Friday, January 7, 2011

Dallas to appeal dismissal of charge against Dealey Plaza vendor

by RUDOLPH BUSH / The Dallas Morning News

Almost as doggedly as Robert Groden has pursued his theory that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy and cover-up, the city of Dallas is pursuing him.

Dallas prosecutors want to stop Groden from selling his books and magazines about the murder at Dealey Plaza and fined for violating an ordinance that prohibits the sale of merchandise in city parks.

After a municipal judge dismissed the charge against Groden last month, the city filed notice Wednesday of its plans to appeal the case and try to have it sent back for trial.

The city argues that Judge Carrie Chavez incorrectly ruled she did not have jurisdiction in the case and that the city should have charged Groden under a separate ordinance.

"[N]either the defendant nor the court has a right to choose the offense for which the defendant is to be charged. In fact, the 'separation of powers' doctrine protects that the prosecutor's discretion to choose the offense to be prosecuted from usurpation by the trial court," assistant city attorney Frederick Williams wrote in a strongly worded motion.

Groden's attorney, Bradley Kizzia, said the city's interest in pursuing Groden isn't about one man, but about removing all pamphleteers, authors and others who deal in Kennedy's murder from Dealey Plaza.

"It appears to me since Robert Groden is a noted author and widely recognized as very knowledgeable about the JFK assassination, they have decided to make an example of him," Kizzia said.

Groden is well-known among those interested in the assassination, and he even consulted with director Oliver Stone on the 1991 film JFK.

Until his arrest in June, Groden had spent 15 years selling books and magazines in the plaza, Kizzia said.

Now the city is pursuing him for not having a permit to sell merchandise in a city park.

"They say the reason they're doing it is he doesn't have a permit. There is not a process for getting a permit," Kizzia said.

The city attorney's office did not comment on the case.

Meanwhile, Groden has sued the city, alleging that it is violating his civil rights.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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