Charlottesville white supremacists lose appeal of conviction
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Supreme Court Rejects Conviction Appeals by Charlottesville Rioters
By Greg Stohr
June 14, 2021, 9:33 AM EDT
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals by two members of a white supremacist group convicted under a federal anti-riot law for attacking counter-protesters during the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The men, Michael Paul Miselis and Benjamin Drake Daley, argued unsuccessfully that the 1968 Anti-Riot Act violates the Constitution by punishing protected speech. A federal appeals court said part of the law was unconstitutional but left the convictions intact.
The Supreme Court made no comment in rejecting the appeals as part of a list of orders released Monday.
In upholding the convictions, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the two men committed multiple violent acts -- including punching, kicking, choking and head-butting people -- at the rally and at two earlier demonstrations. Miselis was sentenced to 27 months in prison and Daley to 37 months.
The men were part of the Rise Above Movement, a Southern California white supremacist group that billed itself as a “combat-ready, militant group of a new nationalist white identity movement,” according to the appeals court. Members spent their weekends training in martial arts and other combat techniques, the 4th Circuit panel said.
The cases are Miselis v. United States, 20-1241, and Daley v. United States, 20-7377.