Dave McEachran’s frivolous prosecutions

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Sat, Sep 20, 2008, 4:43 pm  //  John Servais

Wow - an inappropriate comment was posted on the Bellingham Herald website and the Herald left it there - perhaps as long as all day. Imagine that.
Dave McEachran, our Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney, seems to have a problem with citizen freedoms. He is now prosecuting a nice normal citizen for some poorly worded blog comments - and intends to criminalize the guy and make him a felon. Dave, as most of us local political junkies remember, tried to bankrupt and shut down The Newstand a few years ago for selling some magazine he didn't like. A few years before that he tried to criminalize some women for throwing mud balls onto a very sexist billboard. He was ready to wreck their lives over this.

Over the years he has shown a poor respect for the civil liberties of Whatcom County citizens. And a poor respect for minorities in our community and a blind eye to white collar crime. Now, on the other side of the record, violent criminals in our community have very short careers. McEachran has gotten guys who literally got away with murder in other places - like Bianchi. This is the wrong county to commit a violent crime - and we should be very thankful to McEachran for that. But that does not excuse his tendency to go after those who exercise their normal civil liberties - or who push the edges of those liberties a bit in the American tradition.

This month we have another example of his heavy handed prosecution. A commenter on a Bellingham Herald blog is being prosecuted for felony harassment. That's right - for a blog comment earlier this month. Criminalize the guy and he could be sent to Walla Walla for 10 years. A person with no arrests or convictions - a clean record. But McEachran is going to nail a person who is not guilty of anything more than poor judgement in his choice of words on the Internet.

What did he write? At first reading you might think - omygawd - he should not have written that. But on Internet blogs, we have all seen comments that are very obnoxious, obscene, threatening and extreme. It is the blogosphere and we know it is just talk. He wrote in part: "Lola, shut up. Also to all of you who blame drugs. . . . . Shut up as well. You know what, I am going to go shoot up sunset square today. . . . Just for the hell of it. No drugs, no mental illness. . . . You can blame today episode on video games and George Bush's example of "pay back" to society."

You know, in my opinion, to make his point he could have changed a couple words so it read "…. What if I was to shoot up sunset square …." as that is what he plainly meant. It was not something he intended to do. He was making a point about people blaming drugs and mental illnesses for bad actions. Maybe he needs to be banned from commenting on the Herald blogs. Of course, the Herald tolerates such comments online - and that is the nature of the wild Internet. The Herald obviously was not concerned as they left the comment up - and did not bother to notify the police. The more outlandish comments, the more readers and the more advertising revenue. Many absurd comments are posted on the Herald site. They like them and that is why they provide anonymity to commenters.

At worst, maybe someone in authority could say something to the fellow. You know what is the tip-off on how much this is a personal deviant tick of McEachran's? Dave himself is prosecuting this case - even though he has 20 some attorneys working for him. He also personally tried to nail The Newstand - and lost big time.

Someone tell Dave that the wild world of blogs is full of stuff like this. Dave seems very concerned about the rights of free speech - concerned that they are being exercised in this community. He is very quick to twist a minor indiscretion into a major felony and wreck a person's life and imprison them for years. And thus intimidate others against speaking freely. This should stop and Dave's peers should have the courage to clue him in.

Tip Johnson  //  Sat, Sep 20, 2008, 5:09 pm

I’d say Dave’s got his work cut out for him - or he doesn’t understand the blogosphere, or satire.  The Herald is barely a speck on the internet, but a quick review discovered:

Just kill them all starting with the cowards called NIGGA BLOOD GANG, Say no to baby killers and dope dealers. You scumbags do not have the right to live.
Common Sense | 08.24.07 - 6:30 am | #

Take him out back and shoot him.
put on the damn helmet | 04.18.08 - 1:37 pm | #

Kill them all. If God seriously has no problem with gays, he’ll grant them all a free ticket into heaven.
If he does have a problem with it, He’s already got them booked on a flight straight to hell anyhow.
~Local Life~ | 05.15.08 - 5:19 pm | #

I have a better idea, lets just keep them locked up forever OR just kill them. They would never re-offend.
Sedentary | 07.14.08 - 8:59 am | #

I second that…so long as a painful castration of them happens also!
~Local Life~ | 07.14.08 - 9:44 am | #

I am all for immigration done LEGALLY! however…if they choose to be invading marauders…kill them! If we are going to have border security then for crying out loud let’s have border SECURITY!!!

Sick of reading stories about this kind of crap !
overtaxed | Homepage | 03.30.08 - 6:48 am | #

Protect our children and kill all sex offenders
common sense | 04.25.07 - 8:31 am | #

If anybody molests my child I?ll kill them myself. Don?t you stupid idiots understand that you are enabling these sick perverts? You feel sorry for a man who would rape a little girl? You do not deserve to live.
sue storm | 04.26.07 - 4:35 pm | #

Hurt my child and I will not wait for a liberal judge to feel sorry for you, I?ll kill you myself.
A real Father | 04.26.07 - 4:38 pm | #

Like I said, any of you sick perverts go near my children and I’ll kill you myself
Common Sense | 04.30.07 - 10:35 am | #

ohhhhhhh who cares she was just a damn immigrant or her parents r. i say f all the immigrants ship them back and kill them when they try to come over ohhh wait thats what that train did:} To her parents u should go back to were u belong!
whcar | 04.24.08 - 3:46 pm | #

...He should have never been locked up in the first place!! Kill them all…
Concerned mom | 10.10.07 - 7:20 pm | #

I’d love to get rid of all the cars in Bellingham. While we’re at it, we should get rid of all of the anti-bike freaks too. Not just send them away, but actually kill them because they’re a waste of resources.
Anon | 04.30.08 - 3:59 pm | #

in some areas its a gang initiation to ride around with your headlights off and the first car that flashes their lights at you.. .shoot them.
sobereddy | 12.29.07 - 6:03 am | #

...I would just as soon as shoot them if they came to my door…
George | 05.01.08 - 7:54 am | #

Again, Shoot them all, then it will never happen again. Right? ...
Marshall Dillon | 07.07.08 - 10:17 am | #

Shoot the mother F-ers and be done. Wanna be a piece of crap and not contribute, be a drain on society, come to my neighborhood and pull that crap, you will leave in a meat wagon….I PROMISE! No problem either taking the punishment I would for sure get from the cops and courts. I have no tolerance for spineless, nutless, loser, mamma’s boy little bitches! That’s what you really are.
Tired | 04.07.08 - 7:51 am | #

Can’t do that because someone would say it’s profiling. Some bleeding heart liberal c*ck sucker would bitch then there would be all kinds of inquiries. Just shoot them!
Disgust! | 04.07.08 - 10:56 am | #

...Chain gang them to repair roads during winter,and summer .Put a shock collar on them with enough volts to kill them if they even think about running…
Arbeit macht frei
what would you do? | 11.26.07 - 11:52 am | #

Commy fish cops should be shot.
Duke | 07.12.08 - 6:19 am | #

...We should, rather instead, shoot them in the base of the skull, behead them, mutilate the bodies and send their remains home…
overtaxed | 03.25.08 - 7:19 am | #

Can we say MUSLIM? Send them to the chair, and electrify it please. They should be taken care of without any of my tax money, just shoot them.
yatzee | 06.13.08 - 2:27 pm | #

I reserve the right to shot any dog and it’s owner ...Shoot them all if they come close to you, owner first.
Marshall Dillon | 07.07.08 - 10:01 am | #

OK. If we find that someone is here in the country illegally it can only mean that they are here to infiltrate our nation as partisans. Shoot them. Word gets out, “Hey, if I go to this country illegally and get caught, I will be shot” Illegal immigration will cease completely.
Globocnik | 07.25.08 - 7:03 pm | #

All pit bulls need to be shot, maybe their owners too. If one looks at me aggressively, I will shoot it!!!
JudgeJimmyJoe | 07.28.08 - 2:34 am | #

...Immigrants who can’t speak and won’t learn English. If they are illegal, sent them back once, then shoot them the second time.
Duke | 05.25.08 - 8:02 am | #

Tip Johnson  //  Sat, Sep 20, 2008, 5:14 pm

And by the way, Dave better get busy with this “evidence” because my experience is that it doesn’t last long at the Herald and these links will certainly cease functioning.  Also, the Herald seems to have recently ditched their Haloscan service, so who knows when the server will get scrubbed.  They may have administratively removed the accused’s so-called offense.  I didn’t run across it.

Garin Wallace, aka Wally  //  Sun, Sep 21, 2008, 11:57 am

I realize this post is about Dave McEachran’s frivolous prosecutions, but what caught my eye was the prosecution of the Herald commenter.  I hadn’t heard what was going on with this, I assumed they had just dropped it as a case of poor judgment on the commenters part.  I hope there is more to this case than just the few words typed in the comment.

Since this happened in the Herald, did I miss the Herald follow up article?

As the comment above illustrates, there is a lot of just plain unmoderated crap in the Herald comments and given this prosecution, where is the article explaining clearly where they draw the line, or will draw the line as they have recently overhauled their system?  When will they censor a comment, ban a commenter, or call the police?

Thanks for writing this post.

Rob Stratton  //  Tue, Mar 29, 2011, 8:26 pm

Dave McEachron has a history of this and why he runs unopposed
beats the hell out of me. He has now advised the courthouse
That they can legally break the law. By asking for ID when
checking in a firearm to go to court only problem is all
firearm laws are preempted by the state, except for very
specific authority granted municipalities. And many of us
Don’t believe in carrying ID and that the state has no
right in requiring us too (which our state doesn’t).

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