Horst D. Deckert

First Amendment Showdown: Owen Shroyer Challenges Government Bid to Halt Appeal


“Before this case, the prospect of such an event was not a judicial reality, but merely a bleak dystopian fantasy.”

The federal government overstepped its constitutional boundaries by dismissing Infowars host Owen Shroyer’s motion to appeal his verdict, violating his right to free speech, argues Shroyer’s attorney Norm Pattis.

Shroyer hosts Infowars’ War Room program on weekdays, where for three hours a day he passionately expresses his political opinion to a wide audience. Prosecutors evidently used speech made on the show against him.

In a court filing submitted Monday to the DC Court of Appeals, Pattis pushed back against the government’s dismissal of Shroyer’s appeal arguing prosecutors used his client’s political opinions – made weeks and months ahead of the alleged offense – against him, violating his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

Mr. Shroyer contends that the appeal should not be dismissed because it raises a serious and substantial question about the substantive unreasonableness of the District Court’s imposition of sentence: to wit, whether the Court sentenced Mr. Shroyer to a period of incarceration because of Mr. Shroyer’s protected speech, an egregious violation of Mr. Shroyer’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. He contends that given the importance of protected speech, especially protected speech about political events, such speech, when unrelated to proof of intent to commit a crime, is never “relevant offense conduct.” To rule otherwise is to grant to the Government the power to seek penal consequences on account of speech, a result that would be abhorrent to the nation’s founders and should be anathema to a reviewing court committed to constitutional principles.

Pattis pointed out that during sentencing, government prosecutors sought to justify a sentence of 120 days in jail for Shroyer by “urging the Court to consider the fact that Mr. Shroyer previously spread ‘disinformation’ about the 2020 election and had otherwise encouraged others to protest in an effort to ‘Stop the Steal,’ before, during and after January 6, 2021.”

Shroyer at the time pushed back against the original sentence calling it unlawful and saying he “had every right to hold opinions Government officials might regard as heterodoxic, even wrong.”

However, the government rejected Shroyer’s argument and contended that a plea deal, to which Shroyer had agreed, prevented him from filing an appeal “if the sentence did not exceed the maximum contemplated by the plea agreement.”

Shroyer argued he did not anticipate the court would impose a prison sentence for exercising free speech and contended the reasons behind the court’s decision were “so shocking” as to render the plea agreement void.

“Put simply, it was not foreseeable to Mr. Shroyer that a District Court judge in the United States of America would send a person to prison for uttering political opinions. Before this case, the prospect of such an event was not a judicial reality, but merely a bleak dystopian fantasy.”

“Political speech uttered in the weeks and months before a trespassory offense ought never to be considered ‘relevant offense conduct.’”

It remains to be seen how the legal battle between Shroyer and the government shapes up.

Read Pattis’ filing below:

The globalists are increasing their attacks on Infowars and the stakes have never been higher!

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