9 of 12 Jurors who Convicted Protestor for Elbowing Cop Sign Letter Asking for her to Avoid Prison Time
Cecily McMillan was the last of the Occupy Wall Street protestors to move through the New York City court system. She was convicted May 6 of assaulting a police officer in Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012. Now, most of those who found her guilty have told the trial judge in a letter that McMillan should not be jailed for her crime.
Jurors were convinced of McMillan’s guilt after a video of the incident was played for them in court of McMillan elbowing Officer Grantley Bovell in the face after police were ordered to clear the park for cleaning.
Jurors were prohibited from researching anything having to do with the case, including possible sentences, while they were empaneled. Immediately after the conclusion of the case, however, they found that McMillan faces up to seven years in prison. Upon learning this, nine of the 12 jurors have sent a letter to Judge Ronald Zweibel asking that McMillan get community service and probation instead of prison.
“We feel that the felony mark on Cecily's record is punishment enough for this case and that it serves no purpose to Cecily or to society to incarcerate her for any amount of time,” according to the letter signed by Charles Woodard, Juror No. 2. “We also ask that you factor in your deliberation process that this request is coming from 9 of the 12 member jury.”
The jurors were surprised at the severity of the possible sentence. “[N]ow what I’m hearing is seven years in jail? That’s ludicrous. Even a year in jail is ridiculous,” one juror told The Guardian.
McMillan is due to be sentenced on May 19. She earlier turned down a plea bargain that would have convicted her of a felony, but given the judge a recommendation that she not be jailed.
To Learn More:
Cecily McMillan Jurors Tell Judge Occupy Activist Should Not Go To Jail (by Jon Swaine, Guardian)
Jailed Occupier's Jurors Call for Leniency (by Nick DiVito, Courthouse News Service)
Occupy Trial Juror Describes Shock At Activist's Potential Prison Sentence (by Jon Swaine, Guardian)
Occupy Wall Street Activist Found Guilty of Assaulting Police Officer (by Jon Swaine, Guardian)
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