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Lt. Dan Choi's Trial to Resume; 'DADT' Activist Could Get 6 Months Jail for Peaceful White House Protest: VIDEO

Choi

Lt. Dan Choi's trial, which began in August 2011 for protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" with 12 other activists on November 14, 2010, resumes on Thursday in federal court in Washington D.C.

Choi and the others chained themselves to the White House fence while chanting "I am somebody," "We do this for you" and "President Obama, Silent Homophobia."

Choi faces 6 months in prison or a $5,000 fine for an obscure infraction of Parks and Wildlife federal regulations. The 12 other activists accepted a plea deal, agreeing to a guilty plea in federal court for which they would serve no jail time if not re-arrested within four months. Choi would not accept the deal.

TatchellBritish activist Peter Tatchell is coming to Washington D.C. in support of Choi, attending the trial as a human rights observer.

Said Tatchell in a press release:

Generally, White House protestors are arrested and required to pay $100 fine to a municipal court, the equivalent of a parking ticket in the District of Columbia. Instead, in this case, the US Attorney’s Office is invoking a seldom-used federal level criminal charge called "Failure to Obey".

Choi’s case is the first time since anti-Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan was prosecuted, that a protestor has been tried federally for demonstrating at the White House. 

The trial Judge, John M. Facciola, has already made a prima facie finding for "vindictive prosecution" in Lt. Choi’s case, prompting the prosecution to make legal history by pausing the trial for two years and embroiling Lt. Choi in a Writ of Mandamus fight.

Until this trial, such a radical and rarely used writ has never been granted in the middle of criminal proceedings. The writ orders the trial judge not to hear evidence concerning the selective prosecution and political targeting of the defendant.

Activists and supporters are planning peaceful actions in support of Choi on Thursday morning beginning with a meditation and interfaith prayer at 8 am and a speaking rally. Organizers report that several civil rights leaders will be on hand to voice support for Choi's efforts. The trial resumes at 9 am. Those wishing to support Choi should gather at:

United States District Court 
E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse 
333 Constitution Avenue, NW

You can also find out how to get involved to support Choi at the website DADTprotest.com.

Choi talks about where he is in his case with Adam Kokesh, AFTER THE JUMP...

Wh_choi

A timeline of Choi's activism, via #Fail2Obey

TrialTimeline

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Comments

  1. This is known as a "don't make me angry!" prosecution, where the degree of effort is proportional to the lack of compliance by the defense. Judges hate it when prosecutor do these things, but that won't necessarily help the defendant.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 25, 2013 6:20:26 PM


  2. Who the hell is the prosecutor that is being so vindictive? Someone with a huge chip on their powerful shoulder I assume!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Mar 25, 2013 6:27:00 PM


  3. Dan Choi has famewhored himself right into jail. Don't let the door hit ya....

    Posted by: Karma | Mar 25, 2013 6:28:31 PM


  4. it's wholly vindictive. like Manning, Choi visibly and defiantly gave a face to how appallingly wrong the government's stance was. and remains.

    as for the cowardly commenters who will call Choi a fame/attention-whore - just remember, you're only calling him that because he did what you dont' have the spine to do, yourself.

    Choi was/is an outspoken and visible presence - a highly intelligent and skilled patriot whose skills and intelligence were tossed away because of his sexual orientation.

    shame on those who call him a famewhore. putting a face to the affront that was DADT was needed, and is still needed.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 25, 2013 6:36:12 PM


  5. I haven't been following Choi's case as closely as perhaps I should ... but am I reading this story right in that the Writ of Mandamus was granted such that there can be no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct or vindictive prosecution? WTF?

    Posted by: Zlick | Mar 25, 2013 7:04:28 PM


  6. Adam Kokesh is a horrible interviewer. He keeps interrupting and injecting his own comments. A good interviewer could have gotten the same information from Choi in half the time.

    Posted by: voet | Mar 25, 2013 8:18:32 PM


  7. I think Dan is all about promoting Dan. Imagine what would happen if all charges were dropped. I'm sure Dan would create another situation to continue hs martyrdom.

    Posted by: Ex AF | Mar 25, 2013 9:11:04 PM


  8. Is Choi still charging 10K to speak to college groups?

    Posted by: John | Mar 25, 2013 9:18:56 PM


  9. @ Karma ,

    What can I say.... focus on his actions not motivations!

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Mar 25, 2013 9:34:18 PM


  10. are y'all haters still as unwilling to show yourselves as Choi is to remain silent? ;-) Yes? Ok, just so we're all clear then.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 25, 2013 9:49:19 PM


  11. This form of protest is standard fare. Usually a night in jail and then some sort of alternative sentencing. This very vindictive.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Mar 25, 2013 10:03:56 PM


  12. This is Obama's DOJ that is carrying this out. This is why I don't think Obama is all that LGBT friendly. This is the administration that had to be dragged into the DADT repeal debate and forced against their will to make a decision. I'm not at all surprised they are being vindictive. I hope the national media shed more light on this nasty bit of revenge.

    Posted by: brad | Mar 25, 2013 11:30:00 PM


  13. Dan Choi is all about himself, it seems.

    Posted by: Reality | Mar 25, 2013 11:34:56 PM


  14. From Wiki: "In the context of mandamus from a United States Court of Appeals to a United States District Court, the Supreme Court has ruled that the appellate courts have discretion to issue mandamus to control an abuse of discretion by the lower court in unusual circumstances."

    Here the trial judge has been directed by the mandamus to rule out selective prosecution as a defense - a defense the judge was obviously inclined to allow. Now he simply cannot allow it or any testimony related to it, and Choi's lawyers have to use another defense.

    Posted by: Profe Sancho | Mar 26, 2013 1:40:42 AM


  15. Thank god DADT was repealed and Choi lost all relevance. That guy is lame.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 26, 2013 10:12:55 AM


  16. Also, hilarious that the retired fame whore is so supportive of the current fame whore.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Mar 26, 2013 10:14:11 AM


  17. I was there in the courtroom. It was much different that we thought it would be. No jail time:
    http://tinyurl.com/c7ula9u

    Posted by: Laurie Brown | Mar 29, 2013 4:20:25 AM


  18. Dan Choi's actions are unbecoming of an officer in the United States Military.

    Posted by: James | Mar 29, 2013 6:44:28 AM


  19. DOJ holds people w no criminal charge, no bail hearing and no evidentiary hearing for months at a time and they do so because of what documents people file in federal court. Judge John D. Bates has ruled that this is legal.

    Posted by: kay sieverding | Apr 8, 2013 4:21:25 PM


  20. DOJ holds people w no criminal charge, no bail hearing and no evidentiary hearing for months at a time and they do so because of what documents people file in federal court. Judge John D. Bates has ruled that this is legal.

    Posted by: kay sieverding | Apr 8, 2013 4:21:41 PM


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