Everything You Need To Know About The Appeal In Cincinnati

13 October 2015
Cincinnati, OH

Rasmea Odeh

Chicagoans & All: everything you need to know about Rasmea’s appeal in Cincinnati

Stand with Rasmea and fill the appeals courthouse in Cincinnati! Buses and carloads attending from Chicago; Ft. Wayne & Indianapolis, IN; Cleveland, Youngstown, Columbus & Cincinnati, OH; Florida; Milwaukee & Madison, WI; Grand Rapids, Flint, Dearborn & Detroit, MI; Minneapolis; and more!


  • Still a few spots left if you wanna GET ON THE BUS from Chicago for the appeal!

  • We’re only about $1,500 short of raising the money to pay for the two buses we’re taking from Chicago to Cincinnati. Please help us reach the goal here!

  • We will be gathering at 10 PM the night before the appeal, Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, but you cannot just show up. You’ve gotta sign up first, and then you’ll be told where the pick up points are.

  • Those who are driving their own cars and can take others, or would like to carpool, should contact Joe Iosbaker by Tuesday morning, October 13th, at the absolute latest.

As her defense attorneys have said since the beginning of this ordeal, “You [Rasmea’s supporters] provide public testimony when you rally outside the courthouse and then file in to fill the courtroom. Public testimony of not only the power of Rasmea’s positive influence on her friends and colleagues, and the people she organizes, but public testimony also of the fact that she did not receive a fair trial and that there are people who are going to hold the system—prosecutors and judges—accountable.”

While in Cincinnati, we will organize a support rally in front of the courthouse at 8 AM EST on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, and then fill the courtroom immediately thereafter, as Rasmea’s defense and the prosecution each present their oral arguments to a three judge panel.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Rally outside the courthouse at 8 AM EST. Oral argument for the appeal starts at 9 AM EST.

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, 540 Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, 100 E. 5th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202

More info for everyone, those riding the bus and those getting there on their own:

  • Important new development: there is NO OVERFLOW ROOM in this courthouse, so the Rasmea Defense Committee is working with Rasmea and her attorneys to prioritize whom amongst us will be filling the courtroom. All the other supporters will hold vigil and continue our picket outside. Defense committee leaders Nesreen Hasan and Jess Sundin will be the point people for getting folks inside. Please respect their and our decisions!

  • Those who the defense committee and attorneys determine are entering the courtroom will start lining up between 8:20 and 8:30 AM, to ensure that we are in the courtroom well before 9 AM. Late comers will not be allowed in the courtroom.

  • Please do not volunteer to speak to any media or press in attendance. The defense committee has a media team made up of the only folks authorized to speak to the press.

  • There will also be a rally / press conference outside the courthouse after the oral arguments. Lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch will address the media and Rasmea’s supporters, and then we will hear from a number of solidarity speakers, including Frank Chapman, Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

This is basic information for our presence INSIDE the courtroom:

What do you need to bring to get into the courtroom?
Must bring ID: it can be a Drivers license, State I.D., or Passport.

What to wear to court?
No “I Support Rasmea” clothes, buttons, or signs.

How to act in court?

  • No talking in the courtroom
  • No coming and going; if you leave the courtroom for anything other than an emergency, you will not be let back in.

What not to bring to court?

  • No cell phones.
  • No cameras or recording devices.
  • No food or drink.

The Rasmea Defense Committee contends that Judge Gershwin Drain did not allow for a full and fair trial, and believes that is why Rasmea was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation. We are confident that she has solid arguments on appeal, and wrote in late July that the “defense argues conclusively that the government ‘never really addresses the basic constitutional deprivations asserted in Ms. Odeh’s opening appellate brief,’ and that Rasmea is ‘entitled to present her complete defense to the jury,’ which can only happen in a new trial.”

After the oral arguments are heard by three appellate judges on October 14, a decision will be made between two and six months later. If the court agrees with the defense and overturns the conviction and the sentencing, the case gets sent back to the prosecution to possibly refile charges, whereupon the entire trial process begins anew. But this time, evidence of torture, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), etc., would be allowed into the courtroom.

If the court upholds the conviction but disagrees with the sentence, the appellate judges send new sentencing guidelines back to Drain for re-sentencing. In the worst possible scenario, her conviction and sentencing would be upheld, meaning that she would have to serve 18 months in prison and then be deported. If this happens, and only if the decision is not unanimous, the defense could ask that all of the 6th Circuit appellate court judges, not just the three panelists, review the case as a last ditch effort to win the appeal.

We have been doing non-stop fundraising, organizing public events, and pitching Rasmea’s story to media across the country and the world.

There is still much more organizing to be done!

Crowdfund to help pay for the buses, get on the bus for the appeal, follow @Justice4Rasmea and tweet with #Justice4Rasmea, visit www.justice4rasmea.org for more information, and / or email [email protected] with any questions.

See you in Cincinnati! Help Rasmea Win!


Rasmea Defense Committee is led by United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), and Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR).

P.S. See these most recent articles and statements about the case: