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Chicago Conspiracy Trial

Chicago Conspiracy Trial

69 CR180, 1971
In September 1969, under a new federal antiriot statute, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale went on trial in the Federal Building at Jackson and Dearborn, charged with crossing state lines with the intent to incite antiwar riots and disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Judge Julius Hoffman ruled that “the substance of the crime was a state of mind.” The six-month spectacle included outspoken protests, the binding and gagging of defendant Bobby Seale, and federal marshals struggling with defendants and spectators.

The jury dismissed the conspiracy charges, but found five defendants guilty of “intent.” The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the five for separate retrials, ruling that the evidence could as easily lead a jury to acquit as to convict. The government never retried the five.

Schultz, John. The Chicago Conspiracy Trial. 1993.