By Editorial Staff
Published June 21, 2001
By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner
OCALA — A federal judge Thursday denied abortion provider James Scott Pendergraft’s motion to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction on charges of attempted extortion, conspiracy and mail fraud.
Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges rejected, without a hearing, motions by Pendergraft and his co-defendant Michael Spielvogel to allow the men to remain free during their appeals to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Both men were convicted in February. Spielvogel was convicted of the same charges as Pendergraft, and two additional charges of making false statements to the FBI and filing a false affidavit. In May, Hodges sentenced Pendergraft to 46 months in prison, and Spielvogel to 41 months.
Pendergraft said late Thursday that he was not surprised by Hodges’ ruling.
“He’s had his mind made up for a long time,” Pendergraft said.
Pendergraft also said he is taking steps to see that his five clinics which provide abortion services, including the Ocala Women’s Center, remain open if he goes to prison.
“The clinics will all remain open,” he said.
Bruce Rogow, the lawyer handling Pendergraft’s appeal, said he had not seen Hodges’ order Thursday afternoon, but that he would appeal the ruling to the 11th Circuit.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, but I’m optimistic the Court of Appeals will allow them to remain free on bond while the appeal is pending,” he said. “So now we’ll have to go to the [appeals] court. That’s what we’ll do.”
Neither Spielvogel nor his attorney, Daniel Brodersen, could be reached for comment.
Pendergraft’s lawyers, in their bond request motion, focused on comments made during the trial by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Devereaux. Among other things, the motion alleges Devereaux, who is white, made racist remarks in his closing argument by referring to Pendergraft, who is black, as a man who “shucks and jives” when asked a question.
Hodges noted that Pendergraft’s lawyers waited until the next day to object to that comment. The remark also did not strike the judge as racially motivated, Hodges wrote.
“At the time the challenged statement was uttered by the prosecutor, it made no impression on me that it might be interpreted as a racial slur or racial stereotyping,” he wrote, “otherwise I would have immediately interrupted with a heavy hand. Rather I understood the prosecutor merely to be suggesting that during cross examination the Defendant Pendergraft was evasive and sometimes deceptive, a perfectly valid argument.”
In a footnote to that statement, Hodges notes that he found at the May sentencing hearing “that the Defendant’s deceptive (trial) testimony constituted an obstruction of justice.”
Hodges goes on to discuss the origins of the phrase “shuck and jive,” saying that it appears to be rooted in black history, but “there is no reason to believe that the prosecutor intended his use of that expression as a racial stereotype.”
In another footnote, Hodges cites the lyrics of a 1978 song recorded by Art Garfunkel, “Mr. Shuck ‘n’ Jive,” as an example of the phrase not having racial connotations. Hodges concludes that Devereaux didn’t intend the phrase to be a racial remark, and that there was no reason to believe it prejudiced the jury against Pendergraft.
Pendergraft’s lawyers also argued that Devereaux’s cross-examination of Pendergraft, and his closing remarks, were unfairly argumentative and displayed a personal bias against Pendergraft, Hodges rejected those issues as well.
The charges against Pendergraft required Devereaux to prove that Pendergraft was “a willful liar,” Hodges wrote.
“When the Defendant elected to testify in his own defense, the whole object of the Government’s cross-examination must necessarily have been to demonstrate that the Defendant also lied as a witness when he denied making the false representations alleged in the indictment,” he wrote. “It could not have surprised anyone under those circumstances that the prosecutor’s cross-examination was vigorous, even argumentative at times. But the prosecutor never directly expressed a personal opinion about the matter.”
In contrast to his lengthy response to Pendergraft’s motion, Hodges rejected Spielvogel’s motion for bond in two paragraphs of the 10-page ruling. Brodersen said in his motion to keep Spielvogel free on bond that Hodges improperly ruled against two key defense pre-trial motions, and that Devereaux’s closing argument was improper.
“None of these claims rises to the level of a ‘substantial’ issue … and it follows that (U.S. law) requires that the Defendant be detained pending appeal,” Hodges responded.
Both Pendergraft and Spielvogel are still free until they are directed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, or the U.S. Marshal’s office to turn themselves in.
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)