Woman convicted for laughing at Trump nominee Sessions gets new trial




  • In US
  • 2017-07-14 19:28:18Z
  • By By Ian Simpson
U.
U.  

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. peace activist found guilty of laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing early this year had her conviction thrown out on Friday and will be retried, her lawyer said.

Desiree Fairooz, 61, a member of the anti-war group Code Pink, was arrested for laughing during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January in response to a lawmaker's assertion that Sessions, then a Republican U.S. senator from Alabama, treated all Americans equally.

Fairooz, a children's librarian, shouted, "This man is evil, pure evil" as police led her out. A jury found Fairooz guilty in May of disrupting a session of Congress and demonstrating on Capitol grounds. She had been due to be sentenced on Friday.

But Chief Judge Robert Morin of the District of Columbia Superior Court overturned the guilty verdict and ordered a new trial. In his ruling, Morin said it was unclear whether Fairooz had been convicted for laughter or for speaking out as she was removed, her lawyer, Samuel Bogash, said by telephone.

"The government's position was that laughing alone was enough to convict. But the judge made it clear that he didn't think it was," Morin said.

Code Pink, which often stages protests against politicians, said on its Facebook page that Fairooz denounced a retrial as a waste of taxpayers' money.

"The only thing more ridiculous than being tried for laughing, is being tried twice for laughing," Code Pink quoted her as saying.

Morin did not set a trial date and scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 1. Fairooz had faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each of her two convictions.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said two other Code Pink activists who were convicted for disrupting the hearing, Lenny Bianchi and Tighe Barry, were sentenced to 10 days in jail.

The sentences were suspended on condition that Barry and Bianchi complete six months of unsupervised probation, he said.


(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Jeff Sessions orders review of gun background check system
Jeff Sessions orders review of gun background check system
  • US
  • 2017-11-23 00:53:26Z

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered a review of a government database used for background checks on gun buyers, after a man who killed 26 people in a Texas church was left off the system despite having a criminal record. Sessions said the Nov. 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, by Devin Kelley, a former Air Force serviceman who had a 2012 conviction for domestic assault, showed that not all the necessary information was being added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

Anita Hill: Joe Biden's Apology Is 'Not Enough'
Anita Hill: Joe Biden's Apology Is 'Not Enough'

Anita Hill said former Vice President Joe Biden's recent apology for his handling of her 1991 Senate testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas is "not enough" to make up for his failure at the time "to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women's equality."

'We don't need a liberal:' Trump discounts Moore accusations

President Donald Trump on Tuesday discounted allegations of sexual assault against Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore and said voters should not support Moore's "liberal" rival. Trump ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.