Explainer: DOJ Uses KKK-Era Charge to Extend Prison Time for Pro-Life Activists

Feb 13, 2024 | Political News

Pro-life activists who prayed and sang hymns during a peaceful protest at a Tennessee abortion clinic in 2021 could spend 11 years behind bars thanks to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) use of a federal law created to target Ku Klux Klan members after the Civil War.

Not only were these six activists charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act — a misdemeanor charge that carries with it fines and a maximum prison sentence of one year for a first offense — they were also charged with “conspiracy against rights,” colloquially referred to as the “KKK Act.” Conspiracy against rights carries a ten-year maximum sentence, heavily bolstering potential prison time.   

“The KKK Act automatically turns any violation of an underlying law — or if you conspired to violate a federal law — it converts it to a felony,” Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and general counsel Andrew Bath told Breitbart News in an extensive phone interview. “So now you’re facing a felony prosecution, even if your conviction under the FACE Act would’ve been a misdemeanor.”