Jail For Laughing Protester Is An Outrage

Marc Randazza’s most recent CNN column analyzes the recent conviction of Code Pink Protestor Desiree Fairooz after the media suggested she had been arrested merely for, “laughing at Jeff Sessions” during a Congressional hearing.

There is, of course, more to the story.

See: Jail for laughing protester is an outrage

When Fairooz laughed loudly during Session’s confirmation hearing, Officer Coronado removed her, which caused Fairooz to protest loud enough to disrupt the session. Fairooz was charged with, “disorderly and disruptive conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.”

However, it didn’t end there: Marc Randazza notes that a jury of her peers actually convicted her of these crimes.

Marc Randazza says, “Several jurors said they sympathized with Fairooz, but because the law is so broad that they felt they had no option but to convict.”

“[F]or Fairooz to be facing prison for her conduct is outrageous,” asserts Marc Randazza.

Marc Randazza reminds us that, “the notion of an American citizen going to jail for a nonviolent political protest is utterly antithetical to what this country is all about.”

But why?

As Marc Randazza points out, this has nothing to do with Ms. Fairooz’s message—as he admits he often does not agree with the message of Code Pink—this is about Free Speech and the First Amendment.

For Marc Randazza, it is not the message that deserves protection, it is the speech itself.

“The wall that protects the First Amendment is not manned with pretty happy smiling thoughts and easy-to-love characters. That rampart is manned by the ugly, the impolite, the impolitic, the disturbing image, and the thoughts that you may swallow no easier than if they were made from crushed glass.”

Read the rest here.

One Response to Jail For Laughing Protester Is An Outrage

  1. Nicholas P. Chrysanthem says:

    Marc: Let me preface my comment with agreeing that arresting this lady for conduct here is ludicrous. But you are wrong to blame the jury on this one. The jury applied the facts to the law, which is what the judge instructed them to do. The facts were probably undisputed. The problem is not the jurors-in fact, this is one time where the jury system worked-they actually listened- instead of doing whatever they wanted. They are not a disgrace as you wrongly state in your article. They followed the judge’s instructions. If the law is unconstitutional or the people don’t like it, the solution is to change the law through their elected officials.

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