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Polk County jury finds Fallon not guilty on trespassing charge
|Last Edited||Craverguy Mar 09, 2012 01:08pm|
|News Date||Friday, March 9, 2012 06:15:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||Former state representative Ed Fallon, despite admitting that he violated a state Capitol curfew when he was arrested during an Occupy Iowa protest on Oct. 9, has been found not guilty of trespassing by a Polk County jury. |
Six jurors in the misdemeanor trial deliberated for roughly four hours covering two days. They ultimately reached a verdict shortly before noon, with their lunch still en route to the courthouse.
“It feels incredible,” Fallon said. “It was really interesting from an instructional point of view to be in that position for an entire week.”
Fallon, the first of 15 protestors scheduled to stand trial from arrests for violating an 11 p.m. curfew at the Capitol, testified earlier this week that his presence in violation of “a rule in a book” was legally justified under a section of Iowa law that, for example, allows Iowans to ignore a “no trespassing” sign in cases of emergency.
“There is no better place to express our First Amendment right than a state government building or City Hall,” Fallon testified on Wednesday. “The reason for our being there was very clear to me, very clear.”
Joseph Glazebrook, Fallon’s lawyer, said jurors would have had to adopt the defense’s legal argument to reach a not guilty verdict in the case. Jurors essentially found, Glazebrook said, “that under these circumstances, he was acting reasonably and exercising his constitutional rights.”
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