Michael Savitt: Stam’s stand

March 27, 2014 

I applaud State Rep. Paul Stam for his March 14 letter “ Discounting disruptions” in which he argued that the protesters who were arrested on May 6 and May 13 should not have their cases dismissed because they disrupted his ability to hear the proceedings of the House those two evenings.

Based on his reasoning, it follows that the other 845 people arrested before and after those two dates should have their cases dismissed because the legislature was not in session at the time of their arrests, thus no disruption.

That leaves only the question of what to do with the 79 people arrested on those two dates. Because they were in the “people’s house” and there is plenty of precedent for protesters being removed from the gallery prior to 2013 without arrest when they disrupted proceedings, their cases should be dismissed on other grounds.

Going forward maybe the Capitol Police can more appropriately escort protesters from the building or issue citations without wasting government funds and tying up the courts.

Michael Savitt


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