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Supreme Court to decide whether or not to prosecute Occupiers

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ALBANY, N.Y. - The controversy surrounding Occupy Albany and how the Albany County District Attorney chose to handle the matter continued Friday.

City Court Judge William Carter held Albany County District Attorney David Soares' office in contempt for its decision not to prosecute Occupy Albany protesters.

On Friday, both sides appeared in State Supreme Court for oral arguments. The case specifically involves four activists who were arrested back on June 13, 2012 and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Judge Carter made that move after Soares' office refused to call witnesses in a pretrial hearing.

"He ordered them to appear. They say they appeared, but they did nothing. I don't think that's an appearance," said James Knox, Carter's attorney. "An appearance on a matter in my mind is appearing and follow your duties as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of this state. What that means for prosecutors, is to prosecute cases."

"We have discretion in determining how we're going to use the resources of our office and they are very limited resources," said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Horn. "Do we really want to spend time prosecuting disorderly conduct cases for people who are expressing their political views." The total number of arrests was 541 for disorderly conduct and 175 for resisting arrest.

The State Supreme Court judge will now review the case and is expected to issue his ruling in the next few weeks.

 

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