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The Leary Defense

Timothy Leary's opening statement in defense from federal persecution.

  • I am pleading not guilty in this case, because I am an American citizen.

  • As such, I am entitled to the free exercise of my religion.

  • I am entitled to engage in scientific research.

  • I am entitled to live in my home, travel in my car and bring up my children the best I can in accordance with my beliefs and values.

  • My motives before and during the incident of my arrest are clearly spiritual, interior and not ulterior.

  • These are not personal privileges that I claim, but constitutional rights of every citizen.

  • In defending myself against this prosecution, I am defending the right of every American citizen to lead the religious life of his own conviction, to worship, to experience, to commune with universal forces, to transcend his ego and dissolve the petty differences that divide men whom love should bind, to seek religious ecstasy, revelation and truth as men have done throughout the ages.

    lost the case