So we thought that Michael “Weaver” Carothers was probably just going to get probation for pepper spraying a black man on the streets of Columbus, Ga. for no valid reason. We thought maybe he would see some jail time, but not much. We knew he was going to be in court yesterday and today and we will hear something soon. We kind of thought he was going to take a plea, so that panned out. But in what had to be the biggest WTF moments in the entire history of Ye Olde Chopping Block, the National Alliance member got hit with a sentence that had us wondering if that Y2K bug in 2000 actually did knock us back to the Dark Ages somewhere. BANISHMENT! Let us write that again…BANISHMENT! After Mike serves his time in jail, he has to stay out of his hometown of Columbus for the entire duration of his probation – which is NINE YEARS! Apparently this is some sort of punishment that Georgia likes to give drug dealers to keep them out of the communities they did business in, and yes, although it is constitutional it has been a source of controversy because some folks think judges are being a little too abusive with it. Reading up on this kind of punishment while writing this story, we have to say we have our reservations – pretty strong ones in fact – about its application, but in this case – oh, come on, you know it’s funny! In this country, you tend to get used to backwards punishments and laws coming from the Deep South, especially Georgia, the state that sent a teenager to jail for two years for statutory rape (supposed to be ten) after getting a sex act performed on him by a fellow teen, and who also executed Troy Davis despite damn near the entire world telling them they didn’t have cause. It’s nice to know that sometimes those backwards laws have a positive effect sometimes!
One People’s Project
COLUMBUS, GA– Michael Carothers, the National Alliance member who assaulted a black man on the street with pepper spray, pled guilty to the crime Monday, and in addition to receiving imprisonment and probation, was also banished from all six counties in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, which includes the City of Columbus where he currently resides, according to the Ledger Enquirer.
Carothers, who used the alias “Michael Weaver” as a neo-Nazi activist active in the city for several years, pled to the charge of aggravated assault which meant he would have faced up to 20 years in prison. Carothers was planning to fight the charge, but when Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters ruled that prosecutors were allowed to admit into evidence testimony about a 1999 incident where he called a group of Jordan High School students a racial slur and threatened three times to kill a 15-year-old girl, he decided to take the plea. “The First Amendment in America is dead,” Carothers said, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. “The Constitution doesn’t apply anymore.”
Provided the punishment and sentencing meet due process requirements, banishment is not prohibited under the US Constitution. Georgia constitution allows intrastate banishment, and prosecutors say they have found the punishment particularly effective in drug cases as it removes the offenders from the community where their regular customers reside. Arkansas, Kentucky and Florida also have banishment as a punishment as well as Indian reservations. The practice has been met with controversy however, particularly when a man named Gregory Mac Terry was banished from all but one of Georgia’s 159 counties, which prompted some to question if some judges are abusing their powers with such punishments.
Carothers’ banishment will last the duration of his 9-year probation, which he will begin serving after he completes his one-year prison term. He has been in jail since Aug. 23, when police arrested him charges that were upgraded to aggravated assault, and stemmed from a Dec. 4 incident where he pulled up in his car alongside a 26-year-old black man walking on Rose Hill Street, exited the car, pepper sprayed the man on his neck returned to his car and sped off. When he was caught moments later by police, Carothers’ claimed it was an act of self-defense.
Originally the charge had been for battery, but when prosecutors took a second look at the case and noted Carothers’ history of activism in the National Alliance, as well as other racially charged incidents, they decided to upgrade the charges feeling the incident might have been racially motivated.
However supporters who created a “Free Michael Weaver” Facebook page have called the entire case a “witchunt” against someone who in a society more accepting of their beliefs “would be treated as a hero”. They also suggested that the black man Carothers attacked was actually a drug dealer that he was defending himself against, but there has not been any evidence produced showing that this was the case or that it even justifies Carothers attacking the man. Carothers’ girlfriend, Lori K. Taylor – who posts as Lori Weaver was openly upset at the news, calling Carothers’ public defender a “piece of shit” for not preventing his incarceration.
“Some people would tell me that I should be happy he only got 1 year because he was facing 20 years,” Taylor posted. “FOR WHAT????????? Did he stab a baby in the heart?? NOOO Did he beat and rape an old lady?? NOOOOOOO!!! He pepper sprayed a drug dealing thug in the street!!! I know CHILD MOLESTERS THAT FACE WAYY LESS TIME!!! ITS ALL BULLSHIT!!!!!”