Update on Conviction of Occupy Protester

by

In a surprise development, nine of the 12 jurors who on Monday voted unanimously to convict Cecily McMillan of felony assault of a police officer for elbowing him in the eye as he grabbed her to arrest her during a clearing of Zuccotti Park near Wall Street have written a letter to the trial judge, Ronald Zwiebel. In it they petition him not to sentence her to jail time. The letter was reported by the US edition of the British Guardian newspaper, which has done a far better job of reporting on this ugly case than any of the city’s three daily newspapers, including the New York Times (which has yet to report, much less comment on the verdict). The Guardian had reported earlier on the day jurors were released from duty after rendering their verdict, that they had all rushed out to read about the case. Several said they were dismayed to learn about details that had been withheld from them by the trial judge at the request of the obsessed prosecutor — details such as the history of brutality by the officer who had grabbed McMillan from behind by the breast, causing her to throw up an elbow in defense, hitting his eye, a brutal act by the same cop later after he had arrested her, or the officer’s reported involvement in “fixing” tickets, something which might well have raised questions among jurors about the integrity of his testimony about the McMillan “assault.” Also barred during the trial were details about the general violence used by the NYPD in clearing the group, of which Mcmillan was a part, from the Zuccotti Park public space. In its earlier report, the Guardian had quoted jurors as saying they were also shocked and upset to learn, after having voted to convict her, that she faced up to seven years in jail. They said they thought she would be given some punishment like probation. Instead, they witnessed her being led out of the courtroom in cuffs to be held on Rikers Island until her sentencing hearing several weeks later, with no bail set during the interim — a stark contrast from the way convicted business executives get treated while awaiting sentencing, or during their months of appeals. It will be instructive to see how the judge responds — if at all — to the call by a large majority of the jurors in the case for no jail time for McMillan, as well as to see, if he does respond, how hard DA Vance and his prosecutor in the case object to any leniency in sentencing. Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”