http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/8441996p-9371226c.htmlKaczynski is denied papers
The Unabomber has no right to donate writings, a judge rules.
By Denny Walsh -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Sunday, March 7, 2004
Rejecting a fellow jurist's opinion, a Sacramento federal judge has ruled that convicted Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski has no First Amendment right to donate his writings for scholarly research at a university.
U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. said Friday the government legally possesses the papers on behalf of the victims of Kaczynski's bombs, and denied his motion for their return. Kaczynski can't tell the government what to do with the material, the judge said.
Burrell's ruling overrides findings two months ago by U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows that the government appears to be trying to chill Kaczynski's speech. Burrell rejected the notion that the government has to either sell the papers and give the proceeds to victims or give the papers back to Kaczynski for donation to the University of Michigan.
The university has told the court it is eager to obtain the "important historical materials" for its world-renowned research library of social protest.
Kaczynski holds master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Michigan, and one of his bombs, which was aimed at someone else, injured a graduate student there in 1985.
Burrell, however, said the government may hold the material indefinitely, which is what Kaczynski attorney John Balazs contended it may not do. Hollows agreed.
The journals, treatises and written thoughts were seized by federal agents when they arrested Kaczynski eight years ago at his Montana cabin.
Burrell also took the unusual step Friday of firing Balazs, who was appointed by Hollows to represent Kaczynski on the return-of-property issue.
Balazs, a highly regarded Sacramento attorney who was part of the team that defended Kaczynski in the prosecution of the Unabomb case, said in a Saturday interview the move surprised him.
The judge said Kaczynski has no constitutional right to counsel on such a matter.
"Exceptional circumstances do not exist," Burrell declared. "Kaczynski's motion lacks merit and (pleadings he has prepared and submitted on his own behalf from time to time) reveal he possesses the ability to articulate his claims."
But Balazs said the stakes are big because of "First Amendment, freedom of expression concerns, and the general question of personal property rights," so an appeal will likely be pursued.
"These are important, complex issues. That's why I was appointed.
"The judge must believe that," he added, noting that Burrell designated his order for publication, which is uncommon. That means it will go into case-law books and may be cited as precedent by other courts and attorneys.
"I will be conferring with Mr. Kaczynski in the next week," Balazs said. "I fully expect that he will want to appeal. He will proceed as (his own attorney), or I will ask the (9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) to reappoint me."
In his findings and recommendations, Hollows bluntly said he detected a government attempt "to remove Kaczynski's ideas from public view, in whole or in part."
"The court will not permit Kaczynski's ideas to be censored, or otherwise kept from public view, no matter how bogus they may appear to the undersigned or others," the magistrate judge wrote. "That some may find an idea offensive does not shield the idea from First Amendment protection."
But, according to Burrell, "The issue is not whether Kaczynski has the right to communicate any idea, but rather whether equity supports his position that he can dictate what the government must do with ... property it lawfully possesses. Plainly," it does not, he said.
The 61-year-old Kaczynski, a Harvard graduate, mathematics prodigy, and former University of California, Berkeley, professor, believes that the industrial and technological revolutions undermined the world's system of rewards and values, resulting in suppression of individual freedoms. To make his point, he employed homemade bombs to maim and kill people chosen according to fields of endeavor.
As part of a plea agreement, he admitted to Burrell in January 1998 that he is the notorious serial bomber who set off 16 explosions that killed three people, including two in Sacramento, and injured 23 others between 1978 and 1995. He is serving a life sentence without parole at an ultra-secure prison in Colorado.
Kaczynski and Balazs have never objected to the government keeping property classified as contraband. Neither have they objected to the government selling the property and applying the proceeds to the million of victims' restitution ordered by Burrell. But the judge sided with the government in its refusal to sell the property, saying Kaczynski would profit from his "criminal celebrity status" through the reduction of his monetary debt to the victims.
Burrell further agreed with the government that Kaczynski would profit from the donation of his writings to the Special Collections Library at Michigan.
"What he characterizes as a public interest in the property cannot be quantified or traced to bank accounts, but granting his request would aid him in his apparent endeavor to extol his criminal celebrity status, and this extolment could salt the wounds of the victims in the same way as financial profit," the judge wrote.
Instead of case law, Burrell cited a 1996 University of Hawaii Law Review article as authority for the latter proposition.
It's a myth that 'Green' politics are the exclusive preserve of the Left. Any cursory examination of Nazi ideology will expose their green roots, all that "Blood and Soil" mythos.hedgewizard said:I found it amusing (in a disgusted sort of way) that the Unabomber was actually living out the Lefty/Greeny sort of fantasy ideal (although he still relied on technology way too much). The best aspect of it all was for the people who advocate such things to point at old Ted and say, See how he's living, he's CRAZY.
So maybe the rest of the stuff about some sort of "back to nature" mission was just rationalising his compulsion to destroy.'Unabomer Kaczynski Given Four Life Prison Sentences'
"I believe in nothing," Kaczynski wrote in the journals released last week by federal prosecutors. "I don't even believe in the cult of nature-worshippers or wilderness-worshippers.
Of his killings, Kaczynski wrote: "My motive for doing what I am going to do is simply personal revenge."
By William Booth
The Washington Post.
This story was published on May 5, 1998
Unabomber in Harvard reunion note
Unabomber Ted Kaczynski studied mathematics at Harvard, graduating in 1962
Tylenol police in Unabomber plea
My brother the Unabomber
1996: 'Unabomber' suspect arrested
Harvard graduate Ted Kaczynski - better known by his FBI codename, the Unabomber - has submitted an entry to a directory for his class reunion.
The Harvard Alumni Association has apologised for publishing the note from Kaczynski, who graduated in 1962.
In the directory, he lists his profession as "prisoner" and his awards as "eight life sentences".
He was convicted in 1998 of killing three people and injuring 23 in an almost two-decade mail-bombing spree.
Kaczynski, who lived as a recluse in Montana, was caught in 1996 when his brother recognised his idiosyncratic writings and tipped off authorities.
He was unable to join his former Harvard classmates for this week's 50-year reunion in Cambridge, Massachusetts, because he is serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado.
A Harvard spokesman said the update had been submitted by Kaczynski, now 70.
In a statement, the Harvard Alumni Association said: "While all members of the class who submit entries are included, we regret publishing Kaczynski's references to his convictions and apologize for any distress that it may have caused others."
The former child prodigy studied mathematics at Harvard and received master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan.
Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber
In the fall of 1958 Theodore Kaczynski, a brilliant but vulnerable boy of sixteen, entered Harvard College. There he encountered a prevailing intellectual atmosphere of anti-technological despair. There, also, he was deceived into subjecting himself to a series of purposely brutalizing psychological experiments—experiments that may have confirmed his still-forming belief in the evil of science. Was the Unabomber born at Harvard? A look inside the files
There, from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962, Harvard psychologists, led by Henry A. Murray, conducted a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible experiment on twenty-two undergraduates.
One of these students was Theodore John Kaczynski, who would one day be known as the Unabomber.
It's a pretty common claim in conspiracy circles that Kaczynski was an MKULTRA subject, largely on the
Twenty years ago the FBI ended their longest-running domestic terrorism investigation with the arrest of the Unabomber, a notorious serial bomber obsessed with technology. It's a story of a devastating fraternal dilemma, a 17-year manhunt and a controversial media decision to publish the bomber's demands.
Between 1978 and 1995, Theodore Kaczynski lived in a remote cabin in rural Montana, from where he planned the downfall of industrial society. A former Harvard scholar and the youngest-ever professor at University of California, Kaczynski was motivated by a desire to punish proponents of technology - from a senior geneticist to a junior computer salesman.
Kaczynski made 16 bombs that killed three people and injured 23, some severely.
Then, controversially, America's two most prestigious newspapers, on the advice of the FBI, agreed to publish his 35,000-word manifesto - triggering a debate about media ethics that persists to this day. The gamble paid off in a most unexpected way.
Two decades on, as terror dominates the news agenda and we continue to debate the relationship between technology and security, Benjamin Ramm re-visits the extraordinary story of the Unabomber.
Benjamin meets some of the key figures in the hunt for one of America's most wanted - those he hurt, those who knew him and those who tried to capture him. And, alongside media reports of his crimes, we hear some of the words of the Unabomber himself, through excerpts from his extensive notes and writings.
In the Netflix documentary, someone makes the point that his ideas weren't particularly 'out there' in terms of green anarchism - a college professor could write the same stuff and nobody would bat an eyelid. What was unusual was his method of promoting his ideas, through murder.I found it amusing (in a disgusted sort of way) that the Unabomber was actually living out the Lefty/Greeny sort of fantasy ideal (although he still relied on technology way too much). The best aspect of it all was for the people who advocate such things to point at old Ted and say, See how he's living, he's CRAZY.
Multiple scholars and activists have supported and even lauded Kaczynski's writings. New revised editions of his books have been released last year (2019) and this year.In the Netflix documentary, someone makes the point that his ideas weren't particularly 'out there' in terms of green anarchism - a college professor could write the same stuff and nobody would bat an eyelid. What was unusual was his method of promoting his ideas, through murder.