Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Facebook: Raw Milk Farmer Needs Jury Nullification Again

He is under attack again - It isn't over! Please share the updated info on Facebook

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

All over Facebook, people are sharing a victory story about Alvin Schlangen having been acquitted through jury nullification. It's true, but it happened last September, and lightening often strikes twice upon raw milk supporters. In this case, it is a form of Double Jeopardy.

So...let's get another victory! We definitely need the help of jury nullification again.

We must always keep watch over any targeted small farmer - enemies of food freedom wait for people to relax after a battle is won, and then strike again when they think no one's watching. This classic MO happens all the time. For instance, in most of the front-yard garden debacles - we cheer when there's a win, but the bureaucrats always come back in full force - when the cameras are off, behind closed doors, when the protesters have gone home. As tiresome as it is, we must never let up - because they don't.

Alvin Schlangen was acquitted in Hennepin County, Minnesota of the following three charges: selling raw milk, operating without a food license, and handling adulterated food.

But in January he was brought up on six charges in his home county of Stearns, including the same three that were just dropped against him in September. 

Here is a quick recap to update:

  • After the acquittal, Alvin was charged again, in a different county, for 6 counts including the 3 he was just vindicated of.
  • Alvin petitioned to get just the 3 identical charges dropped.
  • Each side had a few weeks to submit letters, one of which was Alvin's attorney requesting to have the same three charges from before dropped.
  • Alvin is arguing that this would be serial prosecution - a milder form of Double Jeopardy.
  • But Judge Thomas Knapp disagreed and said they were different "crimes," although similar, happening 10 days apart and involving separate foods.
  • The Double Jeopardy Clause (5th Amendment) encompasses four distinct prohibitions: one is subsequent prosecution after acquittal.
  • Schlangen argued that both county allegations "were from the same behavioral incident or continuous course of conduct," but the judge is moving forward and another trial will take place with Alvin on the defense.
  • In Blockburger v. United States (1932) -- the government may separately try and punish the defendant for two crimes if each crime contains an element that the other does not. (Source) That's probably the judge's touchstone.
  • Schlangen, however, was only asking that the three same charges he was acquitted of be dropped - not all six.
  • The 3 additional misdemeanors include: failing to maintain proper temperature for organic eggs, selling meat that should not have been possessed (?), and removing or disposing of food embargoed by state food safety inspectors.
  • Important - his method of food distribution is NOT a retail establishment. Find an explanation of his food membership here.
  • New trial date not currently set - will update accordingly.
While the victory was short lived, there is plenty that we can do to help....

What saved him in the courts last time was jury nullification when he was tried for "crimes" that harmed no one. Informed jurors can look at the evidence, but say "so what?" and let him go free. This is how bad laws are evaporated in the face of constant persecution - because this WILL keep happening.

Here are the ways we can help Alvin Schlangen:
Alvin's battles have been raging for more than two years now with threats of fines and imprisonment and he has been the target of multiple raids, inspections and trials. His many supporters have flocked to help him at rallies which Alvin attends and speaks, even signing a food declaration of independence. Although the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is aggressive towards its small farms and farm clubs, Minnesota has a trove of liberty to combat that with informed jurors.

Any suggestions for help or info on rallies are welcome. It would be great to get the jury info to Stearns County residents.

If you see the story I'm talking about on your Facebook feed - could you please kindly share this or any other update on that page?

Updates on Alvin Schlangen Since September Victory:

Judge Won't Drop Acquitted Charges in New Trial Against Raw Milk Farmer

After Victory, Raw Milk Farmer Faces Same Charges in Different County (Updated)

Petition here:

More info on Alvin:


Read other articles by Heather Callaghan Here


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Chris Tibb Miller said...


Marygrace said...

How is he paying me legal fees? Is there somewhere we can donate? I would love to show up the government AGAIN!

sitaifun said...

As ridiculous as this has become across the country, here is one method to completely avoid persecution by the so-called food regulatory officials: Quit selling food; instead, sell decorations/craft items. Keep selling the raw milk, but specifically advertise that it is not for human consumption, but for adorning your refrigerator with this beautiful white liquid. Of course customers will know to consume the product, but the FDA, USDA, etc. have zero authority over the arts and crafts industry! The same could be done with supplements. If the FDA prohibits the sale of some herb from an Amazon tree bark that helps the body heal from cancer, just sell it as a decoration; the FDA would be powerless to regulate that!

Heather Callaghan said...

Marygrace - In the bullets on how to help him there is info about a legal defense fund to help. Donate there and be sure to say it's for Alvin: http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/make-a-donation.html

Anonymous said...

Minnesota constitution is supreme law and supersedes all other inferior law.

In U.S. law, the term color of denotes the “mere semblance of legal right”, the “pretense or appearance of” right; hence, an action done under color of law colors (adjusts) the law to the circumstance, yet said apparently legal action contravenes the law.[1] Under color of authority is a legal phrase used in the United States[2] indicating a person is claiming or implying the acts he or she is committing are related to and legitimized by his or her role as an agent of governmental power, especially if the acts are unlawful.

Minnesota Constitution under Article 1
Sec. 15. Lands allodial; void agricultural leases. All lands within the state are allodial and feudal tenures of every description with all their incidents are prohibited. Leases and grants of agricultural lands for a longer period than 21 years reserving rent or service of any kind shall be void.

Allodial lands are the absolute property of their owner and not subject to any rent, service, or acknowledgment to a superior.

Minnesota Constitution under Article 13
Sec. 7. No license required to peddle.
Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.

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