The seventeen UVa students who recently staged a sit-in outside President John Casteen’s office have been acquitted, The Hook reports. Though the rationale for the ruling isn’t particularly explained, part of the problem seems to be that the students weren’t given ample opportunity to clear out after being ordered to leave. Professor Wende Marshall’s trespassing charge stuck, though.
8 thoughts on “UVa Protesters Aquitted”
i always wonder what would have happened if these crusaders had balls and did a sit in at a more WELL KNOWN anti living wage company like Wal Mart. Would the laws be as nice? Because in the real world and not in UVa world, people do get time.
I think it’s funny how a defense lawyer said the students were willing to leave, they just didn’t have enough time. Four days aren’t enough? The defense also argued that because a student asked what a summons was, there was miscommunication during the arrests. Maybe he should carry a pocket Webster’s with him next time. This reminds me of a commercial I recently saw about an upcoming Fox show about the inner workings of defense attorneys. Actor Victor Garber’s character even says something along the lines of, “If you have enough money and the right defense, this country has the best legal system in the world.” Note that’s not verbatim. Also, one of the acquited students was quoted as saying he was glad justice prevailed. I’m guessing that includes Prof. Marshall’s conviction, and if the evidence had led to his conviction as well, he would have still been glad?
The progress today had some more inforamtion.
The students were told they had 5 minutes to leave, the police started the arrests at 4 minutes according to video of the incident.
Another part than confused me from the Progress story:
“Downer said he did not want to criticize the way university officials or the police conducted themselves, but said he could not find the students guilty of a crime when they had received an “implicit offer to remain” inside the building, even having been granted a meeting with President John T. Casteen III.”
Does that mean that the judge feels that if I let a door-to-door salesman in to my house I can’t decide when it is time for them to leave? Or was the ‘implicit offer to remain’ the get out in 5 minutes that turned in to 4?
Wow. If only that long-standing Charlottesville judge was as smart as you are cvillenewser. He would have seen right through that tricky defense attorney’s lies and manipulations.
I was at the trial and the piece of evidence that got the 17 students aquited was the video that was provided to the court by the UVA prosecuting attorney. Maybe they didn’t pay him enough. It all boiled down to the inconsistencies in how UVA handled the sit-in.
The students were told on day one that if they stayed past 5:30pm, they would be arrested. They weren’t. Then they were given a specific area of the lobby at Madison Hall that they “were allowed” to occupy. Then they were given audience with John Casteen. They were denied food, and then they were allowed food.
But the thing that got them off was that the Chief Operating Officer of the University read a statement to the students on that Saturday saying that they had 5 minutes to leave or they would be arrested. 2 minutes later the Chief of UVA Police said they had to leave immediately (the COO stood by, this was all on the tape). One minute after that arrests were being made.
UVA could have avoided the whole mess by arresting them on day one like they threatened to do. Instead they were wishy-washy about the whole thing and then when they finally got fed up and decided to get them out, they screwed it up.
If you’re tired of the way the UVA Administration mishandles key issues and steps on students, don’t for get the Virginia Pep Band, which has not been allowed to play music at varsity Olympic sports that the marching band is too busy to play for. I recently signed an online petition asking the Administration to let the Pep Band play music (only) at these events. The Pep Band is still entirely student-run and deserves a chance to continue supporting UVA sports in a secondary role.
If you want to show your support for the “little guy,” here’s the web address for the petition:
Not only does the Pep Band deserve your support, but Monticello sells some real crappy trinket thermometer & compass at its Garden Store. What would old TJ think? His university bans fun loving prankster musicians, and his garden center sells wildly inaccurate scientific instruments (almost 10 degrees F off). Also the glue fails and the compass part falls off.
As for the living wage, no HE did not pay that. But it’s an upward slope, from slavery to minimum wage to living wage, eh?
Thank you colfer for the best laugh I have had in a long time.
And Save the Pep Band!, while I support your cause, uh, get your own thread.
yeah, i gotta say…i’m ambivalent about the Pep Band cause at best, but horning in on discussions of the civil disobedience at the university doesn’t help the cause.
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