Cases from the past
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Hutaree militia The last time US prosecutors brought such a case was in 2010 in an alleged Michigan plot by members of the Hutaree militia to incite an uprising against the government. But a judge ordered acquittals on the sedition conspiracy charges at a 2012 trial, saying prosecutors relied too much on hateful diatribes protected by the First Amendment and didn’t, as required, prove the accused ever had detailed plans for a rebellion. Puerto Rican nationalists Among the last successful convictions for seditious conspiracy charges were in another, now largely forgotten storming of the Capitol building in 1954. Four pro-independence Puerto Rican activists rushed the building and opened fire on the House floor, wounding several representatives. They and more than a dozen others who assisted in the attack were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Oscar Lopez Rivera, a former leader of a Puerto Rican independence group that orchestrated a bombing campaign that left dozens of people dead or maimed in the 1970s and 1980s, spent 35 years in prison for seditious conspiracy before President Barack Obama commuted his sentence in 2017. Tokyo Rose Among the last convictions for treason was American-born Iva Toguri D’Aquino, known as Tokyo Rose during WorldWar II for her anti-American broadcasts. She was convicted in 1949 of ‘‘giving aid and comfort’’ to Japan. She served more than six years of a 10-year sentence before her release. President Gerald Ford pardoned her after reports US authorities pressured some witnesses to lie.