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109 Years in Prison Sought for Peaceful Speech in America: The Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner Case

James Redford | April 2 2006

Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner, age 50 (as of 2006), is a former attorney and current CEO of Cleveland Genomics, Inc., which provides DNA sequencing services, and has doctorate degrees both in law and in pharmacy. Dr. Baumgartner graduated first in her class from the University of Toledo College of Law. She is a Christian and the mother of two adult daughters by her husband, pharmacist Joseph Baumgartner. She is currently facing criminal charges in the U.S. state of Ohio carrying prison sentences of 66 years and 6 months in one case, and 42 years and 6 months in another case, for peaceful political speech. Currently she is free on bail.

The specific criminal charges against Dr. Baumgartner are intimidation, retaliation, falsification and possession of a criminal tool (the criminal tool being a laptop computer) for her criticizing Ohio government officials and accusing them of corruption, such as against retired Judge Richard Markus. Note that Dr. Baumgartner isn't being accused of making threats to aggress against anyone, but that the intimidation and retaliation charges directly refer to her accusations of corruption on the part of Ohio government officials.

Dr. Baumgartner previously had served 231 days in jail on the charge of falsification for accusing Ohio government officials of corruption at a Port Clinton City Commissioner's meeting (i.e., a city council meeting). Ten of those days were spent being held incommunicado, having been denied access to legal counsel, visitors, clergy, the opportunity to make a phone call, and not allowed to send mail out or receive mail.

In 2003, Dr. Baumgartner was permanently disbarred as an attorney for accusing Ohio government officials of corruption in a hearing where she was not allowed to be present and where the sole evidence against her was those who had been accused of corruption denying the charges. In December 2005, Dr. Baumgartner was committed against her will for 39 days to the North Coast Hospital under court order for a mental evaluation, even though Ohio state law requires that a person released on bond, as Dr. Baumgartner is, be evaluated on an out-patient basis. She was found competent. Two times previously she had been psychologically evaluated, and each time found competent.

A number of critics of the actions taken against Dr. Baumgartner by the Ohio judiciary contend that she is being made a political prisoner in order to silence her and punish her for speaking out on government corruption by the very parties accused of corruption as a means to protect themselves from the legitimate consequences of their crimes and to make an example out of her by creating a chilling effect to intimidate others from speaking out against their corruption. These critics note that she has already been jailed for peaceful political speech and that the Ohio government is currently attempting to imprison her for a total of 109 years for peaceful political speech. Such critics further contend that even if all of her accusations were false that a person ought not be made a criminal or suffer imprisonment for mere peaceful speech (i.e., not threatening to aggress against another), even if said speech is false, and that the ultimate reason for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is precisely so that people can be free to criticize the government and officials in government, and say things which said officals greately dislike, without fear of retaliation by the government.


1. Interview of Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner by Greg Szymanski, on the radio program Investigative Journal, March 24, 2006, MP3, first part: , second part:

2. Interview of Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner by Greg Szymanski, on the radio program Investigative Journal, March 29, 2006, MP3

3. "Ohio Case Showcases Judicial Tyranny At Its Worst," June Maxam, Empire Journal, July 24, 2005

4. "Ohio Attorney Persecuted And Jailed For 232 Days Under Nazi-Like Treatment Right Here In America," Greg Szymanski, Arctic Beacon, March 27, 2006

5. "EV Investigation: The Baumgartner Chronology," Bryan DuBois, Erie Voices, March 16, 2005 /blog/static.php%3Fpage%3Dstatic050316191152%26PHPSESSID%

6. "Island Express Chronology," Bryan DuBois, Erie Voices, December 8, 2004

7. "231 Days of Maximum Felony Confinement!," Bryan DuBois, Erie Voices, September 9, 2004

8. "Trial Monday In Ohio Free Speech Case, More Charges Lodged," North Country Gazette, March 25, 2006

9. "Ohio Free Speech Trial Gets a Continuance," North Country Gazette, March 27, 2006

10. "Three Dirty Words--First Amendment Rights," North Country Gazette, March 21, 2006

11. "Judicial Tyranny Continues In Ohio Free Speech Case," North Country Gazette, October 1, 2005

12. "Judicial Tyranny, Misconduct Continue In Ohio Courts," North Country Gazette, October 14, 2005

13. "Ohio Bloggers Charge Prosecutorial Misconduct, Seek Dismissal," North Country Gazette, October 16, 2005

14. "'Blogger Favors Freedom First," an interview of Bryan DuBois by Lady Liberty, The Price of Liberty, September 7, 2005

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