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I'm writing in regard to the Oct. 18 constitutional victory secured by Judge John Stevens for area residents in the recent "case" against The Otter House establishment, whose proprietors were charged by Fredericksburg police with "maintaining a common nuisance."
His Honor should be commended as a true defender of the Constitution. A judge who upholds the unquestionable sanctity of the protections given us by our founding documents is inspiring. I don't think most understand just how aggressively our rights are being attacked in our modern era.
I have a lot of experience with Judge Stevens. I have never seen a more professional yet compassionate person in his position. He also approaches his job with a great sense of humor. I have seen him crack up the whole courtroom and make a guy who's getting ready to go to jail laugh.
There is one thing, though, that I've never seen Judge Stevens make light of--the burden upon the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the charges that have been levied. The proof lies in his recent "Otter House decision" to throw out the search warrant that was based on untruths and misleading statements.
Please realize how important it is to have a person with Judge Stevens' integrity to sit in judgment of you.