I appeared in a Federal Courtroom in Portland just a few minutes ago to defend myself with regard to a $100 parking "crime" committed on National Forest land. I avoided testifying because I didn't want to be cross-examined, but proceeded to question the citing officer, and enter photographic evidence from the scene, and make an argument that the forest service had a duty to post signs relating to unexpected parking prohibitions. He found my arguments lacking, but but because the context of the trial was fairly informal, proceeded to state what "testimony" I had given in my argument that he was disregarding.
He decided to disregard any implication that I was the person who parked my car on the blackaded road, and then asked the prosecution to justify convicting a person of a misdemeanor parking crime for a case in which no direct evidence placed the defandant at the scene of the crime. The prosecution made an ad-hoc argument that there was a precedent set for cases like this, that most of the cases the federal court handles are parking tickets and that the "justice system" would be crippled if were not allowed to infer the identity of the criminal from the registration of the vehicle. In particular, he cited the recently-formalized and expanded National Forest Pass Fee Demo Project, and suggested that it would be disabled if he could no longer prosecute people for whom the Forest Rangers did not wait to return to their car. He also argued that parking cases fall under the category of Mallus Prohibitum, and not Mallus Esus (I don't remember exactly what that second word was, but it meant doing things that the community considers "truly bad"), and shouldn't be subject to trial by the burden of the evidence, or that car registration information should be considered overwhelming evidence.
The judge didn't seem to care about that and said he was interested in looking at the matter further, setting a one week deadline for the US Attorney General's office to submit a legal brief, and then a week beyond that for me to respond. Here is my open call to the community at large, that if they want to be a part of the precedent-setting decision, they should advise and assist me in formulating a response to the prosecution's legal brief. I am not really concerned about the suggested $100 fine if I am found guilty, even though I don't have the money to pay it, but rather I'm more interested in the precedents that this decision could set for prosecutability of Federally regulated crimes in this region. If people want to weigh in on the matter, I'll be happy to let them, and if I benefit in the process, then so be it. I'll be sending this message out as far as I can think to do so, and if you know anyone who might be interested in the case, please pass it along.