The Cost of Conspiracy: Alex Jones’ Request for a New Trial

Radio show host Alex Jones requests a new trial after being fined up to $1 billion for defamatory statements incurring harassment and hate surrounding the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

After being fined up to $1 billion in a lawsuit for promoting hate and harassment surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, radio show personality Alex Jones requested a new trial.

Jones’ lawyers claim that a substantial miscarriage of justice caused this retrial and that the amount of the compensatory damages award exceeds any rational relationship to the evidence offered at trial. Trials have been ongoing since late July this year in Austin, Texas. The most recent trial was in September and October of 2022. 

 Jones on The Joe Rogan Experience about his trial. (Credit: CNN)

Despite Jones’ effort to label this verdict as “the death of free speech,” people aren’t buying this weak First Amendment defense, including sophomore Michael Leung.

“His request for a trial is laughable. With the years he’s spent harassing people and the evidence stacked against him, I’m surprised he has the nerve to call for a new trial,” expressed Leung.

On the flip side, Jones’ defense seems to incite some understanding in some individuals’ minds, such as junior Ryan Cho.

“While his First Amendment rights do not include slander or defamation, and his conspiratorial remarks were determined to be defamation in the eyes of the jury, I can understand the lapse in his judgment. People with these beliefs go to places where those beliefs are reaffirmed. Jones was just cashing in on that, and while it was morally questionable for him to do so, it makes sense why he did it,” said Cho. 

Nevertheless, Jones’ defamatory statements have been an intense issue for a while. Jones has spread lies about the tragic 2012 event for years to his audience on his radio show, Infowars, stating that the parents orchestrated event to enforce gun control and that no one was killed. 

 Jones’ demeanor on his radio show, Infowars. (Credit: Vox)

Jones admitted that his remarks were wrong, but he does not believe he is responsible for the true reason the trial was called: the harassment due to his conspiratorial claims from Jones’ listeners on Infowars.

Word of the effects of these claims have traveled across the country, and the harassment has even become common knowledge to those in Great Neck. “Alex Jones surely deserves the verdict he was served. He ruined all those parents’ lives… They’ve been shot at, harassed, threatened, I’ve even read they were diagnosed with PTSD,” sophomore Dian Gu said.

At the trial, it was indeed determined that some of the parents who were harassed and threatened were diagnosed with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, by a psychiatrist. This harassment from Jones’ show would be propagated by Jones’ claims about other mass shootings, such as the more recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which he called “opportunistic” on Infowars

The lawsuit was built on the basis that Jones had made these defamatory statements to extract money from its popularity among his listeners and that he had knowingly inflicted emotional distress on the families affected due to the violence he incurred among his listeners.

 Jones speaking about the verdict of the Sandy Hook defamation case. (Credit: BBC)

A Waterbury, Conn. jury shared this opinion, and a close to $1 billion verdict was reached. This verdict gives hope to the family that the cruelty and disinformation he utilized to extract wealth from the situation will soon be ended due to this lawsuit and others that may follow suit, despite Jones’ attempts to reverse the decision. 

People across the nation share hope for this end of disinformation from mainstream media. “Alex Jones deserves the $1 billion fine, the horrible and false statements that he made about the Sandy Hook shooting deserves reparations for the parents who went through so much,” said sophomore Youngjun Chang.

Jones is remorseful for his actions and the Sandy Hook parents hope that this verdict can allow other victims of tragedies such as Sandy Hook to stand up against harassment and conspiracy.