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Controversial pastor to appeal jailing

April 25, 2011 at 8:53 PM

DEARBORN, Mich., April 25 (UPI) -- A Florida pastor said Monday he will appeal a jury decision that landed him in jail and thwarted his Good Friday demonstration outside a Detroit-area mosque.

Terry Jones, head of a small church in Gainesville, Fla., said he will file court papers Tuesday in circuit court, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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Jones became notorious last year when he threatened to hold a Koran burning on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He backed off then but participated in a Koran burning this year that ignited deadly riots in Afghanistan.

The pastor demanded a jury trial in municipal court last week after Dearborn, Mich., police said he could only demonstrate if he posted a large bond. Jones lost but was released from jail after posting $1 bond.

"This is America, not a banana republic," Richard Thompson, head of the Thomas More Law Center, said. "We still revere the Constitution. ... We have to protect Terry Jones and anyone else who has a right to free speech rather than throw them in jail."

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