from left, lawyer Leonard Weinglass, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Lee Weiner, David Dellinger, John Froines, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and lawyer William Kunstler. (observer)
As the jury was in deliberation, Judge Hoffman’s deplorable and tyrannical behavior continued, with wildly inappropriate charges of contempt. He sentenced one of the lawyers to four years in prison for calling him “Mr. Hoffman” as opposed to “Your Honor.” Abbie Hoffman got a year for laughing. The judge ordered the defendants' long hair shaved and the Sheriff, Joe Woods, held up Abbie’s hair like some trophy at a press conference.
All seven of the defendants were acquitted of conspiracy, but five of them were found guilty of crossing state lines to incite a riot. They were fined $5,000 and sentenced to five years in prison. During their sentencing, Dellinger and Rubin offered powerful critiques of society that sadly ring true to this day.
Dellinger: "Whatever happens to us, however unjustified, will be slight compared to what has happened already to the Vietnamese people, to the Black people in this country, to the criminals with whom we are now spending our days in the Cook County jail."
Rubin: "I am glad we exposed the court system because in millions of courthouses across this country Blacks are being shuttled from the streets to the jails and nobody knows about it. They are forgotten men. There ain't a whole corps of press people sitting and watching. They don't care. You see what we have done is, we have exposed that. Maybe now people will be interested in what happens in the courthouse down the street because of what happened here. Maybe now people will be interested."
Thankfully, while the Chicago 7 (or 8) endured police brutality and an abhorrent judge, America does have a system of appeals. Only Froines and Weiner were initially acquitted of all charges. However, on November 21, 1972, all convictions were reversed mostly due to the fact that Judge Hoffman was found to be biased for refusing to allow defense attorneys to screen jurors for bias. An additional factor in the appeals court's decision was that the FBI had bugged the offices of the defense.