Finally, conspiracy theorist and talk show host of Infowars Alex Jones will have to go to trial for attacking devastated parents of 20 murdered Sandy Hook children. Due to Jones’ delays, it has taken ten years for the trial to hold him to task. He cruelly claimed that the first graders’ parents were just part of “a hoax,” just “actors.”
Elizabeth Williamson writes in her book: Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth, published by Penguin Random House:
‘[C]onspiracists tormented the victims’ parents by accusing them of being “crisis actors.” In the years since the tragedy, the families have endured relentless online abuse, stalking and personal threats. In 2016, Parker was visiting Seattle with his family when a man approached him on the street and accused him of lying about Emilie’s death, as Williamson recounts.’
Jury selection started on Monday in Austin, Texas, according to ABC News. The trial is there because that is where Jones lives and broadcasts hence the venue where his crimes were committed. Like many of Donald Trump’s closest allies, Jones ignored court orders. And he has a pile of fines to show for it. As far as Infowars goes, Jones put it into bankruptcy protection.
The trial will determine how much he must pay the parents he harassed after a gunman entered the elementary school and sprayed six- and seven-year-olds with bullets so vile it truly was a massacre.
This could put Jones out of the damaging conspiracy business. Thus far he has been banned on social media’s Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube after he had been “violating hate-speech policies.”
The shooter murdered 20 first graders and six teachers in 2012 before killing himself. The families of eight of those little ones and an FBI agent are taking Jones to court along with his company Free Speech Systems.
Only two of the Sandy Hook families are taking part in this trial. But he also faces another defamation of character charge for the other Newtown, Connecticut families. Neither of the lawsuits has asked for “a specific dollar amount.”
During the jury selection process, the family attorneys asked jurors about how strongly they believed in free speech. The pool of potential jurors began at 100 and then was whittled down by both the prosecutors’ and the defendants’ attorneys.
The next question for the jurors was whether they thought “any punitive damages would be fair.” Some of the potential jurors indicated that they would have a problem with assigning punitive damages of $100 million or more.
Other jurors indicated they believed in free speech, and they had no trouble assigning any amount of damages:
‘[F]or blatant falsehoods that might have caused harm.’
Thus far, courts located in both Connecticut and Texas found for the families, saying:
‘[Jones was] liable for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. In both states, judges have issued default judgments against Jones without trials because he failed to respond to court orders and turn over documents.’
Since Jones began his harassment campaign, the families have been emotionally tortured by others and even received death threats. Now Jones admits there really was a shooting but would not accept responsibility for what he did, saying:
‘No, I don’t (accept) responsibility because I wasn’t trying to cause pain and suffering. They are being used and their children who can’t be brought back (are) being used to destroy the First Amendment.’
Jones admitted that he “had a negative net worth of $20 million. The Sandy Hook families disagreed. The Infowars stores brought in over $165 million selling survival equipment and nutritional supplements over a three-year period. That was from 2015 to 2018.
Jones has called upon his listeners to donate to his cause.
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