Conspirator Alex Jones orders nearly $50 million to be paid to parents for denying Sandy Hook shooting

A Texas court on Friday ordered far-right US conspirator Alex Jones to pay an additional $45.2 million (more than €44 million) fine to the parents of a boy who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

That amount, in addition to the $4.1 million in damages, the court decided Thursday, that Alex Jones must also pay to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the massacre at this Connecticut school.

The founder of Infowars – who was not in the courtroom to hear the verdict on Friday – had denied the reality of this bloody attack, the worst attack to happen in an American school. A young man armed with a semi-automatic rifle killed twenty children and six adults there, Alex Jones, a well-known far-right figure and conspiracy theorist who, despite all the evidence, asserted on his site that the massacre was just a stage show led by gun opponents.

Read also Alex Jones, figurehead of the American conspiracy theorist

The damages awarded on Friday are called “punitive” – ​​a peculiarity of US law not found in France in particular. They are intended to dissuade the convict from re-offending, as well as to discourage any other person from committing the same act. In total, Alex Jones will have to pay $49.3 million to Jesse Lewis’ parents.

Other fines are expected to follow

Wesley Poole, the latter’s attorney, presented Friday to the jury before they decided: “You have the power to send a message to the entire country, even to the world (…). He is Alex Jones stopping. Stop monetizing misinformation and lies ». Mr. Ball has asked them ‘To make sure he can’t do it again’.

The fines imposed by a Texas court on Alex Jones on Thursday and Friday are the first in this case, but they are part of a series of actions that relatives of Sandy Hook massacre victims have brought against this influential Trump activist. He finally publicly admitted the fact of the murder, while refusing to cooperate with the courts. Several families sued him for compensation. Judges in Texas and Connecticut had already ruled him by default to pay damages to plaintiffs, but left it up to jurors to determine the amount. More financial penalties are expected to follow and Alex Jones may be deprived of his platform; The financial health of his company sparks a lot of discussion.

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The killings – frequent in the United States – are often the subject of conspiracy theories that question the truth of the facts, and sometimes provoke harassment of relatives of victims accused of lying.

The world with AFP

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