The jury had scarcely begun its deliberations in the Chicago Conspiracy Trial when Judge Hoffman began sentencing each of the defendants and the two defense attorneys, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass, to lengthy prison terms on 159 specifications for criminal contempt. The specifications ranged from minor acts of disrespect (such as not standing for the judge) to playful acts (such as baring rib cages or blowing kisses to the jury) to insulting or questioning the integrity of the court ("liar," "hypocrite," and "fascist dog"). William Kunstler, who seemingly became a radicalized brother of his clients over the course of the trial, was sentenced by Hoffman to four years and thirteen days in jail. One specification for Kunstler concerned an incident on February 3 when he said "I am going to turn back to my seat with the realization that everything I have learned throughout my life has come to naught, that there is no meaning in this court, there is no law in this court." The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed all contempt convictions, ruling that contempt convictions resulting in more than six months in prison require jury trials. The jury initially split, with eight jurors voting to convict defendants on both the conspiracy and intent to incite riot charges and four jurors voting to acquit on all charges. Foreman Edward Kratzke handed a hung-jury message to the marshal to take to Judge Hoffman.
The judge's response: "Keep deliberating!" Juror Kay Richards finally brokered a compromise between the two jury factions. In the end, jurors acquitted all defendants on the conspiracy charge, while finding the five defendants charged with having an intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines guilty. The jury acquitted Froines and Weiner of the charge of teaching and demonstrating the use of an incendiary device.
On February 20, 1970, Judge Hoffman sentenced the