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Martinsville Judge Rules Ku Klux Klan Newspaper Not Litter

Last updated on Friday, October 28, 2011

(MARTINSVILLE) - A Martinsville City Court judge has ruled that a man who dropped off copies of a Ku Klux Klan newspaper at businesses wasn’t guilty of littering.

Judge Mark Peden ruled Wednesday that Thomas Buhls hadn't committed a crime because newspapers aren't trash under Indiana law. Peden said he wasn't going to get into a First Amendment argument.

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana legal director Ken Falk represented Buhls. He says the judge's decision is correct because the law allows people to hand out material regardless of whether others agree with it.

Prosecutors were disappointment.

Buhls was charged with littering in May after he left copies of a KKK publication at a Martinsville appliance store and the owner complained to police.

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