Imprisoned militia leader Schaeffer Cox petitions Supreme Court to review conviction

Imprisoned Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer Cox has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review his conviction of conspiring to kill federal officials.

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The petition centers on whether talk about murdering government officials by Schaeffer Cox, and members of the Alaska Peacemaker’s Militia he commanded, posed an actual threat. Cox’s federal public defender Michael Filopovic says any action to kill was premised the U.S. government implementing “Stalinesque” martial law, a highly unlikely scenario.

”This case, as we said in our brief, it really concerns the outer limits of liability for conspiracy in the federal courts, particularly with respect to statutes involving conspiracy to murder federal officials or federal agents,” Filipovic said.

Filipovich says lower courts have made conflicting rulings on the issue. Also raised in the petition submitted to the Supreme Court last month is that no federal officials were specifically identified as murder targets.

Cox was sentenced to 26 years in prison in 2012 for conspiracy and solicitation to murder federal officials and possession of illegal weapons. Last August, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the solicitation conviction, and ordered Cox to be resentenced. That’s on hold pending whether or not the Supreme Court agrees to hear his case. The 34-year-old Cox is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Illinois.