Innocent Videographer Sentenced to 300 Days in Cook County Jail

Gregory
We received this statement from the Ad Hoc Committee for Reason and Dropping the Charges:

Today, September 8, 2010, in Skokie IL, the judge sentenced Gregory Koger to 300 days in Cook County jail.  She did this in the face of 7 character witnesses (including a college professor, a former assistant state's attorney, a Catholic priest, a University of Chicago student Gregory mentored, and his employer, an attorney) and 25 written personal testimonials from a wide array of people, including former Ethical Humanist Society members.  These were all moving tributes to Gregory's character, his transformation from a troubled youth, his morality and his devotion to bettering humanity.   These statements painted a picture of a human being who had touched many lives and inspired people. They and the almost 1,000 signatories and comments on a petition called on the judge to not give Gregory jail time.


Supporters who overflowed the courtroom were outraged when the judge threw the book at Gregory for misdemeanor convictions for taking pictures with an iPhone. Probation is the default sentence for all misdemeanors.
 
The prosecution presented no witnesses. They entered only documentation of two prior convictions.  The judge took this up with a vengeance, saying that Gregory had demonstrated his "volatile nature." She even went so far as to claim he endangered every person in the Ethical Humanist Society auditorium. This was extraordinary since there was no testimony claiming this during the trial. The judge delivered a tirade to Koger which included stating, "you absolutely deserve the maximum ..." 
 
The defense committee for Gregory stated in a press release, "After the hearing people gathered outside to denounce the sentencing.  People who had witnessed the arrest spoke about how outraged they were that Gregory was even arrested in the first place much less face real jail time."
 
We are determined to not let this outrage stand.  Many more people need to hear about it and raise their voices in protest.
 
What you can do:

 

 

Sunsara Taylor writes
"The charges against Gregory stem from an incident last November when he filmed me making a short statement at a public meeting of the "Ethical" Humanist Society of Chicago before their service began. I was objecting to their politically motivated dis-invitation of me from a talk I had been scheduled to give. But what started as a shameful act of political suppression by the EHSC has transformed into an extremely grave political railroad and imprisonment of an innocent and righteous revolutionary." (more)