The Chicago Seven

The Chicago Seven was a group of seven men who were arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and charged with conspiracy to incite a riot. The charge arose from an anti-Vietnam War demonstration outside the convention hall that was broken up by Chicago police. On February 18, 1970, after a raucous trial before Judge Julius Hoffman, a jury acquitted all seven defendants -- Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Dave Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Lee Weiner, and John Froines -- but found five of them guilty of crossing state boundaries with intent to incite a riot, a violation of a recently enacted federal statute that many authorities considered unconstitutional. Judge Hoffman sentenced the five to five years in prison and all seven and their counsel, William Kunstler, to short terms for contempt of court. All convictions on the federal count were overturned on appeal.



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