prayed over Walter and his wife, Lori, in the hallway outside of the courtroom. We also prayed lovingly for the abortion clinic owners, staff, and supporters who jeered and mocked as we prayed.

The way Walter has been treated by the DA and the Judge is starting to awaken the African-American clergy in Oakland to the targeting of Black babies for abortion. Additional African-American pro-life leadership is starting to emerge.


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It is important to spread the word about this injustice across the nation by emailing this article. A broad coalition of organizations will soon have "Free Walter Hoye" tee shirts available help publicize this injustice. There will be more information available on next steps over the next few days. Stay tuned.

Continue to pray for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for Walter and his family.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation press release is posted below.


March 20, 2009
CONTACT: Katie Short, Legal Director, (805) 640-1940


OAKLAND, Calif.: Today the Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California, was ordered to serve 30 days in county jail by Judge Stuart Hing of the Alameda Superior Court. Rev. Hoye had been found guilty on January 15, 2009, of unlawfully approaching two persons entering an abortion clinic in Oakland. Judge Hing had also ordered him to stay one hundred yards away from the abortion clinic for three years. However, Rev. Hoye refused this term of probation and would not agree to a stay-away order. Therefore, the judge denied the defense motion to stay the sentence pending appeal. Mr. Hoye was taken into custody from the courtroom.

At a hearing on February 19, Judge Hing stated that he had not intended to impose any fine or jail time on Rev. Hoye if he would agree to stay away from the abortion clinic. After Rev. Hoye refused to agree not to offer alternatives to abortion-minded women, Judge Hing imposed a 30-day sentence and $1130 fine. Dozens in the African-American and pro-life communities from around the nation who came out in support of Rev. Hoye were outraged by the sentence. The consensus of these leaders is that it was a travesty that Rev. Hoye was found guilty in the first place for standing in the gap for black children targeted by the abortion industry.

“It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk,” remarked Allison Aranda, Staff Counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation. Aranda further stated, “Rev. Hoye is being singled out for particularly harsh punishment because he refused to agree not to offer help to women considering abortion. Where is the justice in that?”

Rev. Hoye is an African-American pastor who feels a special calling to work for the end of the genocide-by-abortion taking place in the African-American community. As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion clinic in Oakland with leaflets offering abortion alternatives and a sign reading, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help.” In response, the Oakland City Council passed an ordinance making it a crime to approach persons entering abortion clinics to offer alternatives to abortion. Approaching women to encourage them to enter the clinic is permitted, according to City policy.

According to 2004 statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 37 percent of pregnancies of black women end in abortion, compared with 12 percent for non-Hispanic white women and 19 percent for Hispanic women. LLDF Legal Director Catherine Short and attorney Mike Millen, who also represented Rev. Hoye at trial, are currently challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance on Rev. Hoye’s behalf in federal court. They are hopeful the ordinance will be struck down and Rev. Hoye vindicated. For more details about Rev. Hoye’s case go to Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to the sanctity of human life. For more information, call Katie Short at 805.640.1940.


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