Nuwaubians petition in favor of jailed founder
August 27, 2009
By Eric Newcomer – firstname.lastname@example.org
About 300 people gathered Wednesday afternoon outside the federal courthouse in Macon to draw attention to a petition for appeal filed on behalf of United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors founder Malachi York.
Most in attendance were York’s followers and enthusiastically applauded the brief remarks of Nuwaubian leaders in attendance. The 23-page “petition for certificate of appealability,” which was submitted to the courts Wednesday afternoon, raises several objections to previous court rulings. York was sentenced in April 2004 to a 135-year prison sentence for molesting children inside the Nuwaubian compound.
The document submitted Wednesday lists grounds for appeal such as ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, judicial misconduct and lack of jurisdiction.In the document, York argues as he has previously that the court does not have the jurisdiction to convene or conduct a trial because of what he claims to be his status as a Liberian diplomat and citizen.
A federal judge denied a previous motion by York to throw out his prison sentence because of prosecutorial misconduct, according to U.S. District Court records. Dana Dixon, a representative of the United Nuwaubians World Wide, attended the event. “Everyone should be able to have due process,” she said. She accused the government of intimidating witnesses and of other forms of misconduct. Several Nuwaubians entered the courthouse and filed the brief on behalf of York.
Bernard Foster, 42, the CEO of the Holy Tabernacle Church where the group once met, said York’s case had been “railroaded” through.
Foster said the group gathered Wednesday to show their support for York.
“It’s absolutely a shower of support,” he said.
Nuwaubians Protest Leader’s Conviction
August 26th, 2009
Grant Blankenship/The Telegraph — Amir James, center, in white, leads fellow Nuwaubians in applause after telling them that their next stop in their quest to free their leader Malachi York after filing a request for an appeal in the Bootle Federal Courthouse in Macon on Wednesday is the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
More than five years ago, a jury convicted Malachi York of racketeering and child molestation charges, but his supporters are still hitting the streets of Macon.
He headed the Nuwaubian Nation, a quasi-religious group based in Eatonton.
Wednesday, about 200 followers gathered across the street from the federal courthouse in Macon to again protest York’s conviction in 2004 and file new motions requesting an appeal.
Among other things, York’s backers say some of his alleged victims now say they weren’t molested, that some defense witnesses weren’t allowed to testify, and that trial transcripts have been sealed.
Spokeswoman Dana Dixon says some of the witnesses against York testified because they feared federal officials.
“They were actually forced to make false statements against Dr. York. They basically got on the stand and testified against him because they feared for their safety, for their children’s safety,” said Dixon.
York was sentenced to 135 years in prison.