The Case of Richard Finley
Richard Finley, owner of America's Legal Bookstore of Sacramento California,
was sentenced by Federal District Judge William B Schubb to 48 months (4 years)
in federal prison on Feb. 7, 2001. The outcome of this case, U.S.A. v. Richard
Finley, CR-S-98-460, is considered by many reformers to be a travesty of
Finley had been convicted by a jury in January of 2000 on 4 of 5 counts of
trying to pass Montana Freeman type warrants. His defense was that he was only
seeking a determination of whether the warrants had value, and never
represented to anyone that they did. He was not allowed to make an adequate
defense, and the outcome is considered to have been fixed.
Finley attempted to represent himself through much of the proceeding, but he
was finally coerced into having a court-appointed defender whose knowledge of
the issues and ability to adequately represent Finley in this case are highly
Finley turns 67 in May. He has operated The America's Legal Bookstore in
Sacramento since 1985.
We have begun to put images of many of the more important court documents
online. This is a work in progress, and we welcome contributions from Richard's
friends. You can decide for yourself the merits of the opposing positions.
The images are TIFF files, so you will need a TIFF viewer to view them. You
can download a free TIFF viewer plugin such as
So far, we only have a part of the files online, with no tables of contents.
However, you can manually alter the URL in your browser URL field to download
and view each file.
In the Sentencing series above you will find evidence of how this habeas
corpus was handled — a clear case of judicial corruption. See if you can
recognize it. Hint: the clue is a post-it note on the document.
decision — Reversed and remanded, on basis that expert defense
testimony was excluded that Finley believed the instruments were not