According to an article published in the Lakeland Ledger, atheist leader John Kieffer has agreed to a plea deal that will end his criminal prosecution.
In the interest of full-disclosure, John is a personal friend of mine and I make no apologies for acknowledging that fact.
While I am dissapointed by this news I certainly understand the pressure to agree to a plea arrangement. Had John continued the process he would have continued to accrue substantial legal fees as well as risking the possibility of being convicted and serving meaningful jail-time. Considering the venue for this prosecution was Polk County and John’s ardent and rather evangelical approach to atheism I’d say his chances of seating an impartial jury would have been exceedingly low.
It’s easy for those of us without any skin in the game to second guess John’s decision to take the plea deal. In the end, I think John did what was prudent. Kudos to him for being willing to demand the equal treatment of all world and life views in the first place. Unlike most of us, John was at least willing to put his liberty on the line.