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The 14 people arrested October 29 in connection with the eviction of four families on North Harvard Street yesterday were granted a continuance of their trial until June 23. 1970. Ten of the defendants are Harvard students.
Tecnnically, the 14 must still face trial on charges of unlawful assembly, which carries a sentence of up to $500 in fines and one year in jail.
But the probation officer who registered the defendants' addresses said that a continuance implies dismissal of their case, so long as they are not arrested between now and June. The officer added that the charges might be formally dropped in May if the defendants call in with a clean record.
Judge Charles J. Artesani, who arranged the 14 on the day of their arrest, handed down the decision yesterday in Brighton Municipal Court.
Robert Galluzzo, an attorney associated with the Boston Legal Aid Society, represented the 14. He told them that the continuance was granted primarily because they were students and because all but three of them had had no previous records.
A few of the defendants objected to the fact that their status as students resulted in the court's leniency, Galluzzo said, "It's sad, but it's a fact."
Threat of Trial
The trial can be "reactivated" at the court's discretion any time before June. Gulls and several of the defendants said this condition was a move to deter them from future political action.
"It's similar to the threat of a suspended sentence." Gulls said. "The only difference is that if you have a suspended sentence and are arrested, they can jail you without a trial."
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