On #ThisDayinHistory 1969, the Chicago Eight, indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, plead not guilty. The trial for the eight antiwar activists had begun on March 20:

#AceHistoryNews – Apr.09: The defendants included David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee (NMC); Rennie Davis and Thomas Hayden of SDS; Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, founders of the Youth International Party (“Yippies”); Lee Weiner and John Froines; and Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers #AceHistoryDesk reports

https://t.me/HistoricalPics/8300 The eight men were charged with conspiracy to cross state lines with intent to incite a riot. Attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass represented all but Seale. The trial, presided over by Judge Julius Hoffman, turned chaotic as the defendants used the court as a platform against the war, racism, and oppression: Bobby Seale in particular wanted to represent himself; a right guaranteed by the U.S. legal system but denied him by the judge…………..To deal with Seale’s interruptions, at one point Judge Hoffman ordered Seale gagged and strapped to his chair………….Days of this caused defense attorney Kunstler to say: “This is no longer a court of order, Your Honor, this is a medieval torture chamber.” Seale’s case was eventually separated from that of the other defendants. When the trial ended in February 1970, Hoffman found all of the defendants and their two attorneys guilty of 175 counts of contempt of court and sentenced them each to terms ranging from two to four years………..Although declaring the defendants not guilty of conspiracy, the jury found all but Froines and Weiner guilty of intent to riot. The others were each sentenced to five years and fined $5,000……………However, none of the defendants served time because in 1972 a Court of Appeals overturned the criminal convictions, and eventually most of the contempt charges were also dropped. #Chicago1968 #Chicago8 #Chicago10 #wontyoupleasecometochicago #History #USHistory #LegalHistory #OTD

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