NEW ORLEANS, La (May. 30)
A three-judge criminal district court of appeals reversed this week the convictions of George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi party, and nine of his followers. They were convicted here on June 13 of two counts each of disturbing the peace.
The defendants had donned khaki uniforms and swastika arm bands prior to picketing the showing of the movie “Exodus” at the Civic Theatre and the office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People here on May 24, 1961. Rockwell was sentenced to serve 60 days and pay $100 fine on each charge. The other men received lesser fines and sentences.
The three judges decided that “the conduct of the defendants, no matter how repugnant to the average mind, did not involve a violation of law.” The unanimous decision of the judges noted that “the transcript does not show that any nine of the defendants engaged in any violent acts, nor did they exhort or incite others to commit acts of violence when engaged in picketing.”