Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Parents $45 Million
Popular conspiracy theory podcaster and Sandy Hook massacre denier, Alex Jones, ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents $45 million.
NBC News reports
A Texas jury on Friday ordered Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim, a day after deciding the Infowars host must pay them $4.1 million in compensatory damages for the suffering caused by his lies about the 2012 massacre.
Wesley Ball, an attorney for Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut, had asked the jury to award them $149.5 million to reach the $150 million they initially sought.
Ball argued that only such a large sum would be enough to "take the bullhorn away" from Jones.
"I ask that with your verdict, you not only take Alex Jones’ platform that he talks about away. I ask that you make sure that he can’t rebuild the platform. That’s what matters," he said. "That is punishment, that is deterrence."
Jones' attorney Andino Reynal told jurors they had already sent a message to Jones and other talk show hosts with the $4.1 million judgment that “their standard of care has to be different.” He also argued that a substantial award would only serve to discourage people who question "government officials who dropped the ball" from doing so.
Reynal objected to the decision, arguing that the verdict did not comply with Texas law, which caps the actual award at $750,000 per plaintiff. The judge acknowledged the objection and added that the law implies that in the state “we don’t trust our juries.”
Punitive damages are intended to punish someone for especially harmful behavior.
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