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    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2008
    <blockquote><strong>NEWSRAMA --</strong> At Friday evening’s “CBLDF Presents An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” the guest of honor began the evening with a surprise announcement. Just after taking the stage following an introduction by Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live and the just-opened Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Gaiman announced that the Gordon Lee case has been dismissed.

    Gaiman told the story of the case, and how the copy of the Alternate Comics #2, a Free Comic Book Day comic that was accidentally given to a child during a Halloween celebration in 2004 in Rome, Georgia. Gaiman’s brief summary of the case included what he characterized as mistakes by the prosecution, adding that, to date, the case had cost the CBLDF over $100,000. Gaiman said that, in his view, the Rome, GA prosecutor was specifically determined to send Lee to prison.

    But now, Gaiman continued, the judge has signed off and all charges against Gordon Lee have been dismissed.

    The assembled audience broke into loud, long applause.

    “And we are so fucking relieved, it was very, very long and hard and incredibly stressful for Gordon,” Gaiman added before thanking the crowd for their support, noting that it’s a very rare instance when one is able to begin a presentation with such good news.

    While the Gaiman reading continued, Newsarama was able to spend a few minutes with the CBLDF Executive Director, Charles Brownstein, to talk about the dismissal.

    <strong>Newsarama: </strong>How much can you say of what happened with the case to lead to its dismissal?

    <strong>Charles Brownstein: </strong>We should do a full interview next week where I can fill in details more explicitly. I have yet to read the documents, because I’ve been at Con all day, but will issue a full release as soon as possible that fills everything in.

    That said, this has been a potential outcome since the prosecutors created a mistrial last fall, vowed to bring a trial on the next calendar, then failed to do so when the next calendar arrived. I can say that our team filed a thorough motion to dismiss on grounds prosecutorial misconduct outlining the entire history of Patterson’s office’s mis-steps that was never heard, and that this is an election year for Leigh Patterson. I don’t know if those facts are connected, but one can draw their own conclusions.

    <strong>NRAMA: </strong>This case has been characterized by its up and downs. How final is this?

    <strong>CB:</strong> All charges are dismissed. Gordon’s nightmarish ordeal is finally over.
    NRAMA: </strong>From the view of the CBLDF, how does a complete dismissal compare to a courtroom victory?

    <strong>CB: </strong>A clean win is a clean win. And this is a very clean win.

    It should have never gone this far to begin with.

    If Gordon did indeed hand Alternative Comics #2 with the Salon excerpt to a minor, then he should have been confronted and asked for an apology by the parents not the law. When the police decided to arrest and the prosecution decided to press charges, they should have never overcharged him with two felonies and five misdemeanors. When <a href="">all but two misdemeanors were thrown out</a>, and we were in Georgia for trial, the prosecutors should have gotten their facts right and not forced us to go back to start. And <a href="">when we were finally at trial the second time, they shouldn’t have created a mistrial</a>.

    This has been a tragedy of errors. Gordon has been unjustly maligned and prosecuted throughout. All along the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, our board members, and all of our supporters have stood behind Gordon’s innocence, and now that faith has been vindicated.</blockquote>

    Congratulations, Mr Gordon Lee. You fought the good fight, sir.

    - Z
  1.  (1867.2)
    This is, without a doubt, the best news of the week. Thank you for posting that Z.
  2.  (1867.3)
    Excellent news indeed. Ridiculous case of yet another example of people looking for free money.
    • CommentAuthorWinther
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2008
    Cases like this drive me insane. I'm so happy to see it end the way it should. The CBLDF is a pretty amazing organization - although, it could use a more manageable acronym.

    If anyone hasn't heard of the case before now, here's Neil Gaiman at the event in question, explaining the strange narrative:
  3.  (1867.5)
    Ridiculous case of yet another example of people looking for free money.

    These were criminal charges Synth.
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2008
    <blockquote> Ridiculous case of yet another example of people looking for free money.</blockquote>
    <blockquote>These were criminal charges Synth.</blockquote>

    J is correct. As it states in the article quoted above, they "overcharged him with two felonies and five misdemeanors".
  4.  (1867.7)
    Hey it was Sunday morning and I was tired...
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2008
    Ha! Excuses excuses, man. =]
  5.  (1867.9)
    Yeah, yeah :p
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    Will someone link to the full interview mentioned above if they find it? I'd be interested in seeing some more details of the case.
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    If you mean Charles Brownstein's comment, "we should do a full interview next week", that was only a few days ago.

    I'd recommend checking out the links I provided above, they're very thorough.

    I'll be sure to post the Brownstein interview if it surfaces.

    - Z
  6.  (1867.12)

    CBLDF = "cubble-duff". How hard is that? :)
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    Actually, it's an initialism, not an acronym.
    • CommentAuthorWinther
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    Kitsune & Z:

    I stand corrected, pronunciatorially and nomenclaturally.

    (I was sure I was making both of those up, but 'nomenclaturally' actually gets a surprising amount of hits on Google. 'Pronunciatorially' only gets one, though.)
  7.  (1867.15)
    Now the prosectutors of Rome, GA can get back to to important criminal work. Like setting up elaborate stings to catch would-be sex offenders and building sniper nests to pick off jay-walkers.

    I hope Mr. Lee sues those back-water retards for malicious prosecution and ends up owning the fucking courthouse.
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
    <blockquote>I hope Mr. Lee sues those back-water retards for malicious prosecution and ends up owning the fucking courthouse.</blockquote>
    Not likely, I'm afraid. Welcome to The South, the place where I learned the word 'yankee' never died, the confederate flag can be applied to everything from underwear to bumper stickers, where 'random airport screenings' are for anyone with non-Aryan features, and a lack of a Southern accent automatically means you're from New York.

    - Z