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Conviction Overturned For Woman Who Laughed During Sessions Hearing


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.”

Sessions’ record is a whole thing, and he has faced criticism for his handling of the rights of LGBT people and his alleged attitude toward black people.

[Screengrab via Ryan J. Reilly]

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