Jailed Occupier's Jurors Call for Leniency
MANHATTAN (CN) - Most jurors who convicted an Occupy Wall Street protester of felony charges for elbowing a cop in the face have asked the judge not to impose jail time.
Nine of the 12 jurors sent Judge Ronald Zweibel a letter requesting leniency on Tuesday, one day after they found Cecily McMillan guilty of purposefully elbowing New York City Police Department Officer Grantley Bovell in the face at an Occupy rally's six-month anniversary in Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012.
McMillan's attorney, Martin Stolar, confirmed the letter, which The Guardian first published last night. It asks Zweibel to consider probation and community service instead of incarceration.
"We feel that the felony mark on Cecily's record is punishment enough for this case and that it serves no purpose to Cecily or to society to incarcerate her for any amount of time," according to the letter signed by Charles Woodard, Juror No. 2. "We also ask that you factor in your deliberation process that this request is coming from 9 of the 12 member jury."
McMillan was convicted Monday of second-degree assault and faces up to seven years in prison. Zweibel denied bail, and McMillan is currently being held at Riker's Island.
She faces sentencing on May 19.
McMillan said she was at Zuccotti Park the night of the incident to celebrate the movement's anniversary and St. Patrick's Day when the officer, acting on orders to clear out the park so it could be cleaned, approached her from behind, grabbed her right breast and threw her to the ground face-first. She said she then had a seizure while handcuffed.
Prosecutors claimed she was faking it for the throngs of protesters armed with camera-ready smartphones.
McMillan was the last of thousands of Occupy protesters to move through the court system after the massive demonstration. The charge on which she was convicted carries the harshest sentence.