Green Delaware Action Alert #89
“State of Delaware vs. Alan J. Muller “
Police accused of destroying tapes,
on Motions, February 23, 10:00 AM
Port Penn, DE, February 21, 2001. Many of Green Delaware’s friends
know that Executive Director Alan Muller (also editor of Green Delaware
News) was arrested on January 16th in Delaware’s Legislative Hall while
reporting on the inauguration of Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. We do
not want to focus on this too much, but many have asked for an update.
The short answer is that Muller is still banned from Legislative Hall and
a jury trial is scheduled for Feb 27th, starting at nine in the morning.
Since most of us don’t have much experience with the criminal justice system,
here are some facts. Bear in mind that, on the advice of counsel,
we are limited in what
This is a “criminal” as opposed to a “civil” case. A document
called an “information” states “State of Delaware vs. Alan J.
Muller ...The Attorney General of the State of Delaware ... alleges that
ALAN J. MULLER did commit the following offenses: ... DISORDERLY
CONDUCT–DISTURBING ASSEMBLY MEETING OF PERSONS WITHOUT AUTHORITY ... [and]
CRIMINAL TRESPASS THIRD DEGREE ... /s/ M. Jane Brady ATTORNEY GENERAL.”
After police have arrested someone, prosecution is in the hands of the
Attorney General’s office and is discretionary. The Attorney General’s
office can decide to
Muller is represented by David L. Finger, a cooperating attorney for the Del. Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Finger is known for his interest in cases involving the Bill of Rights.
On Feb 16th, Finger filed a MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE OF STATEMENTS TAKEN FROM DEFENDANT IN VIOLATION OF HIS MIRANDA RIGHTS, stating: “... Mr. Muller went to Dover to gather information about the new administration, specifically about the role corporations were playing in sponsoring the new Governor’s inaugural festivities. ... After Mr. Muller’s arrest, the Capitol Police continued questioning him, including asking him to identify every organization of which he is a member. ...At no time during any of the above- described interrogations did the Capitol Police advise Mr. Muller of his Miranda rights. After being allowed to make a telephone call, Mr. Muller complained to Officer Kashner that he was not given his Miranda warning ... When Mr. Muller asked why he was being handcuffed to the bench, Officer Kashner responded that it was because Mr. Muller complained about not being given his Miranda warnings.”
On Feb 16th, Finger also filed a MOTION FOR A MISSING EVIDENCE INSTRUCTION,
Many letters have been sent to Delaware publications, and to the Governor and other officials, objecting to the arrest and banning from Legislative Hall. Some have been published. Excerpts:
Joe Parrish (New Jersey/New York Environmental Watch) wrote:” ... M. Jane Brady, attorney general of Delaware, has shown no interest in prosecuting the big corporate criminals (Texaco, Metachem, Rodel, and so on) whose violations have contributed to making Delaware so polluted and unhealthy. On the other hand, the attorney general seems to be pursuing blatantly trumped-up charges against Alan Muller of Green Delaware....”
George Jurgenson wrote: “... I am dismayed by Gov. Minner and House Speaker Terry Spence’s attitudes about the incident. ... Since when it is OK for politicians to deny access to Delaware citizens? ... State officials and politicians could be well served by listening to Mr. Muller regarding our environment. Apparently lobbyists who represent large campaign donations are allowed access whole those who voice environmental concerns are relegated to the balcony.”
Cyrus Moqtaderi wrote: “... Gov. Minner went so far as to state, “it is the job of the police to determine what is and is not appropriate behavior.”... One expects that sort of statement from a Third World dictator, not the governor of a supposedly democratic state.... Few things are more dangerous to democracy than the abuse of police power to suppress independent points of view....”
Martha Denison wrote: “... I hope the fact that Mr. Muller may not always tell a politician or potential polluter what they want to hear is not the driving force behind his arrest.”
Aaron M. Kromash, (County Coordinator, Green Party of Burlington County,
New Jersey) wrote to Gov. Minner: “... In my personal experience,
Mr. Muller is nothing other than an eloquent, principled, and highly dedicated
champion of the public interest. Far from disrupting a legislative
session or any other public meeting, Mr. Muller and the Green Delaware
Let us know what you think.
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page was last updated on March 1, 2001.