How One Man's Federal Hacking Trial Could Affect Your Second Amendment Rights

The following article was written by Martin Gottesfeld exclusively for Bearing Arms. In 2014, he defended the life of Justina Pelletier and the rights of her parents. In 2016, Gottesfeld was subsequently arrested and held without bail by the Obama administration. 


Imagine you see a young, disabled girl being attacked in broad daylight by a group of adults. You recognize the assailants and know they’ve struck before. Now, the offenders have already paralyzed their latest victim below the waist and there’s little time to spare. There’s no help coming from law enforcement, and even if you did call them, you also know the attackers are so well-connected that law enforcement wouldn’t dare touch them for fear of their livelihood.

Nervous, but determined to do the right thing, you pull out your weapon.

Clearly brandishing, you call out a direct warning to let the girl go immediately. They acknowledge your statement, but refuse to comply, leaving you no other option and little time.

You aim and fire. 

Afterward, the girl is no longer in immediate danger, but thanks to the perpetrators she’ll never walk again and she faces a long, arduous road towards an incomplete convalescence. The perpetrators, on the other hand, will make a full recovery. They walk free while charges against you are pressed on their behalf.

You are arrested and denied bail. You’ll be away from your family for over a year awaiting trial, and if convicted, you’ll never vote or be allowed to touch a firearm again. 

You try to remain calm though. After all, the law is on your side.

Isn’t it?


Now, imagine your disbelief as your lawyer tells you that you won’t be allowed to call the girl as a witness, or even mention her name at your trial. The jury will only hear from the assailants and won’t even know there was an innocent child you were defending. All they’ll be told is that you shot people for no apparent reason and that on top of seeing you serve up to 25 years in prison as a convicted felon, your “victims” deserve hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial restitution.

It may sound too awful to be true, but this is the direction our courts are moving.

Just as American federal grand juries were originally intended to protect us from tyranny but instead have now been twisted into the very same instruments of abuse our founders once reviled under the English Crown, the “federal rules of evidence” once protected citizens from government misbehavior.

However, over the past two centuries they too have been amended and reinterpreted to all too often reduce the role of the American jury from a moral trier of fact to a mere rubber stamp for activist judges and politically-minded prosecutors, who can now come to an agreement amongst themselves to block the accused from even arguing they acted to save lives in the face of mortal danger.

Pair these subversions with anti-Second Amendment federal prosecutors, and the legal traditions of self-defense/defense of others, the very heart of the Second Amendment, become meaningless. The gun-control lobby could achieve many of its goals without actually repealing the right to bear arms or passing further gun control laws.


So what could a federal hacking trial possibly have to do with any of this? 

Quite a bit, unfortunately.

You see, the Obama Justice Department has charged me with felony hacking. But what my prosecutors, who were left over from the previous administration, failed to mention in their indictment and refuse to acknowledge is that I was defending the life of an innocent, learning disabled girl – not with a firearm, but with my keyboard and mouse.

Her name is Justina Pelletier, and here is the Cliff Note’s version of the story as told by RedState

Justina had been diagnosed and was being treated for an obscure condition known as mitochondrial disease at Tufts Medical Center. Complications arose when she contracted influenza and she was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital. Doctors there rejected the Tufts diagnosis and decided that Justina was suffering from a psychiatric problem. Worse, doctors at Children’s blamed Justina’s parents for her condition and accused them of child abuse. Justina went from receiving medical care for her condition at Tufts to being locked in a psychiatric ward at Children’s for the better part of a year. She was taken from her parents because her new doctors rejected the diagnosis of her doctors from Tufts.

I’m told by a source close to the story that Justina, a Catholic, was prevented from attending Mass or even receiving Communion. She was only allowed to see her parents occasionally and then under the supervision of armed guards. A court placed her parents under a gag order, forbidding them from speaking out about what was going on. They eventually broke the gag order and that’s when they started to receive some outside help. Legal counsel for the Pelletiers said that Justina was denied even the rights Massachusetts affords to incarcerated criminals. Justina was left maimed and paralyzed by the ordeal.

At this point, the case began to draw protest from all over. People feared that Justina was going to die locked up against her and her family’s will in the psych ward of a Harvard teaching hospital.

That is when Marty Gottesfeld decided to take some action. In protest of Justina’s treatment, Gottesfeld allegedly arranged a denial of service to the hospital’s online donation page and [brought] it down. He didn’t hack into any essential medical systems or maliciously use patient data. He simply took the donation portal offline hurting nothing but the hospital’s pocketbook.


Now, I would gladly answer the charges against me by testifying about my fears for Justina’s life, about how neither the Obama DoJ nor Massachusetts Governor Deval “Mini-Me” Patrick would lift a finger to protect her, and how other kids in similar situations at Boston Children’s have in fact died. I’d like to call the Pelletiers, and the many other families this has happened to as witnesses and ask them about their experiences.

I would show the jury that Boston Children’s is a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital that comprises the bulk of Harvard Medical School’s pediatric practice and that my prosecutor, Adam Bookbinder, his boss, William D. Weinreb, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, all went to Harvard. Further, I’d tell them my federal magistrate judge, Marianne Bowler, worked at Harvard Medical School and is married to a current professor there. If I could do all these things, I would be anxious to accept the fully-informed judgment of my peers, but I won’t be allowed. I won’t even be permitted to mention Justina’s name.

So, I’ll conclude with the following questions: If the remnants of the Obama administration are able to block me from being able to tell my jury I was acting to defend Justina’s life when not one soul was hurt by my actions, what will happen to gun owners and NRA members under a future anti-gun presidency that tries to do the same in gun cases or move the line still further? What could start happening in conservative states like Texas if liberal federal prosecutors start indicting self-defense cases involving firearms that were passed over for good reason by locally elected district attorneys? Could they start federally charging people who are forced to use their firearms under other statutes that make it easier to gag the defense?


This is not what the Founding Fathers intended when they included the right to keep and bear arms and the guarantee of a trial by jury in the Bill of Rights.


Martin Gottesfeld was featured by Michelle Malkin for defending Justina Pelletier when she was maimed at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), leading to his imprisonment without bail by a Harvard-affiliated judge and Obama-appointed prosecutors. See, the FreeMartyG Facebook page, and the @FreeMartyG Twitter account for more info.


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