Ten Years Later…Update On The Homeowner Sentenced To Jail For Yard Art (Updated Photos Too)

Nearly ten years ago I first wrote about the owner of a property in Ballwin that was sentenced to 20 days in jail after he had refused to make changes to the art displayed in his yard that officials for the city of Ballwin had deemed to be dangerous.  The property owner, Lewis Greenberg, had decorated his home and filled his yard with a variety of items he referred to as “art” that was to make a statement about the Holocaust.

After hearing of this back in May 2010,  I decided to check out his home at 977 Morena Court, in Ballwin to see what all the excitement was about.  When I arrived I was a little surprised at the quantity of “art” on the property but, as the photos in my original article show (click here for article) it didn’t look that bad, just kind of cluttered and very colorful.

Property Owner Gets Jail Time over Yard Art

First Amendment Versus Ballwin City Hall

Dennis Norman

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This morning I saw an article on STL Today about a retired art teacher that was sentenced to 20 days in jail after he refused to make changes to art he has displayed in his front yard that “court and city officials have deemed dangerous.”

According to the article, Lewis Greenberg was convicted in October in St. Louis County court of two counts of city ordinance violations – littering and storing hazardous materials.  The judge told Greenberg to clean it up or face a penalty.  Well, I gotta give it to this guy for standing up for what he believes in as apparently yesterday he showed up in court and told the judge “he had no plans to comply.” This prompted Judge Lawrence Permuter to sentence Greenberg to 20 days in jail and pay a $1,000 fine.

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