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Jul 27, 17

DC: #DefendJ20 Solidarity Rally, Court Hears Motion to Dismiss Indictments

On the 27th of June, DC Superior court heard a motion to dismiss the superseding indictment and compel disclosure of probable illegal grand jury instructions. Before the hearing began, supporters of the defendants held a rally outside, including the reading of a statement by Dane Powell, sent to jail for 4 months after rescuing a child from police pepper spray on Jan 20th.

Unicorn Riot reported from inside the court that that one lawyer called government mis-instruction of the grand jury so egregious that anyone sentenced after a trial would have grounds for a post-sentencing appeal. With over 100 defendants refusing to negotiate, that could mean prosecutors have to do the work to deal with over 100 appeals. Also, that could cause the case to drag on on all the way to Jan 20th, 2020.

Apparently the government did not even tell the grand jury that they and not prosecutors are supposed to decide whether a case is a misdemeanor or a felony. Also the combined offense of “rioting and inciting to riot” does not exist in DC law, you can be charged with rioting or inciting a riot but not both for the same offense as DC laws are written.

Unicorn Riot also reported that at the end of the day, Judge Lynn Leibovitz ended the hearing taking the defense arguments “under advisement” and will rule on a later date.



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