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Report from the Courtroom: Amish farmer Samuel Girod’s Sentencing

You’ve probably heard, but Sam Girod was sentenced to six years in federal prison for making herbal salve without the king’s permission, plus $1300 in what are essentially court costs, plus over $14,000 in restitution to his victims. He will also have three years of supervised release, is barred from owning firearms, and is barred from making any product regulated by the FDA. Sam will not be forced to undergo court ordered drug testing.

See links to full story and trial in sidebar.

Local News Coverage

All of the media coverage was reasonably good. The WTVQ coverage did by far the best job of conveying the liberty perspective that resonates throughout this case. The Lexington Herald Leader (Kentucky.com) was surprisingly good as well.

http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Convicted-Amish-farmer-to-be-sentenced-Friday-in-Lexington-431745623.html

http://www.lex18.com/story/35788610/amish-man-gets-time-in-prison-ordered-to-pay-restitution

http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article159031869.html

Here’s the federal government’s statement on this case: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/pr/bath-county-man-sentenced-misbranding-drugs-and-obstructing-justice

Courtroom Sentencing

This account is based on hastily scribbled notes (without benefit of legal training) because no recording devices were allowed in the courtroom. Hopefully there are no substantive errors.

After a few brief opening remarks, judge Danny Reeves described the sentencing procedure. It’s not a simple nor straight forward procedure. It seemed deliberately complicated, which in the federal government domain can also be interpreted as providing places to hide abuse of power while maintaining the illusion of following procedures.

Judges have enormous latitude in sentencing. The sentencing guidelines include a convoluted calculation. The various counts are grouped by class. Sam apparently had five classes. For each class, points are totaled. I’ve seen people play Dungeons & Dragons and the point system is similar. For example, counts 4 through 11, the counts for misbranded drugs were grouped into a class. Roll the dice to get a base of 18 points. Then add +2 for the number of violations, +2 for prior convictions (the Missouri ruling against Sam?), +2 for sophisticated means, and +2 for obstruction of justice to get a total of 26 points. This total essentially overrode the lesser totals in the other classes and was used to determine sentencing. Despite the procedural detail, the assignment of points seemed to be sufficiently arbitrary that almost any outcome could be produced.

The sentencing guidelines called for 63-78 months in prison, 1-3 years of supervised release after prison, and $25,000 to $250,000 in fines.

Sam was given an opportunity to explain why the court should be lenient in sentencing, but his only reply was “I do not consent.”

The federal prosecutor, Kate Smith, was given an opportunity to explain why the state wants a harsh sentence and she did not pass on the opportunity. She asked for a fine of $25,000 as well as jail time, specifically citing Sam’s “Sovereign Citizen” claims and his refusal to admit guilt. The judge made similar comments throughout the sentencing.

The judge then stated, “There have been a lot of incorrect statements made about this case.” He said that it’s not about salve. It’s about refusing to follow the law. Misbranding. Interstate commerce. Jury tampering.

“There have been some wild claims during the case.”

He said that Sam refused to listen to anyone but himself… and others who have been giving him advice – bad advice. The case is not about Big Pharma. He then called Sam “obstinate” and accused him of “continuous and blatant disregard for the rule of law.”

Of course, the law he was referring to is actually some rules that were written by unelected bureaucrats at the FDA that are enforced as if they were laws enacted by our elected legislators.

This administrative law is thousands of pages and it’s enforced in a completely arbitrary manner. Sam had repeatedly tried to obey the rules the FDA were forcing upon him, but it was never good enough. The FDA kept telling him that he was in violation of new rules. Seeing the futility in this, Sam invited them to make suggestions that were acceptable to them and was told that it’s not the FDA’s job to design his labeling for him and it was his responsibility to comply with the law, aka their secret rules that keep changing. It was an impossible situation for Sam.

The judge then passed sentence on Sam. Six years in federal prison. Three years of supervised release. No ownership of firearms. No manufacturing or selling products regulated by the FDA. $1300 ($100 per count) in what are essentially court costs. $14,239.08 in restitution to be paid immediately to Sam’s victims.

The judge did not impose any fine as requested by the federal prosecutor, stating that he believed a fine would impose an undue hardship on Sam’s family. The judge also did not order any court mandated drug testing while Sam is on supervised release.

The judge stated that deterrence is a difficult matter in this case because the defendant has demonstrated that he refuses to abide by the law.

The judge ordered the court clerk to file an automatic appeal on Sam’s behalf at the 14 day deadline if Sam hasn’t filed the form himself, recognizing that Sam has had no legal representation and probably wouldn’t know to file the form. He also had the court clerk provide the written instructions and read the explanation of the appeals process and filing requirements to Sam. He asked Sam if he understood and Sam said that he does not consent.

Michael Fox, the public defender, seemingly without any direction from Sam, asked the judge if he could request that Sam serve his sentence at the federal corrections facility in Ashland, Kentucky. The judge said that he would need to know if this was Sam’s desire before he could make such a recommendation. He asked Sam and Sam replied that he does not consent.

So Sam will probably do his time at a medium security facility someplace like Texas. Presumably prisoners are sent wherever there is room, but there are theories that prisoners are placed far from home to discourage visitations from family and friends.

I later learned that the Ashland facility, actually in the suburb of Summit, is a minimum security facility known as “The Camp” where they don’t bother to lock the doors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Correctional_Institution,_Ashland

“FCI Ashland has a satellite camp which Forbes magazine ranked as one of the best places to go to prison in the United States. The camp holds a “wellness” program including aerobic exercise and stress reduction programs.”

Observations & Commentary

The restitution is one of the most perverse aspects of this case. It was clear from their testimony that Sam’s suppliers, wholesale distributors and customers all loved Sam and his products. They clearly felt victimized by an out-of-control federal government that was interfering in their ability to trade with Sam, and they were very upset at being compelled to be the FDA’s hostile witnesses to testify against Sam. Their stress at this compelled testimony was palpable. It was like watching a mother forced to lie and implicate her husband in a crime he didn’t commit so the state thugs would stop torturing her daughter. And now those coerced testimonies are being used to add a sense of legitimacy to this kangaroo court with the appearance that the court is protecting some actual victims of some real crime by securing restitution for them, even though the only victims in this case were victimized by various federal agents.

During the trial, one of Sam’s suppliers became visibly perturbed by the questioning designed to coerce answers for the prosecutor and he departed from the question and answer format. He started railing against the entire process that forced him to appear in the court. The hostile witness became a VERY hostile witness and was summarily dismissed with no further questions.

Another hostile witness, Mrs. Miller, a young Amish woman from out of state and the proprietor of a dry goods store appeared so distraught that I was concerned that she was going to suffer a nervous breakdown on the witness stand. The prosecutor had deliberately put her in a position where she was forced to either lie about the facts, or tell the factual truth knowing that it would create such a false impression that it was tantamount to a lie.

Any competent cross examination would have allowed these witnesses to testify on Sam’s behalf, as they obviously wanted to do. It was clear that these people considered Sam to be their friend and they couldn’t believe the federal government was forcing them to testify against Sam. These coerced testimonies were brutal often to the point of being inhumane. They were very difficult to watch. These are the people the court is now claiming are Sam’s victims.

Having seen their forced testimony and the internal struggles playing across their faces, I think to a person, they’d identify the federal government as their tormentor. They all felt sympathy for Sam. I can’t imagine any of them seeing themselves as Sam’s victim. The prosecutor and the judge know these witnesses are Sam’s friends and the depiction of them as Sam’s victims is a bizarre and blatant fraud.

As much as the judge tried to appear as if the sentencing guidelines dictated the sentence and he was some sort of unbiased arbiter, it seems likely that if not for the significant public attention drawn to this case, Sam would have received a far harsher sentence. Hopefully that can provide some comfort to a few people.

I’d concur with the judge when he stated that this case wasn’t about salve. I’d probably agree that it wasn’t about Big Pharma, at least not directly. This case was about Sam not doing what he was told. This trial was about power and authority. Sam’s crime was that he strongly believed that he had the right to make and sell herbal remedies and these transactions should be regulated by market interactions between himself and his customers, and not the federal government.

How can the Food and Drug Administration regulate his products when they are neither food nor drugs? Unfortunately, that’s now a dangerously naive belief.

The judge and the prosecutor have repeatedly leveled allegations that amount to, “He was told not to do this and he did it anyway.” If the state claims the ability to regulate your activities, then you have no right of refusal. They stated this as if it was an obvious and incontrovertible fact.

This trial was a clash of cultures, with Sam near the extreme limit of the Amish beliefs in individual liberty and self determination subject only to their religious beliefs, and the federal judge and federal prosecutor near the extreme limit of authoritarian state power.

It was difficult to watch these proceedings without concluding that these two parties had such divergent beliefs that they were unable to communicate beyond the most rudimentary ideas. Any complex concepts had no common understanding as a basis for communication. They talked past each other. Sam insisted that he hadn’t harmed anyone. The state argued that Sam hadn’t followed their rules. There seemed to be two separate trials occurring in the same space, each orthogonal to the other, never intersecting nor influencing the other.

As a court observer, the experience would be similar to going to a basketball game where one team is playing tiddlywinks and the other team is weaving traditional Chilean baskets. It didn’t make any sense, so it’s no surprise that justice wasn’t served.

From a practical standpoint, Sam should have availed himself fully of the public defender, Michael Fox. Sam had insisted that he wanted to defend himself, but Mr. Fox became so incensed by the blatant lies of the prosecutor’s first witness that he asked Sam if he’d like for him to cross examine the witness and Sam agreed. Despite not being able to prepare, Mr. Fox extemporaneously demolished the witness, proving that he had perjured himself at least twice in his brief testimony.

The prosecutor objected to the cross examination. Apparently, she had been promised that she could try her case against an elderly Amish farmer and Sam receiving an actual legal defense must have seemed very unfair to her. The judge ruled that Sam could not employ a hybrid defense. He’d need to choose whether he’d employ the public defender or whether he’d defend himself. Sam chose to defend himself and sealed his fate.

Sam’s defense consisted of nothing but asking witnesses if anyone was harmed by his products, and a rambling closing statement with the only salient point being that, once again, nobody was harmed by his products. While an injured party would certainly be the central issue in a common law case, it was completely irrelevant to the various “didn’t follow the rules” counts that Sam was facing.

It would be understandable to refuse to admit guilt and try to make a point by articulating an argument in favor of individual liberty. It wouldn’t succeed in court, but it might advance a liberty agenda on a broader scale.

But that’s not what Sam did. In essence, he offered no defense at all and placed his faith in a divinely just outcome. As a result, Sam received a six year sentence and will probably serve five years and a few months of that sentence in a federal prison.

It’s a real American tragedy.

It must have been very frustrating for Mr. Fox to sit next to Sam and suffer through that slow motion train wreck of a trial, knowing the inevitable outcome and being unable to convince Sam to do any of the things he should do to help himself.

The night before the sentencing, there was a rumor that the prosecutor had offered Sam a plea deal involving a $25,000 fine with no time in prison other than the six months he’s already served in the Fayette County Detention Center. This rumor made no sense at all. Plea deals are not offered after a jury renders a guilty verdict on all 13 counts.

Nevertheless, there were assurances that the Girod family had this plea deal in writing. This rumor originated with a friend of the family who had apparently been visiting when Sam called from the jail. If so, Sam and his family may have been expecting Sam to walk out of court a free man at the sentencing. That’s a demonstration of how confused and strange the communications have been. Perhaps the sentencing guidelines were misread as a plea bargain offer… after a guilty verdict.

Oddly, after offering essentially no defense throughout the trial, Sam attempted a version of the Sovereign Man defense at his sentencing hearing. All he would say in answer to any question put to him was “I do not consent” and at one point, “I am a living man” and “I am not the defendant.”

Not recognizing the court’s jurisdiction has probably temporarily stymied some courts when they didn’t know how to proceed with such a fundamentally uncooperative defendant, but I don’t think it’s a winning strategy in the long term. It was an odd and definitely counterproductive closing gambit at Sam’s sentencing hearing.

The judge and prosecutor repeatedly referred to the fact that Sam refused to admit his guilt. The notion of the defendant confessing his sins and begging for leniency evokes images of The Spanish Inquisition.

“Now, old man. You are accused of heresy on three counts – heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action – *four* counts. Do you confess?”

Sam refused to recant and beg for mercy, so he was judged to be a heretic and sentenced accordingly. Any protestations of your innocence will be counted against you.

That part was Orwellian. The state needed to know that they had not merely coerced Sam into falsely admitting his guilt, but to actually believe in his own guilt. The judge and prosecutor were very upset that they had gone to the trouble of arranging a kangaroo court and the defendant wasn’t convinced of his wrongdoing. American courts are probably not accustomed to defendants with such a strong internal sense of right and wrong. For most Americans living in a country where we inadvertently commit three felonies a day, guilt and innocence are much more relativistic.

The judge and prosecution were careful to limit Sam’s ability to appeal, but it does seem that there may be cause for appeal based on the judge’s ruling that Sam couldn’t employ a hybrid defense, defending himself at times while allowing the public defender to cross examine witnesses. Even though the judge repeatedly made it clear that choosing to defend yourself cannot be used to later claim that you were inadequately defended, even a cursory glance at the court transcript would show without any doubt that Sam had essentially no defense throughout the trial.

The entire sentencing hearing was a spectacle, both inside and outside the courthouse.

  • The Department of Homeland Security vehicles and personnel were stationed outside, presumably to quell any Amish domestic terrorism or armed insurrection.
  • The bomb sniffing dog was used to sniff out any possible explosives in the raised flower planter in the plaza in front of the district court.
  • Fayette County sheriff Kathy Witt was outside watching, along with three deputies and a German shepherd.
  • The usual gaggle of US Marshals were peering out the doors of the federal courthouse at the peaceful crowd of protesters outside.
  • There were eleven presumably armed security agents in the tiny courtroom.

A lot of tax dollars were spent for this show of force.

Meanwhile, security theater was alive and well. Everyone entering the federal courthouse was herded through a metal detector and deprived of cameras, tape recorders and cell phones, but an aluminum cane that could easily contain a hidden sword or single shot rifle or shotgun was passed around the metal detector.

Everyone had to show a government issued photo ID to enter… except the Amish. I asked how security is enhanced by forcing some people to show ID but not others. I was told the Amish don’t usually have photo ID. Derp. Kind of missed the point. I tried again and was told in a very authoritarian voice that it was already explained to me and if I didn’t like it I could leave.

I gave up trying to ask my question that was intended to cause some introspection or actual thought, as we seemed to be rapidly approaching the point where I’m face down on the floor and handcuffed.

Cue that Lee Greenwood song about being glad to be an American, because at least I know I’m free.

Liberty4Ever

Liberty4Ever

Liberty4Ever is a long-time Kentucky grassroots activist for the Constitution, with particular emphasis on the 2nd Amendment.
Liberty4Ever

47 comments to Report from the Courtroom: Amish farmer Samuel Girod’s Sentencing

  • […] Friday’s issue of the political blog The Kentucky Free Press had the best take on it: “Sam Girod was sentenced to six years in federal prison for making […]

  • Kunk

    Sally, thanks again for your work
    Do we have an address to send Sam words on encouragement?
    Thx.

    • Hi, yes — I’ll be doing a post on this tonight. Here’s where to write to him:

      Sam’s address:
      SAMUEL A GIROD
      Reg. #18318-032
      FCI LORETTO
      FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
      P.O. BOX 1000
      LORETTO, PA 15940

      Thank you!

  • Jacob Tyler

    A most excellent summary to be sure. I tip my hat to Mrs. Sally, the KY Free Press and whoever wrote this and thank each and every one of you for your diligent labors for the cause of truth and liberty. I too was there to cover the event for the newspaper, American Free Press based out of Maryland. If anyone is interested in reading my write up as well, you can do so here: http://americanfreepress.net/amish-healer-sentenced-to-six-years-in-prison/

  • Tony

    Having quickly glanced at the indictments and motions put it seems Sam lost his ability not to consent or be the defendant early in the process.

    Sam lodged a motion of objection to the juror’s oath as part of his process. Unfortunately in this motion Sam refers to himself as “the defendant”. Once this happens he cannot later claim he is NOT “the defendant”. Also the judges ruling states clearly that Sam is a “pro se” defendant. To deny the judge jurisdiction he needed to present himself “pro per”. Sam would have allowed the court to presume he appeared “pro se” by not rebutting the presumptions of law earlier in his process. This can occur simply by stating you will represent yourself. Why be your own representative? Just be yourself. You are you. Why act as your own agent/attorney? If they get you to agree to represent yourself you are then appearing “pro se” where you should just ‘present’ yourself “pro per”.

    I dare say Sam gave up jurisdiction much earlier than his motion re the juror’s oath as generally once you are in court you have already lost. The living man of flesh and blood Sam used is a stratagem to deny the court jurisdiction needs to be adhered too from the first encounter.

    Sam had already agreed he was the defendant through his motion and had consented to the judge arbitrating his case by either (a) entering a plea (b) acknowledging he was SAMUEL GIROD or Mr Samuel Girod or (c) bowing to the judge/standing for the judge when she entered the room.

    It seems Sam was attempting to deny the courts jurisdiction after he had already agreed to it, albeit he would have been unaware he had done so.

    Given Sam had given up jurisdiction he would have been better served asking the defence counsel to act in the capacity of a “McKenzie friend” to himself and attacking the judge for his determination that a herb was a drug by “taking exception” to the judges entering facts into the record from the bench. Probably moving a motion for the judge to be dismissed on this issue as well. To the judge the law to the jury the facts – meaning it was for the jury to determine if a herb was a drug and the judge had overreached.

    Or maybe I’m just out of my tree :)

    • I think you are right on the money! He had so many people advising him and he switched horses in the middle of the stream several times. We BEGGED him to use his standby counsel, Michael Fox, who is an excellent attorney. But he would not… His naivete was so evident. Thank you for your information.

  • Barry Back

    I stand beside all American citizens who can not make a profit without others taking what they worked hard to get. They will let you operate your business and make money then your breaking the law! It’s really a shame and i hope the American citizens can make change in politics! Goodluck with that!

  • […] stop selling. Witnesses were customers who loved the products and who were forced to testify, the Kentucky Free Press […]

  • Often in cases such as this, the jury’s verdict is not a simple guilty or not guilty.
    They must feel beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had “absence of guilt” to any of the charges brought against him, whether or not he wittingly or unwittingly committed the crimes or not. His defence attorney was not a strong enough advocate for his client. But the client could have listened to his lawyer and at least attempted to follow some of his recommendations. Perhaps, at the next level. the defendant will receive true justice and not punishment at the hands of the Law.

  • Dorothy Harris

    Often the outcome in trials like this do not rest on a simple innocent/guilty verdict. The jury must decide whether or not there was absence of guilt in the entire matter before they can make their final decision. It is unfortunate that this man did not have a more capable and competent attorney. I certainly hope this man gets real justice next time rather than just the Law.

  • […] order. Witnesses were mostly customers who loved the products and who were forced to testify, the Kentucky Free Press […]

  • Jeff Fanok

    Sally Oh. Would you kindly supply me with a list of names and hopefully ph numbers and email addresses of all involved in this attack on our civil rights. The judge, the prosecutor, the FDA officials , so we can be vigilant to any opportunity to legally attack these traitors to American citizens. This must not be allowed to just be forgotten.

  • Jeff Fanok

    Something HAS to be done to reel in the out of control FDA and other agencies that oppress our freedoms and rights. The FDA officials, the prosecutor, and the Federal judge MUST be removed from the public sector, punished severely, and NEVER allowed to collets another tax dollar. Their names must not be allowed to be forgotten and they should be persecuted at every available opportunity. For crying out loud folks, this is AMERICA, not some dictatorship like Iran or North Korea. Please keep me informed of any action I can participate in to punish these people.

  • Dr. Dennis Kinnane OMD, LAc, RPh

    From reading the partial transcript of the trial it appears Mr. Girod was his own worst enemy. If he simply allowed the Public Defender to do HIS job he might not be in this predicament. I have been in medical practice for 47 years and the last 30 have been in herbal medicine and acupuncture. I sympathize with Mr. Girod and was hoping he would be let off, but the problem is we have agencies to which Congress has mandated legal authority and they are required to “protect” the people from “quackery”. Unfortunately, Mr. Girod has no license to produce or recommend products which he decided to take on. In order to do what I do I attended two seperate universities for a total of 8&1/2 years. I have a BS, an MS and a Doctoral degree AND had to sit for three seperate State licensing exams just to be allowed to prescribe and practice what I do …legally. It took a long time and a lot of money but that is what is required of those of us who want to do it “legally”… I feel sorry for Mr. Girod but he ran up against the biggest government bureaucracy out there and refused to listen to someone who could have probably helped him. What can you say?

    • I appreciate your comment. But you are missing some of the problem. Federal agencies don’t have the authority to make laws and that is essentially what they’ve been doing. Congress agrees but has allowed the problem to go on so long, they’d have to free over half the people in prison if they admitted it as a group. All licensing does is limit entry to a trade. It does not protect the public. If it did, doctor and hospital error would not be the 3rd leading cause of death. Some studies put it at #1. bit.ly/deathbydoctor

  • Someone commented that this government is starting to treat all Americans as if they just came across the border. I vehemently disagree!
    Illegal Aliens get treated far better than Sam Girod, the numerous other Amish people they’ve been persecuting and just about every red-blooded American in general are being treated.

  • Ryan Patrick

    Makes me so mad. Like I said on my facebook page…
    When it’s the feds ripping you from your home for a crime for which harmed no one who will stand by you? An attack on one is an attack on us all.
    There is no constitutional authority to regulate food, drugs or plants. It took a amendment to prohibit alcohol and one to lift the prohibition. Where is the amendment to regulate labels? This is arbitrary and unconstitutional lawlessness.

  • Robert M March

    Sam Girot is going to prison because he listened to persons that encouraged him to defy the law .Laws in this country are made for reasons ,if selling health products you cannot say they cure cancer etc.This healthy living movement has gotten too militant, as examples raw milk and uninspected meat shipped across state lines are against health laws .Can you imagine where we would be without laws.Some regulations are made to protect people from themselves .Sam should have shown respect in court at sentence ,being Amish does not mean laws do not apply to him .Civil laws are to be obeyed ,if laws are wrong they can be changed by the people ,like they did 241 years ago in Philadelphia .Again Sam is going to jail ,maybe the person’s that encouraged him should go in his place.PLEASE SUPPORT SAMS FAMILY!!!

    • Rosa Parks broke the law, too. Should she have gone to jail? This explains the situation perfectly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avVzVwedcdk

    • Alexis Keiser

      I have to disagree with some of your assertions. Laws SHOULD be made for reasons. Unfortunately a lot of what is currently put into place as “law” has more to do with controlling ordinarily people and generating profits for a few. Calling the “healthy living” movement militant is an oxymoron. Whether or not I consume raw milk should be immaterial to the federal government. The metabolites of birth control pills and other pharmaceutical drugs (released into ground water from human urine in the sewer system) have been found to damage the sexual development of fish , causing males to have eggs forming in their testes. Why isn’t our “only there to protect us” federal government doing something about the poisoning of our environment instead of harassing a member of a religious minority? “Uninspected meat”? Are you serious?! How many of the endless, CAFO raised cattle do you think are actually inspected by anyone? If I could eat a cow raised by a small farmer, grass-fed (and probably named by his family) I would not be sweating the fact a “federal” agent hadn’t blessed it. As for Sam showing respect and kowtowing to “the man” I’d say your last sentence is a better response. This member of “we the people” has had enough of the federal government. Not sure the origin of this but I think it is about time we realize that: “When people fear the government that is tyranny, when government fears the people that is liberty”

  • Mark Are

    Hmmmm..seems to me that many years ago there was a document written that addressed these kinds of abuses. Oh, yes, the founding document of the United States. The Declaration of Independence which says in part…”But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY, to THROW off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…” and isn’t it irony that today is the 4th of July. The day we declared our independence from tyrants like this low life psychopathic “judge”. Maybe the “judge” will be unfortunate enough to find out what the 2nd amendment was put in the Constitution for in the first place. You can find that out if you don’t know from Dr. Susanna Hupp on YouTube.

  • BE

    There’s a new man at the head of the FDA. I pray some serious dismantling and fumigating has begun.

  • Carole Morgan

    This is an extreme example of authoritarian state power over the rights of the individual. This poor man has only ever helped people and harmed no one. There are no victims here. I have strong suspicions that this judge was directed by the FDA in return for what I wonder? There is a totalitarian push for criminalising anything that is considered alternative, led by the FDA and their paymasters,the pharmaceutical industry .They have started a war and it is our citizens duty to resist anything that infringes on our freedoms and liberty. I am truly disgusted by this outrageous and cruel sentence handed down to a man that has never harmed a soul and indeed, has only ever done good. What sort of a country has the USA become?

  • Linda Petersen

    Karen G., I have written and called several Congressman and Senators on behalf of Sam Girod’s case and I wrote V.P. Pence and asked him to show the details of the report to President Trump. The reason I did not write directly to President Trump is because of all the turmoil he has been going through from our corrupt media and left wing protestors. Whether V.P. Pence informed the President is here to be seen. I’ve been absolutely appalled at this situation. I wrote Sam’s wife and begged her to call a very well known, high powered attorney that I know and apparently she did nothing. This was nothing but a witch hunt!

  • Linda Karshner

    It would appear to me, after reading the Report from the Courtroom, that this whole issue was a conflict of personalities. Since the court could not get Sam to admit guilt, they did have the power to nail him. The Judge certainly had the authority to give a much lesser sentence, but I feel the Judge did not have any compassion. The Judge wanted Sam to buckle, showing the Courts superiority. And I’m not sure that even if Sam hadn’t butted heads with the Judge, the Judge would have commuted a lesser sentence.

    • Exactly. The judge as much as said that he “had no choice” but to give Sam the harsh sentence because of Sam’s attitude. There’s justice in America. Happy 4th of July.

  • […] can begin to understand the ways in which Girod screwed up by reading the insightful account provided by Kentucky activist Sally O’Boyle (better known as Sally Oh). O’Boyle has been a […]

  • Mar

    I lived half of my life in Soviet Union and this case is from there. How dare you to do something (no matter what – even breathe), if government bureaucrat told you not to do it. In Soviet Union it would not be about the salve, either. Sam would be able to sell the salve at the farmer’s market there. But not bowing to government parasites when they told you so – mortal offense, crush him. And interesting how this homeland security is nowhere to be seen when thugs burned Ferguson or Baltimore, but showed in force to intimidate american farmers. America used to be the symbol of freedom a few decades ago, but now it looks like caricature of Brezhnev’s Soviet Union ten years before it collapsed – the same kangaroo courts, the same government disregard for human rights, the same disdain from fat bureaucrats toward working people, farmers

  • Deborah Harris

    Prior to the hearing I wrote to the judge urging him to dismiss the lawsuit as frivolous and unfounded. I pointed out that the FDA allows the manufacture and sale of all manner of noxious, toxic substances, none of which are found in Sam’s salves. I would not doubt for a minute that the FDA bribed the judge to rule in their favor. I am utterly disgusted by this decision and by our gov’t in general. I am grateful to live in this country, but I see LOTS of room for improvement in the way these federal agencies invade, manipulate, and control our lives.

  • Karen G

    Has anyone brought this to the President’s attention?

  • Barbara Cox

    I know the south is very proud, but growing up in the north and living in the west, you couldnt GIVE me enough money to live in the south with a kangaroo court as has been displayed…not to say the north and west coukdnt be just as stupid, but the whole USA court system and law enforcement is starting to treat ALL citizens as if we all came from across the border

    • William Sawyer

      I live on the Island of Moorea in French Polynesia. I tell ‘Tahitians’ this story and they look at me like I’m making a joke. You go around the island here and there are little stalls and tables everywhere selling all manner of things from nature.There are medicine herbalists in the valleys that can cure many things just by using items from nature! I’ve seen some things here in my 50 some years in the islands, that I still can’t explain. My mother and father were both doctors in the states but did a lot of work in New Guinea during the war. They both told stories of ‘herbal medicine’ that still blows my mind today. This good man was treated like a homicidal maniac by this ‘judge'(for lack of a better word), and the whole court system. Lucky for them this is 2017 and not 1890 because, in 1890, the judge and the prosecutor would have been tar and feathered and run out of town!! This is another reason why Trump needs to drain the swamp and he can start with this judge and the prosecutor!!!!

  • June Dodd

    It is down right disgusting, how this all went down. If that judge and his co-hots, were to put that much effort into bringing the REAL drug dealers to court, to be sent to prison, what a great thing that would be for all!!! Instead, they pick a defenseless good, upstanding man to prosecute, only BECAUSE THEY CAN!!! That is nuts beyond words!! Get that judge off the bench!!!

  • Dave Fleagle

    This is not a “miscarriage” of justice. It’s an ABORTION!

  • ~ If the reader wants justice, and has used, or better is currently using, Sam’s salve, the reader could file suit for damages against the prosecutor, judge, and agencies that brought the charges against farmer Sam.
    ~ The damage is to the rights. Rights are property, and it is theft of rights. Prevention to duty to the Almighty Creator to maintain/repair our bodies.
    ~ Rights are derived from the commands given us to govern ourselves according to the instructions issued by our Almighty Creator. It is implied, and sometimes specified, that we have the “rights” necessary to perform those duties, given to us by God for that very purpose. That is why they are inalienable and inherent. More at 1215.org

  • Thanks for the coverage.
    ~ It is my opinion that Sam’s only hope is counter charges in common law. Common law is still in force across the country, and in particular in Kentucky.
    – I suspect he will not mount a counter offense, because of Amish belief that we are not to defend ourselves (turn the other cheek). However, if that were the case, was was Jesus’s last instructions to his disciples to sell their coats and buy the latest implements of war (in that era)?
    ~ While Jesus was here, they did not need weapons. Jesus spoke and the lynch mob that came to grab Him fell to the ground. Jesus knew that with Him not present physically, His followers would need to be ready to fight for the freedom to teach the truth.

  • Ann short

    Sounds like Pharma Cartel. Topical products are not marked with % of each ingredient. You never REALLY know exactly what is in a product FDA apporves products that kill.someone not getting a cut. Starget.

  • Eldred Coot

    Everyone in Bath County should remember this judge when election time comes and not vote for him no matter what office he may seek. As for the jury, Neighbors and associates need to shun these people. I wonder if the prosecution picked the less than bright so as to be able to bamboozle them into a conviction. It does happen too often.

  • Randall Morris

    Its seems if more miscarriages like this proceed. People in the cities will begin to starve. Amish are large suppliers of food and this man’s harmless remedies are better than the drugs marketed – because we know the drugs harm us

  • Karen Smith

    “The consolidation of the States into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it.” Robert E. Lee
    The FDA as an arm of the Federal Government has usurped the rights of the individual States and Sam’s product should not have come under Federal Law but dealt with by the local Sheriff and if necessary by the local Court process. This case is an absolute disgrace and a serious miscarriage of justice. Now Sam is ripped away from his family for no ‘crime’ and much damage abroad has been done to the reputation of Kentucky and indeed America. Sad day for all. Kaz in Ireland.

  • […] Amish farmer Samuel Girod ❥ Petition for a Presidential Pardon ❥ Condensed Story ❥ Trial Day 1 ❥ Trial Day 2 ❥ Trial Day 3 ❥ Sentencing […]

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