(Thomas More Society) — On August 31, 2023, Thomas More Society attorneys filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse a lower court ruling denying pro-life advocate Lauren Handy’s immediate release from jail. Yesterday, September 5, 2023, they filed their motion and legal argument supporting the appeal.
Citing their conviction for a “crime of violence,” U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered Handy and her four co-defendants be immediately detained on August 29, 2023, after a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia found them guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, as well as a conspiracy against “rights” that the U.S. Supreme Court has not found in the Constitution, in the United States of America v. Lauren Handy, et al. The charges stem from their pro-life peaceful protest outside and inside a Washington, D.C., abortion facility in October 2020.
In both the original motion and the appeal, Thomas More Society attorneys argue that under federal statute and binding precedents from the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, the FACE Act is not categorically a “crime of violence,” and should not lead to pre-sentencing detention. The only basis for a finding of the use of force was when an overzealous abortion facility worker rushed at the pro-life advocates and tried to forcibly remove them from the facility waiting room, resulting in her twisting an ankle. There was no allegation that Ms. Handy or the co-defendants intended to harm anyone.
Read the complete filing Defendant Lauren Handy’s Emergency Motion Filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Release Pending Sentencing here.
Reprinted with permission from the Thomas More Society.