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“Furthermore, at trial, Schaeffer was shackled as the judge not only prevented the jury from being instructed on Schaeffer’s defenses to one or more of the weapons charges but also deprived Schaeffer of his constitutional right to testify fully in his own behalf. Then the case was tilted further for the government by suppressing the government’s own recordings that would have placed matters in their true context and would have allowed the jury to properly understand Schaeffer’s state of mind as the government was working its impermissible ploy to create a crime and a criminal where none existed.

“This case is by far the worst travesty of justice I have encountered in my 25-year legal career. An inspirational and truly-gifted young man with so much to offer is wrongfully imprisoned — leaving his lovely wife to raise, for three years now, what were a month-old daughter and a two-year-old son. From the broader perspective, the precedent of government repression that Schaeffer’s case presents is an atrocity whose kin can be found somewhat in the police tactics employed in our country in the 1960s and 70s, but more closely in the repressive regimes that controlled much of Europe and Asia during large parts of the 20th Century. This we must all strive to reverse. To prevail in Schaeffer’s appeal will be a good step, and perhaps a giant leap, in the right direction.”

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