First RNC felony sentence calls for probation


A judge ruled on the first felony sentence related to the Republican National Convention today. Joe Robinson, who had pleaded guilty in October, was sentenced on felony first-degree property damage after slashing delegate bus tires during the RNC.

Robinson will serve three years probation, pay a $100 fine and do 100 hours of community service at an organization of his choice, according to Twin Cities IndyMedia.

Robinson, 26, of Washington state was the first person charged with a felony for actions during the convention to plead guilty, according to the Star Tribune. According to the charges, two police officers and two others witnessed Robinson slashing convention delegate charter bus tires in downtown St. Paul.

More from IndyMedia:

The standing-room only courtroom was packed with about 50 friends and supporters, who all stood when Robinson's name was called. Judge Salvador Rosas - soon to become the judge for the RNC 8 - mentioned the action favorably before delivering the sentence, calling it "Gandhi-like."

Arguing for the state, the prosecutor claimed that Robinson's action warranted a harsher, rather than more lenient, sentence because of its political context. He also claimed that it infringed upon the constitutional rights of others, although he did not mention whether these "others" were humans or bus tires, nor exactly what those constitutional rights were.

The prosecutor suggested that the action "suggests discrimination against political beliefs."

The state asked for a sentence of six months in the workhouse plus five years of probation, with the prosecutor indicating he would object to a sentence of community service.

Read the in-depth report here.