Inauguration Day Rioting Charges Dropped Against 200+ People

The use of over-charging in criminal prosecutions is a big problem; this amounts to a victory on a battlefield that should not have even happened.

Charges brought by the U.S. government against more than 200 people who protested on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated President were abruptly dropped today.

The government’s case amounted to threatening 234 people with a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison for 6 broken windows. It’s great that reason prevailed. It’s not great that it took a year and a half, and that exercising their right to free speech cost these people so much.

[boing] In other words, the government was allowed to jack these people’s lives up with terroristic threats of huge prison sentences, and then – once they had milked it for about all it was worth – the government walks away. [usag]

The United States respectfully moves the Court to dismiss the above-captioned cases without prejudice. After further review, the United States, in the exercise of its discretion, has determined that these matters should be dismissed without prejudice.

Congratulations to the 200+.

------ divider ------

FTB’s Shiv [atg] has been following this case, and similar cases of protestor abuse; follow her!


  1. wontbehere4long says

    And people are just going to ask them in the most antagonistic tone “Are you happy now?”
    Does it really fucking matter anymore? No matter what I do, people are just going to tell me that everyone likes me and that I need to just get over it and move on.

  2. says

    And people are just going to ask them in the most antagonistic tone “Are you happy now?”

    “I won’t be happy until the last of your kind are up against the wall” seems to be a measured and appropriate response.

  3. Some Old Programmer says

    robertbaden @4:
    Yes, my understanding of “without prejudice” (IANAL) means exactly that. I would think that most judges wouldn’t look kindly on refiling without additional evidence (and I have no idea if a grand jury would need to come back with a new indictment), but the prosecutors still have leverage.

  4. Some Old Programmer says

    Marcus @6:
    Trump’s next move is going to be to start packing the federal judiciary.

    My understanding is that that’s well underway (note the vagueness and lack of sources, so one or more grains of salt). With Mitch McConnell (R-Sleazeball) in control of the Senate, they slow-walked a significant number of Obama’s judicial nominations. I believe all federal judiciary appointments require Senate confirmation, not just appointments to the Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court (but could be wrong). There was a serious under-staffing, but now with a compliant orangutan to nominate people that pass various conservative litmus tests, the federal judiciary vacancies are getting filled at a much faster clip.

  5. se habla espol says

    “Without prejudice” means that the victims are still victims, forever. The prosecutors retain the authority to reinstate the charges, starting the defendant’s costs spirally upward again. The victims’ lives and speech are chilled forever.

Leave a Reply