Federal prosecutors want Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, to serve time in prison following his misdemeanor conviction for destroying and fabricating documents in connection with a civil lawsuit over the iconic campaign image.
In advance of Friday’s scheduled sentencing of Fairey in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Department of Justice has filed a memorandum arguing that a prison term for the 42-year-old artist would be “appropriate.”
However, prosecutors did not specify how long Fairey should be incarcerated (though, statutorily, his punishment would not exceed six months). Additionally, government lawyers have contended that Judge Frank Maas could fine Fairey up to $3.2 million.
“A sentence without any term of imprisonment sends a terrible message to those who might commit the same sort of criminal conduct,” wrote prosecutor Daniel Levy in a September 2 memo. “Encouraging parties to game the civil litigation system…creates terrible incentives and subverts the truth-finding function of civil litigation.” […]