A brief legal update: Two down, one to go

Well that was a week! This week I went to trial on charges of trespassing on state property, and (aiding and abetting of) disorderly conduct, and was acquitted! A thing I had never thought about before – how the rubbery-legged-ness and lightheadedness of of a major adrenaline surge, on top of anxiety, can make it surprisingly difficult to stand and face the jury, as required, for the verdict. The trial lasted three days (jury deliberation was about three hours, I think, including the time the judge spent restating parts of the jury instructions after the jury had questions about them).

However, it’s not over yet. In this state, conspiracy is required to be tried in a separate trial from the substantive offenses (whatever you were accused of conspiring to do). And the District Attorney’s office is still pursuing the conspiracy charge. Given that, I don’t want to say a whole lot, and this is going to be an uncharacteristically short post. I was arrested while walking away in some roadside grass, where I had been standing quietly to offer first aid to anyone who needed it, and observe police behavior and potential infliction of injuries, at a protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. For that, I’ve been embroiled in this legal battle for just over 14 months. There’s a lot more I would like to say but it should probably wait until some future time.

Fun fact though. I presented at the big annual conference of the American Physical Society, which was in Baltimore this year, the day before the trial. I was glad I could give the talk – it was originally supposed to be two days later, so it had to be moved to before the trial, and almost didn’t happen. But I would say that I do NOT recommend the experience of presenting at a major annual conference (including the prep work that represents – you grad students, faculty, postdocs, and industry/government/nonprofit researchers know what I’m talking about) in a city hundreds of miles from home and then going on trial the next day.

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