- N.Y. Occupy Wall Street activist faces 7 years in prison (Al Jazeera, May 18, 2014):
An Occupy Wall Street protester could be sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday after being convicted of second-degree assault against a New York City police officer. Cecily McMillan maintains she elbowed NYPD Officer Grantley Bovell in the eye in a reflexive reaction to having her breast grabbed.
McMillan, 25, said Bovell grabbed her right breast from behind as he led her out of Zuccotti Park on March 17, 2012, a charge Bovell denies. Her legal team has vowed to appeal her conviction.
“As soon as the sentence is imposed, we plan to appeal,” said Martin Stolar, McMillan’s attorney. “The appellate process takes some time, but that’s certainly something we plan to pursue. There are number of questions, a number of legal errors that we think the judge made.”
The NYPD did not return calls to Al Jazeera, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
A jury of eight women and four men convicted McMillan on May 5. Barred from conducting research during the four week trial, some of the jurors have since said publicly that they were “shocked” to learn the felony conviction carries a two-to-seven-year prison sentence. Nine of the jurors have since written to Justice Ronald Zweibel and asked for leniency in her sentencing. Continue reading »