Sunday, June 17, 2012


#OWS #D17 Trial photo by Jefferson Siegel
 The defendants were some of the dozens arrested last Dec. 17, a month after O.W.S.’s eviction from Zuccotti Park. Half of the 20 defendants in this particular group had already had their cases adjourned or charges dropped entirely.
 Eight stood ready to go to trial on Monday morning. Charges for most of those who entered the lot included trespassing and criminal mischief.

t the end of the second day of testimony, retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard — who was the first to climb a ladder and enter LentSpace on Dec. 17 — stood outside the court building with his fellow defendants.

“I just felt like Occupy Wall Street needed a new home and we should place our bodies in a location of justice,” Packard said of his motivation for entering the fenced-off square.
Defense lawyer Gideon Oliver said Trinity has had chances to drop the case against his client Packard, but refused to do so.

“Packard had a good-faith belief, based on Trinity’s past practices and his relationship with Rector James Cooper, that Trinity would exercise forbearance. Trinity had multiple opportunities to back off these prosecutions,” Oliver said.

Defense lawyer Stolar offered a more faith-based outlook.

“The Bible and prayer say, ‘Forgive us our trespasses.’ That’s what Trinity should be doing.”
The trial resumes tomorrow. 

O God of justice and mercy: We ask you to bless this court of justice, the defendants, their defense attorneys, the leaders of Trinity Church, Trinity's attorneys, and the judge, and give to all who participate the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law; We ask that the hearts of the leaders of Trinity be open to the spirit of forgiveness; through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.

Photo and link from Bp George Packard's Facebook page.

Eight Occupy Wall Street members were convicted on Monday of criminal trespass for breaking into a fenced-in private lot last December during a protest.

The protesters scaled an eight-foot fence, ignoring signs that warned against trespassing, and entered a plaza known as Duarte Square that is owned by historic Trinity Church, one of lower Manhattan's largest land-owners.

The one-week trial in Manhattan Criminal Court pitted the church, once a strong ally of the movement, against Occupy supporters, who pressured church leaders not to cooperate with the prosecution.

In the trial before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino, one defendant, Mark Adams, was also convicted of trying to slice through the fence's locks with bolt-cutters

Sciarrino sentenced him (Mark Adams) to 45 days, more than the 30 days that prosecutors had been seeking; he did not offer an explanation.

The other seven defendants received four days of community service.
Trinity could have dropped the charges.  What about forgiveness?

H/T to Jim Naughton at The Lead.

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