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Jurors Petition Judge: Don't Send Occupy Activist To Prison

A majority of the jurors who this week convicted an Occupy Wall Street activist of assaulting a New York police officer have asked the judge in her case to not send her to prison.
Jurors Petition Judge: Don't Send Occupy Activist To Prison
Image from: NY Daily News

This is one of the more uplifting things I've heard in a while. Will the judge listen? I seem to recall there's a mandatory minimum on the charges:

A majority of the jurors who this week convicted an Occupy Wall Street activist of assaulting a New York police officer have asked the judge in her case to not send her to prison.

Cecily McMillan was on Monday found guilty of deliberately elbowing officer Grantley Bovell in the face, as he led her out of a protest in March 2012. She was convicted of second-degree assault, a felony, and faces up to seven years in prison. She was denied bail and is being detained at Riker's Island jail.

However, nine of the 12 jurors who unanimously reached the verdict have since taken the unusual step of writing to Judge Ronald Zweibel to request that he not give her a prison sentence on 19 May.

“We the jury petition the court for leniency in the sentencing of Cecily McMillan,” they wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian. “We would ask the court to consider probation with community service.

More:

Finally freed from a ban on researching the case, including potential punishments, some were shocked to learn that they had just consigned the 25-year-old to a sentence of up to seven years in prison, one told the Guardian. “They felt bad,” said the juror, who did not wish to be named. “Most just wanted her to do probation, maybe some community service. But now what I’m hearing is seven years in jail? That’s ludicrous. Even a year in jail is ridiculous.”

Though it came as a surprise to some of the eight women and four men who found her guilty of second-degree assault, McMillan said that the potential prison sentence had been on her mind for the two years since she was arrested for elbowing Officer Grantley Bovell in the face at a demonstration in Zuccotti Park, where protesters had gathered to mark six months of the Occupy movement.

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