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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:56 PM


NATO Defendants Motion To Dismiss Case On Grounds Charges Unconstitutional

natalie solidarity ‏@constantnatalie

Good luck to the #NATO5. Three of them are challenging their arrest on constitutional grounds: http://bit.ly/125epO1 via @OccupyChicago
Retweeted by Occupy Chicago


Lawyers for three of the five men facing terrorism charges surrounding the NATO summit protests last May filed a motion challenging the constitutionality of the charges. On Friday, the legal team for Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly filed a motion and a memorandum to dismiss several of the counts against them on grounds the charges “are based upon the unconstitutionally vague statutory definition of 'terrorism' and 'terrorist act.'” According to a statement from the People's Law Office, the statute passed in Illinois in 2001 the defendants are being charged under also infringes on First Amendment activity and “allows for the arbitrary and politically motivated use of the statute by the police and prosecutors.”

Defense lawyer Michael Deutsch told CBS2:

The statute says terrorism is an intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population, and what we have alleged is those words coerce or intimidate - without any act of violence - is unconstitutionally vague, which allows for the punishment of First Amendment activity. What does it mean to intimidate a significant portion of the civilian population? What is a significant portion, and what is meant by civilian population? All those vague undefined terms allow for the police and the prosecutors to pick and choose who to charge with the most serious prejudicial charges of terrorism.”

The three men, along with two others, have been held since last May after police raided a Bridgeport apartment. Salon reports one of the five, Sebastian Senakiewicz, pleaded guilty to one count of falsely making a terrorist threat, and received a four year prison sentence. Church, Chase and Betterly have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Prosecutors have 21 days to respond to the motion and the next hearing for the case will be in February.

(This is the entire article; there is a picture at the link.)

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