One charge has been dismissed but the defendants still face real prison time.
The people who rioted in Washington, DC on inauguration day last January are in a world of trouble. Unfortunately for them, this was the United States capital, not the campus of UC Berkeley and there are real consequences for criminal behavior.
Ryan J. Reilly reports at the Huffington Post:
The First Felony Trial Of Trump Inauguration Protesters Is About To Go To A Jury
A judge overseeing the jury trial of six individuals facing felony charges for non-violent conduct during a protest of President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration acquitted all six of a single felony count of inciting a riot on Wednesday. But D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz declined to issue a judgement of acquittal on any of the other seven charges, instead ruling that a jury will be able to hear the seven remaining charges, including five felonies.
Out of the presence of the jury, Judge Lynn Leibovitz issued a judgement of acquittal as to the inciting charge on Wednesday morning, the day after the prosecution and all six defense teams rested their cases. Leibovitz found that no reasonable jury could find that any of the defendants intended to urge a riot, stating that she believed the inciter had to be someone who was deliberately causing others to act.
The bad news for defendants came in the afternoon. Judge Leibovitz declined to issue a judgement of acquittal for any of the remaining charges, including two misdemeanor charges for engaging in a riot and conspiracy to riot, and five felony counts of property destruction, which the defendants would be held liable for if found to have engaged in the rioting conspiracy.
The prosecution, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff, has conceded that none of the voluminous evidence in this case indicates that any of these six defendants engaged in any property destruction or violence on Jan. 20.
These people deserve real punishment. They threw a destructive and dangerous tantrum because an election didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to. For once, a message needs to be sent that violent Antifa (Black Bloc) style behavior is unacceptable.
Keith Alexander of the Washington Post has more on what the defendants still face:
Judge dismisses lead rioting charge against defendants in Inauguration Day protest trial
The six defendants are the first to go to trial in Inauguration Day rioting cases; more than 150 others who were arrested are set for trials in coming months. Prosecutors said the group of protesters smashed store windows with bricks, hammers and crowbars and damaged a limousine Jan. 20, the day President Trump was sworn in.
Leibovitz’s decision to dismiss the felony charge was a blow to prosecutors, who aggressively argue that all the protesters in the group bear responsibility for the rioting and damage even though there is no evidence the six people on trial participated in any vandalism.
Defense attorneys said their clients were protesting peacefully and exercising their right to freedom of speech. They said that only a small number of protesters broke off from the group and turned violent and that police overreached by making mass arrests…
The defendants still face seven charges, including five felony destruction of property counts, which carry up to 10 years in prison, and two misdemeanor engaging in a riot charges, each carrying up to 180 days in jail.
Here’s a reminder of what these fools were up to that day:
Black masked protestors now throwing rocks at police line pic.twitter.com/KDQEbAr1Xq
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) January 20, 2017
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) January 20, 2017
Damage to businesses up & down I st. pic.twitter.com/KLucvivMDX
— Alex Emmons (@AlexEmmons) January 20, 2017
Don’t feel any sympathy for these people. They deserve whatever punishment they get.
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