From the January 2007 Idaho Observer:

Pro se appeal remanded for further proceedings;54 defendants served in $10 million civil action

Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill: After 40 years on the federal bench, attempted to dismiss a civil action in which he was a named defendant.


January 16, 2007—Donald G. Jackman, Jr., did a few years in the North Carolina prison system during the 90s as a young man because he was, admittedly, "a little wild." After his release, Jackman successfully reentered society as a man who had paid for his crimes and was rebuilding his life. He petitioned for and obtained a certificate from the governor of North Carolina reinstating all of his rights—including the right to vote and the right to own, possess and carry firearms. In 2002, Jackman was convicted of felon in possession of firearms in federal district court and is currently serving a 24-year prison sentence. Since conviction, Jackman has worked tirelessly to understand the "rights" government giveth and government taketh away—seemingly at its pleasure and discretion. His efforts have not provided relief on appeal of his criminal conviction, but he is getting traction on a civil complaint.

While being frustrated and obstructed at every turn in his attempts to overturn his criminal conviction, Jackman became the plaintiff in a $10 million civil action in U.S. District Court. Filed July 14, 2005 (1:05—cv—00215—WWC-RCM) that names 54 defendants and describes their roles in "acting for the government, or in concert with government actors, to deprive a citizen of his liberty and property while covering up acts committed against the United States by one of the listed defendants [Bowman]."

According to Jackman’s complaint, during the summer of 1999, he became aware of auction notices published in the Butler Eagle, the newspaper of record for Butler, PA. It turns out that, among the items at auction, were army field packs and other equipment necessary for deployment that had been stolen from the Butler Army Reserve Center by Army Reservist Sgt. Mark Bowman.

Jackman knew Bowman personally and believes that he was working this scam to obtain money to feed his drug habits, particularly to obtain the animal steroids to which he was apparently addicted.

Jackman maintains that the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI were also aware of the ads and the auctions, which continued throughout 2000. After Jackman attempted to blow the whistle on this criminal enterprise, his home was raided by a federally-led task force and 20 firearms, many of them collectibles, were seized. Though he had done nothing wrong, Jackman was charged with multiple counts of felon in possession of firearms. He was convicted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2002 and subsequently sentenced to serve 23 years and 10 months for his "crimes."

The court completely ignored the fact that his rights to keep and bear arms had been restored by the state of North Carolina.

The civil case was initially rejected by the federal district court. Jackman appealed the dismissal. On August 3, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals, while acknowledging that Jackman’s pro se appeal was "not particularly well-plead," observed that his claims of false arrest, improper search and seizure and other violations of due process while being taken into custody warrant further investigation and remanded the case back to district court for additional proceedings.

"Because I caught a man in the act of committing the crime of unauthorized distribution of government property and alerted the proper authorities, I was arrested, my property seized, my liberty taken and my life ruined," Jackman explained and added, "I wasn’t doing anything wrong."

It has taken almost two years to get this civil action squarely before the court and all 54 defendants served. One of the 54, U.S. Senior Judge Maurice B. Cohill, the judge originally assigned the case, "actually dismissed the action in which he was a named defendant," Jackman said.

Since a reasonable person could infer that a judge presiding over a case in which he is a named defendant could present a conflict of interest, judicial canons of conduct should have compelled Judge Cohill, who has been on the federal bench since Gerald Ford appointed him in 1975, to recuse himself from the case, not dismiss it entirely.

Jackman has a rather wide scope of understanding on these issues and he is not working just to get his own conviction overturned; he sees the bigger picture. "If a man who was doing nothing wrong and doing his duty to report crimes can be sent to prison for almost 24 years, then we have proof positive that we have allowed the land of the free to become a police state. I am calling on all patriotic citizens willing to stand up as free men and women to assist me in holding these officials accountable and demand a grand jury indictment against Sgt. Bowman (and others) for the unauthorized distribution of government property and for conspiring to use the ‘justice’ system as a means to ‘launder’ criminal activity," Jackman stated.


Donald G. Jackman, Jr. #06804-068


PO Box 8000

Bradford, PA 16071


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