Oklahoma appeals court overturns conviction for blocking building during Black Mass
August 22, 2016
An Oklahoma appeals court has overturned the conviction of a veteran Catholic activist who was jailed for praying the rosary outside a government building where a Black Mass was occurring.
Joan Andrews Bell had been arrested in September 2014 outside the Oklahoma City Civic Center. She was charged with disorderly conduct after refusing to move. The appeals court found that there was no compelling evidence that Bell had obstructed access to the government building.
Bell gained prominence in the pro-life movement during the 1990s, when she was frequently jailed for blocking abortion-clinic entries, and eventually served several years in prison for her non-violent witness.
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