Will Goodman and Dr. Monica Miller were arrested for peacefully praying outside a Michigan abortion mill on June 1. They were sentenced by Judge Marc Barron to 45 days in jail, and are currently serving out their term at Oakland County Jail in Pontiac. Goodman sent this letter to Church Militant requesting that it be published.
My name is Will Goodman, and I am a prisoner of conscience at the Oakland County Jail, serving a 45-day sentence for nonviolent direct action to protect innocent lives at an abortion facility, and for civil disobedience in response to my probation, which took away my constitutional right of free speech. I was arrested holding a sign on a public sidewalk. The sign read "Peace Begins in the Womb."
On June 14, Judge Marc Barron (48th District Court) pronounced the sentence and, before a large crowd gathered at the courtroom, offered his opinion that my actions made me an "anarchist" and thus a "threat or danger to the community." Due to the public nature of his comments, I wish respectfully to provide a public response.
I am personally and philosophically opposed to all forms of anarchism, as it traffics in secrecy and violence, without respect for organized government or human dignity. I chose the path of nonviolence, after the example of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a means of fostering a true commitment to democracy, authentic justice and the objective rule of law.
I love the U.S.A. and the legal tradition which protects the rights of the innocent. If anyone might be called "anarchist," it would be the justices of Roe v. Wade, who threw away nearly two centuries of state law from virtually every state in the Union (including Michigan) that protected innocent human life in the womb.
Furthermore, it is very difficult to comprehend how one who understands the self-evident natural law truth "Thou shalt not kill" constitutes a threat to the common good of the people of Michigan. The real danger to society is found in the unchecked violence against innocent human beings, and the unjust courts who offer their juridical blessing to those committing the violence.
I respect Judge Barron as a person, but I am truly heartbroken by his handling of this case, a case that has at its heart the "self-evident truth that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," the chief among these being the fundamental right to life.
Sincerely a voice for the voiceless,
Oakland County Jail
PO Box 436017
Pontiac, MI 48343