DEARBORN, Michigan | Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:55pm EDT
DEARBORN, Michigan (Reuters) - A controversial Florida pastor was jailed on Friday after a Michigan court determined that his planned demonstration outside a mosque was likely to provoke violence and he refused to pay a $1 bond.
Terry Jones, 59, was sent to the county jail in Detroit after he declined to meet the terms of a ruling by District Judge Mark Somers in an apparent protest.
Somers had ordered Jones and a supporter, Wayne Sapp, to each pay $1 under the terms of an order that would have also barred them from the Islamic Center of America mosque and nearby public property for three years.[....]
When Somers asked if he was prepared to meet the terms of the $1 bond, Jones said, "No."
Prosecutors, who had sought a $25,000 bond for both Sapp and Jones, said they could be jailed for up to three years if they declined to pay the $1 bond in protest.
"I strongly voice my disagreement with the ruling," said Sapp, 42, when asked by Somers if he had any comment on the ruling. "The peace bond is to prohibit free speech."
Sapp was also ordered to jail.
Dearborn police had denied Jones's request and asked him to protest instead in a "free speech zone" in front of one of the city buildings.
But Jones, who represented himself in court on Friday, argued that violated his free speech rights.
"The First Amendment is only valid if it allows us to say what other people may not like," Jones told jurors. "Otherwise, we do not need the First Amendment."
The American Civil Liberties Union agreed, saying police had overstepped by trying to force Jones to post a "peace bond" that could hold him financially responsible for police protection.
The civil rights group filed a motion asking District Judge Mark Somers to dismiss the case.
Somers, who had ruled in favor of prosecutors before the trial, declined to do so.
"It is unconstitutional to put a price on free speech in anticipation that the speech may not be welcome by others," said Rana Elmir, a spokeswoman for the ACLU.
Looks like he was ready for this. I wasn't:
On his way into the courtroom, Jones told local news outlet WJBK-TV that the protest -- scheduled for 5:00pm local time -- would go ahead regardless of what the jury decides.
"We will protest, yes. We will definitely risk that possibility [of going to jail]. We feel that this whole free speech zone, this peace bond, we feel that it is definitely unconstitutional," he said.
He added that, "One thing about freedom of speech ... it is only freedom of speech when it allows me to tell you what you do not like."