Year
1969
Month Day
October 29

“Chicago Eight” defendant Bobby Seale gagged during his trial

Following several outbursts, the judge orders “Chicago Eight” defendant Bobby Seale gagged and chained to his chair during his trial.

Seale and his seven fellow defendants (David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Thomas Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, and John Froines) had been charged with conspiracy to cross state lines with intent to cause a riot during the violent anti-war demonstrations in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  

Judge Julius Hoffman gave the order to gag Seale after he repeatedly shouted accusations and insults at the judge and prosecution and disrupted the court proceedings. In November, Seale’s conduct forced the judge to try him separately. Seale was sentenced to 48 months in prison for 16 acts of contempt. Seale was then charged with killing a Black Panther Party informant in New Haven, Connecticut; the contempt charges were eventually dismissed and the murder trial ended with a hung jury.

READ MORE: 7 Reasons Why the Chicago 8 Trial Mattered

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