Tag Archive: sentencing

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for ‘merely linking to hacked material’

barretbrownThe journalist and former Anonymous member says of prison term and fine in statement: ‘They’re sending me to investigate the prison-industrial complex’

From The Guardian

In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a “dangerous precedent”, Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday.

Brown’s backers from across the web had hoped he would be able to walk free with his 31 months of time served for what they insist was “merely linking to hacked material”. But the 33-year-old, who was once considered something of a spokesman for the Anonymous movement, will face more than twice that sentence. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $890,000 in restitution and fines.

In a statement released after his sentencing, Brown was sarcastically upbeat: “Good news!” he wrote. “The US government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.” (more…)

Luke Accepts Plea Deal – Two Years in Prison, Eight Years Probation and Exile

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

Today, Luke accepted a negotiated non-cooperating plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation. As a last minute addition to this plea deal, Judge Markle added that Luke was to be banned from the state of Georgia, save one county, for the duration of his probation. Luke was taken away from us to prison immediately after court.

This end to the case surprised many of us. It was only two weeks ago that we were alerted to the fact that Luke’s trial would begin this soon. After that notice, events continued to unfold rapidly and chaotically.  The prosecution officially offered Luke this plea deal last Thursday.  Luke was placed in a very difficult position, facing decades in prison if convicted by a jury. He decided not to risk such a long sentence, but rather to accept the manageable sentence of two years in prison, and eight years of probation. (more…)

Jury Nullification: Why Every American Needs to Learn This Taboo Verdict

juryFrom Care 2

Did you know that, no matter the evidence, if a jury feels a law is unjust, it is permitted to “nullify” the law rather than finding someone guilty? Basically, jury nullification is a jury’s way of saying, “By the letter of the law, the defendant is guilty, but we also disagree with that law, so we vote to not punish the accused.” Ultimately, the verdict serves as an acquittal.

Haven’t heard of jury nullification? Don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. If anything, your unfamiliarity is by design. Generally, defense lawyers are not allowed to even mention jury nullification as a possibility during a trial because judges prefer juries to follow the general protocols rather than delivering independent verdicts.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has routinely agreed that judges have no obligation to inform juries about jury nullification. Paradoxically, jury nullification is permitted to exist as an option to all juries, yet this option cannot be discussed in most courtrooms.

A few years ago, Julian Heicklen handed out pamphlets to passersby on jury nullification to people outside of a federal courthouse. While the former professor was merely attempting to educate people about how the jury system works, he was charged with jury tampering. The prosecution labeled Heicklen “a significant and important threat to our judicial system,” but the judge ultimately disagreed and dismissed the case. Nonetheless, the fact that this case went to court at all shows how those in the legal system are willing to intimidate those who vocalize this loophole.

Jury nullification is undoubtedly feared because of its ability to upset the system. A jury that considers drug laws to be outrageous can nullify. A jury that is aware of the mass inequality in incarceration rates and believes a defendant was targeted via racial profiling can nullify. A jury that believes a harmless defendant is a victim of the prison industrial complex rather than a perpetrator can nullify. This counter-verdict exists so that citizens can right the wrongs inherent in our supposed “justice” system. (more…)

Occupy Wall Street Protester Cecily McMillan Sentenced To Three Months In Jail

Cecily McMillan outside courtHer current address is:

Cecily McMillan
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370

For up to date information and other ways to help, make sure to visit justiceforcecily.com

From Huffington Post

NEW YORK — A New York City judge sentenced Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan on Monday to three months in jail and five years of probation for elbowing a police officer while he was clearing out a protest in Zuccotti Park.

Judge Ronald Zweibel’s decision comes at the end of a trial that sparked widespread anger among Occupy supporters for the circumstances under which McMillan was convicted of second-degree assault. They said McMillan, a graduate student who’s now 25 years old, was simply reacting to an unknown hand grabbing her breast while visiting a March 2012 protest. Officer Grantley Bovell, not McMillan, they said, should have been on trial.

McMillan’s defense attorney, Martin Stolar, has already indicated that he will appeal McMillan’s conviction. McMillan’s supporters have raised about $14,000 for her defense online, and Zweibel’s sentence will likely add further urgency to that effort. (more…)

NATO 3 Brent Betterly’s Sentencing Statement

nato3From Anarchist News

Today a member of the NATO 3 Defense Committee received a letter from Brent Betterly, which included a rewritten version of his sentencing statement. Brent ad-libbed his statement in court from notes, but says he is confident that what he has written is almost exact to what was said, save for a few grammatical differences and filler words.

***

I apologize in advance if this seems a bit long-winded and I’d just like to express my great relief and gratitude for the opportunity to utilize my own voice again after a frustrating two years. My goal in making this statement is to refute some of the negative assertions about who I am and what my intentions are.

Very briefly, I’d like to start by addressing these recent allegations of racially derogatory comments directed toward an officer with whom I’ve had virtually no contact with. It’s my position that this is a complete fabrication and is in keeping with this consistent pattern over these past couple years where I’ve been repeatedly accused of engaging in the same sort of senseless ideologies and acts of violence that I so vehemently oppose and are just antithetical to the sort of person I am. To engage in or plan out this supposed conspiracy would be to perpetuate the same cycle of fear and violence I have so desperately strived to expose and disrupt. Those who know who I really am know that I’m just not capable of harboring such ideals and intentions.

Now, I’m not a big fan of categorizations, but one label that has continuously been advanced by the State as if it was in itself a condemnation, somehow synonymous with a violent terrorist, and I will not shy away from is that of the so-called “self-proclaimed anarchist.” Without professing to be an expert in all the complexities of political philosophy, I will say that as one who identifies as an anarchist there are specific principles I strive to live by and those I choose to reject. I believe that within everybody lies the ability and the right, both individually and collectively, to responsibly govern themselves. I believe in empowering people to overcome the disadvantages and inequities imposed on them by others in power. I oppose the exploitation and degradation of human potential in every form, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or classism, and these violently institutionalized injustices are deeply etched into the conscience of our society. Admittedly, I’m not a hundred percent sure how you completely dismantle and abolish such archaic institutions but I’m at least intelligent enough to realize that the reciprocation of these sort of violent ideologies is a historical failure and counter-productive. (more…)

Reportback: NATO 3 Sentenced to 5 to 8 Years, Receive Credit for Time Served

nato3From comrades from NATO 3 Support:

Today in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the NATO 3 were sentenced to between 5 and 8 years in prison. The prosecutors had argued that they should receive 14 years and serve their sentences consecutively, whereas the defense attorneys had obviously argued that they should receive light sentences, if not simply being sentenced to time served. Brian Jacob Church was sentenced to 5 years, Brent Betterly to 6 years, and Jared Chase to 8 years. They will all serve this time at 50% of the sentenced time (e.g., 6 year sentence equals 3 years served) and will receive credit for the two years they have served pending trial. Upon release, they will each have two years of supervised release as well.

Supporters packed the courtroom for the NATO 3 today despite the draconian restrictions placed on public attendance by the judge. While the prosecutors had plenty of cops lined up to smear the defendants on the stand during the sentencing hearing, their side of the courtroom was notably empty. Not even Anita Alvarez, the head attorney who has been so vocal about the defendants being terrorists, was around today. After the jury issued its verdict, Alvarez claimed in an interview that the prosecutors had not lost the case even though all of their terrorist claims had been rejected. She melodramatically asked if the reporters had forgotten about the Boston Marathon bombing. She even asked one reporter if he would like a Molotov cocktail thrown at him.

Predictably, the prosecutors continued this ludicrous line of reasoning by repeatedly comparing the NATO 3 to the Boston Marathon bombers—with the only difference being that undercover cops had found and stopped them before they did what the bombers had done. This comparison is, of course, absurd and offensive. The defense objected to this comparison but was, predictably, overruled. Also predictably, the judge promoted this twisted perspective in his explanation of his sentencing. (more…)

NATO 3 get prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years

nato3From Corporate Media

Three out-of-state men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years in prison today for making crude Molotov cocktails in the days before the NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

Prosecutors had sought 14-year terms for each of the men, raising the specter of the Boston Marathon bombings during their arguments at the sentencing hearing.

The so-called NATO 3 — Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly — were convicted in February of possessing incendiary devices but were acquitted of more serious terrorism charges, a fact stressed by their attorneys. Church was sentenced to 5 years, Chase to 8 years and Betterly to 6.

Chase’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, contended that prosecutors didn’t seem to understand they lost the terrorism case and were trying to “salvage a lousy, rotten case” with stiff prison sentences.

“They still don’t get that the whole world is laughing at them,” Durkin told Judge Thaddeus Wilson. (more…)

MI-CATS 3 Sentenced to 13 Months Probation

micatsFrom MI CATS

Following over a month inside the Ingham County Jail after a guilty verdict by a jury, the MICATS 3 were sentenced to 13 months probation by Circuit Judge William Collette

“Though my heart aches for moments I will miss, I regret nothing,” wrote Lisa Leggio from her cell in Ingham County Jail while awaiting sentencing.

This afternoon, Leggio, and her fellow MICATS members Barbara Carter and Vicci Hamlin were sentenced to 13 months probation and $45,000 in restitution to the police.  Over 100 supporters packed the tension filled courtroom where Judge William Collette of Ingham County presides.  Though the defendants were surrounded by the love of their families and friends throughout the trial and sentencing, we recognize that this is not the case for most people who are forced by circumstance to interact with the justice system.  The prison-industrial complex is a reality of life for so many folks who have been disenfranchised by the capitalist system from the start, and we hope that the sentencing of the MICATS 3 will only serve to highlight the struggles of those for whom community support and opportunities were never possibilities. (more…)

Three Plowshares Activists 3-5 yrs in US Prison for Nuclear Break-in

plow sharersFrom The Guardian

An 84-year-old nun was handed a 35-month jail term on Tuesday for breaking into a US nuclear weapons plant and daubing it with biblical references and human blood. Sister Megan Rice was sentenced alongside two co-defendants, Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 64, who both received 62-month terms.

At an earlier hearing in January, a judge ordered the three Catholic anti-nuclear protesters to pay $53,000 for what the government estimated was damage done to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, regarded as one of the most secure in the world. (more…)

Eco-Saboteur Rebecca Rubin Gets 5-Year Federal Prison Sentence

The Two Elk Lodge restaurant, foreground, on top of Vail Mountain burns along with another structure at right on Oct. 19, 1998, in Vail, Colo

The Two Elk Lodge restaurant, foreground, on top of Vail Mountain burns along with another structure at right on Oct. 19, 1998, in Vail, Colorado

From The Oregonian

A federal judge on Monday sentenced eco-saboteur Rebecca Rubin to five years in prison — less than what prosecutors sought for the former fugitive from Canada.

Rubin, voice shaking, apologized to her family, the court, firefighters as well as targets of the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front.

“I was so convinced at the righteousness of my beliefs, that I chose to ignore my own wrongdoing,” Rubin said.

Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken, who presided over the sentencing hearings in 2007 of Rubin’s co-conspirators in Eugene, praised Rubin’s statement, calling it “the most thoughtful, well-stated, honest, unvarnished apology/explanation.”

“I understand more than you know when you work in a democracy that all things look like they’re black and white when you’re young,” the judge said. “And there are so many shades of gray.”

Federal prosecutors had asked Aiken for a 7 ½-year prison sentence for Rubin. Rubin’s attorney argued for five years.

rebecca rubinRubin pleaded guilty last October before Aiken to arson, attempted arson and conspiracy to commit arson in Oregon, Colorado and California as part of the underground Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. She participated in four crimes, including planning the eventual $12 million fire that destroyed a ski resort under construction in Vail, Colo., in 1998. (more…)