Another protester escorted out of Sessions hearing. Her original offense appeared to be simply laughing. pic.twitter.com/p6lWzBVFRW
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 10, 2017
Convicted for laughing? That’s no good, ruled a D.C. court on Friday. Judge Robert E. Morin overturned the conviction of 61-year-old Desiree Fairooz. That’s the woman arrested after she laughed during Jeff Sessions‘ confirmation hearing for attorney general. She was convicted for disorderly conduct on May 3.
Morin did not agree with the government’s closing argument that laughter was enough of a reason to find her guilty.
“The court is concerned about the government’s theory,” he said, according to The Huffington Post. The judge said the prosecution didn’t clarify before trial that they were going to make that claim.
In May, the jury foreperson told the outlet she wasn’t convicted for laughing, per se: “It was her actions as she was being asked to leave.” Nonetheless, a few jurors believed the cop made a mistake by removing Fairooz, they said. Several claim they had to convict her because of the way the laws were written. One juror described the statute as “so broad.”
The conviction stems from Sessions’ first day of his confirmation hearing on January 10. Fairooz, a protester for Code Pink, laughed when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) said Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.”
[Screengrab via Ryan J. Reilly]