200 Trump inauguration protesters face 70 years in prison each over 6 broken windows

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/26/collective-punishment.html


Same shit, different day, eh?


Meanwhile on Alternate-Earth, the prosecutor who wanted to bring these charges was fired before the inevitable malicious prosecution charges could be filed against him.


Remember, it’s totally ok for police to oppress minorities, for corporations to destroy our environment, and for the government to take away our healthcare, but God forbid someone tries to stop them.


America making itsself very great again. Good job, luckily Hilary isn’t prez and making a mess of things. /s


Just to put this in context; a fascist can shoot someone and walk away without charge.


This has really, really significant implications for dissent in the US. If these protesters are convicted, it will mean that people at a protest can be charged for crimes they had nothing to do with, simply because they’re at the same protest.

It’s basically an effort to establish a legal regime whereby protests can be treated as organized criminal enterprises or gangs, such that all “members” can be punished for the actions of the “organization”. It’s not coincidental that we’re seeing prosecutors take this approach at the same time that paranoid conspiracies about “professional rioters paid by George Soros” abound.

This is an effort to bring back the spirit of the 50s witchhunts, where everyone who criticized the status quo was presumed to be part of a vast coordinated communist conspiracy, and punished simply for being a member of a communist group (whether they actually were or not). If this case goes through, it will have a very chilling effect on US activism.

This should be of big concern to anyone who cares about civil liberties, I’m surprised it’s not getting more attention.


Taking a page from ol’ Pooty-Poot.


QFT. (quoted for truth)

Weren’t the charges dropped a while ago? Or are these some other protesters?

1 Like

US has some really draconian lèse-majesté enforcement it seems.


In the comments:

The government is seeking 200 x 70 or 14,000 years of prison time. The annual inmate cost in federal prisons is approximately $100k per year. So the government is proposing to spend $1.4 billion dollars or more than $200,000,000.00 per broken window. This sends an important message that the US government considers windows to be very, very important.


Or beat someone, and the person who gets charged is the victim, for raising their hand in a threatening manner mid-beating.


Among the defendants is Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist who had his equipment seized by police, who are able to use the pretense of his guilt to get ahold of his footage and use it against the other defendants.

I’m a super-genius lawyer and Constitutional scholar and all-around great guy, so maybe other people don’t know this. But I don’t think the system is supposed to assume defendants are guilty.


Way to go, Black Bloc. If you want to break windows and burn things, please do it away from the peaceful protesters and journalists.


I’m no expert on window breaking, but I’m pretty sure the physics of the procedure limits the possible number of perpetrators to being less-than-or-equal-to the number of windows being broken.


A few years ago I served on a jury. The defendant jumped through a window into someone’s home, threatened to kill grandma, ma, and daughter with the gun he had in his hand. He was sentenced to 3 years probation. His maximum possible sentence was 20 years. 3.5 times less than the protesters liability for broken windows.

We select our representatives from a never ending stream of lunatics. We end up with a justice system that is clinically insane.


Talk about broken window policing policies… sheesh. In any case, I’d love to see them try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any of these defendants broke a single window. Especially since this has already been ruled on

United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Vincent Anthony Rutkowski, Defendant-appellant, 814 F.2d 594 (11th Cir. 1987)

mere presence at the scene of the crime or mere presence in the area of where an offense is being committed or mere association with the person or persons who are violating the law is not in and of itself sufficient to support a conviction of a conspiracy or a violation of the statutes.”


Yeah, but knowing our ‘just-us’ system, it’ll have to go all the way to the supreme court, and waste a massive amount of taxpayer dollars, and completely destroy those 70 lives.

Cynical? me? never. :frowning:


Some of the requests for the data on ludicrous numbers of people were dropped and the felony charges against some of the reporters present were dropped.