The defense lawyer for some of the Boston “Straight Pride” rally protesters got the shock of her life on Tuesday, when she was hauled out of Judge Richard Sinnott’s courtroom in handcuffs.
The “Straight Pride Parade” organized by Super Happy Fun America, featured Milo Yiannopoulos as the grand marshal. As CNN describes, “protected by a heavy police presence, marchers stood on floats and carried signs at the parade promoting the military and President Trump.”
That was just too much for progressives. Large groups of protesters like Shoshanna Ehrlich were “outraged by the idea that straight people need a pride parade. This is full of hate and offensive.” Antifa was there in full force. Four officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, Officer James Moccia, relates. The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association wants to see everyone arrested at the parade prosecuted. “Officers were pelted with rocks, bottles of urine and other unidentified materials as the parade wound down,” they relate.
“We think that these offenders, most of them not residents of Boston, came here as agitators,” Lawrence Calderone, the union’s vice president explains. They came here to “create havoc.”
Apparently, attorney Susan Church forgot that even when the prosecutor has the authority to make certain decisions on her own, those decisions need to be approved by a judge before they’re final. The biggest mistake she made was to argue with the judge about it. That’s called contempt of court and she got three hours in a cell for it.
Church was upset that the Judge wasn’t going to just let her clients walk away scot free. She was convinced that she had a deal with the prosecutor. The judge said not so fast. The county attorney didn’t bother to tell the ‘victims’ that she wasn’t going to prosecute those cases.
The confusion started when Suffolk County prosecutors moved to dismiss charges against a handful of the 34 arrested. They claimed that “the allegations were not worth prosecuting.” Rollins “directed prosecutors to move to dismiss charges against seven people prior to arraignment if they completed community service.” They also filed motions not to prosecute three others, “because the police reports did not show probable cause.”
Judge Sinnott had a better idea. He “arraigned the seven people on charges of disorderly conduct, including some with an additional resisting arrest charge,” the district attorney’s office notes. As for the other three, he arraigned one, “and set bail over the objection of prosecutors.” At least Rollins was smart enough to stay quiet and hold her tongue.
It’s not disputed that Judge Sinnott refused to approve the dismissals because the district attorney’s office failed to comply with the state Victim’s Bill of Rights.
“The judge contended that the Commonwealth could not file a nolle prosequi without notifying the parade organizers because they, essentially, could be considered ‘victims’ whose First Amendment right to free speech had been impeded by the Defendant’s protest,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, well known to lean progressive, asserts.
Later, When she had her turn to speak for her clients, Defense Attorney Susan Church objected. She’s allowed to do that, but after the judge over-ruled her objection she should have kept her mouth shut.
Attorney Susan Church is welcomed outside the courtroom to applause. She says she was unlawfully and unjustly taken in handcuffs and held in contempt by Judge Richard Sinnott while she was arguing on behalf of a #StraightPrideParade protester. Hours later, she was released. #WBZ pic.twitter.com/NiwLZZDWrE
— Kristina Rex (@KristinaRex) September 4, 2019
Instead, she decided to lecture the judge, interrupting Sinnott to tell him how to do his job, insisting he didn’t have the authority to do what he did. She didn’t want to hear the judge’s reasoning, talking over him to “read aloud case law saying prosecutors had sole discretion in choosing not to prosecute a case.” She told CNN, “the next thing I knew I was in handcuffs.”
Rollins challenged the judge’s controversial ruling by filing an emergency petition with the Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday. She’s asking the higher authority to “accept the dismissal of charges against one protester accused of disorderly conduct.” One is enough. It will pave the way to clear the rest by setting the precedent.
“The actions of Judge Richard Sinnott are unprecedented and outrageous,” Rollins declared to reporters. “His insistence on arraigning individuals when my office has used its discretion to decline a case is an unconstitutional abuse of his power and serves neither the interests of justice nor public safety.”
according to SJC spokeswoman Jennifer Donahue, Justice Frank Gaziano will handle Rollins’ petition.
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