The AP reports that a Michigan appeals court overturned a ruling Wednesday that sent minister Edward Pinkney to prison for six months “after warning a judge that he could be tortured by God.” Pinkney “was convicted in 2007 of paying people $5 to vote in a recall election” in Benton Harbor, Michigan, “and was sentenced to probation.”
Pinkney later wrote in a Chicago newspaper that Judge Alfred Butzbaugh “could be punished by God with curses, fever and ‘extreme burning’ unless he repented, a reference to an Old Testament passage.” Another judge sent Pinkney “to prison for three to 10 years for violating probation with his words. Pinkney appealed saying his free-speech rights were trampled. In a 3-0 ruling, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed.”
Pinkney ran for Congress from prison last year as a Green Party candidate, receiving 3,512 votes in Michigan’s Sixth District.