Protester calls for no vote for judges

Robert Blackford/Editor
Cecil Roth pickets in front of the Mercer County Courthouse Oct. 7.

Cecil James Roth of Geneseo was picketing in front of the Mercer County Courthouse Wednesday morning, Oct. 10. He is asking voters to vote against retaining judges until they are 'required to follow the law 100 percent of the time.'

Roth is protesting an August 29 ruling in Henry County court. A jury found Roth guilty on two counts of criminal trespass to property.

On Dec. 10, 2006 Roth was asked to leave his church, Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church in Geneseo.

"I was arrested as I was peacefully sitting in my church," said Roth in a letter to The Times Record.

Roth believes the judge presiding over the case, Judge Stanley Steines, failed to follow the law and accused the judge denying him the right to use the Bill of Rights as a defense in his trial as well as a motion for a new trial amongst other things.

Roth represented himself at the trial.

Roth said he was asked by the pastor of the church not to attend services because he had made written grievances against the pastor. Roth said he has been attending the church since 1989.

"I have plead, and continue to plead, not guilty. I am very passionate about my legal rights, honesty and equal justice under the law," said Roth in his letter.

Roth had other stops to make Wednesday in Henry, Rock Island and Whiteside counties as he continues to protest at courtrooms in the 14th Circuit.

Roth is also asking voters not to re-elect Henry County States Attorney Terry Patton.

He has taken his protest online and it ca be viewed at www.geocities.com/voteNOfor judges.

This was not Roth's first appearance in a courtroom.

Roth was a tenured teacher in the Geneseo School District until he was fired in 2000. He had taught in the district since 1979. The district later spent, reportedly, over $450,000 defending itself against lawsuits filed by Roth.