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 justice.
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 dubious.
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 AlternaTIFF.
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.
Appeal decision Reversed and remanded, on basis that expert defense testimony was excluded that Finley believed the instruments were not fraudulent.
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Maintained: Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 2001 February 23 Updated: 2002 August 27