Thursday, November 01, 2007


Jury Awards Father Nearly $11 Million in Funeral Protesters Case

The father of a fallen Marine was awarded nearly $11 million Wednesday in damages by a jury that found leaders of a fundamentalist church had invaded the family's privacy and inflicted emotional distress when they picketed the Marine's funeral.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress to the Marine's father, Albert Snyder of York, Pa.
Snyder sued the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified monetary damages after members staged a demonstration at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The defense said it planned to appeal and one of the church's leaders, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said the members would continue their pickets of military funerals.

Church members believe that U.S. deaths in the war in Iraq are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Before the jury began deliberating the size of punitive damages, U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett noted the size of the compensatory award "far exceeds the net worth of the defendants," according to financial statements filed with the court.

Snyder sobbed when he heard the first verdict, while members of the church greeted the news with tightlipped smiles.

Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."

A number of states have passed laws regarding funeral protests, and Congress has passed a law prohibiting such protests at federal cemeteries, but the Maryland lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.



Blogger Pat said...

I just hope this judgment holds all the way through the appelate process. These nasty people have to be prevented from doing this to the grieving. They have no right to do this to them. The best way to prevent them from continuing is to remove their ability to move about the country. That takes money to do that. I am very happy for this soldier's father.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat I know how you feel about this, I'd love to have 5 minutes alone with any ONE of these vile creatures BUT I'm not sure about this judgement. I'm kinda winging it here since I haven't read this article, but couldn't we just keep these subhumans 1000 ft. away from the funeral?
I really hesitate to criminalize any type of speech, especially political speech like this. If I've missed something VITAL in the article, let me have it with both barrels please.

Back to my roast and veggies. Lemme see 3 hrs. @ 345 degrees...


2:50 PM  
Anonymous prairieson said...

Remember the "Reverend" from "Poltergeist"? Doesn't Phelps bear a strong resemblance to him?

No, on second thought, the guy from Poltergeist was more likable.

I hope these judgments stand up to appeal. Maybe it will finally put a halt to these disgusting protests.


3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back at the time of the Sago Mine disaster in West Va., there had been some talk about Phelps and his crew going to the small town of Sago to picket the funerals of the miners. I saw this on Free republic. The story quoted a woman who's husbands faimly lived in Sago. The woman was quoated as saying her husband had heard from surviving family members and others in Sago that "If those people come down here somebodys going to get killed''. Phelps and his crew decided to stay away. J'Mac

10:28 AM  

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