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Journalist Roger Shuler Recounts His 5 Months in Alabama Jail

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Roger Shuler, journalist and publisher of the LegalSchnauzer blog, was just released after 5 months in jail, and reports on his hellish experience.Click here for free audiobook download from Audible, and earn $15 for the PBC Podcast!

As regular listeners know well, Roger Shuler was dealt one injustice after another by the corrupt court system in Alabama.  In 2013, his reporting exposed hypocrisy on the part of powerful Republicans in the state, prompting defamation suits from Rob Riley (son of former governor) and current Attorney General Luther Strange.  Riley’s case was placed bfore retired judge Claud Neilson, who inappropriately sealed the proceedings and issued an unconstitutional preliminary injunction, ordering Shuler to remove the articles from his website.

In an attempt to serve papers on Shuler, a deputy staged a traffic stop less than 24 hours before a hearing in the Riley action, which Shuler did not attend.  On October 23, deputies came to the Shuler home and grabbed Roger.  This conversation begins with his detention, and the deputies failure to present a warrant or initially even mention a warrant.  We discuss the charge of resisting arrest, and Shuler’s conviction in a January hearing that resulted in a suspended 90-day sentence.

Shuler gives a detailed account of what he observed–and his limited participation–in a hearing on November 14, 2013.  In front of Shuler, Judge Neilson introduced a man thought to be his brother to Riley, exhibiting a coziness with the plaintiff that is rather brazen.  Much of the commentary of the judge and plaintiff lawyers was inaudible to Shuler, who was shackled throughout the proceeding, and had no legal counsel.  Shuler reports that the main focus was tallying lawyer’s hours for the order that the Shuler’s pay Riley’s legal fees, and that he was surprised to learn later that the judge framed the proceedings as a trial on the defamation claims, and found Shuler guilty.

There’s much more, including his emotional description of life in jail and the hardship this episode caused for Shuler and his wife, Carol.

Your financial support for the Shulers is critical, as they are broke and their house is set for foreclosure at the end of April.  You can donate here.