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Vt. war protester won't face new trial

69-year-old says she'll keep fighting

BENNINGTON, Vt. -- A 69-year-old woman whose disorderly conduct conviction for standing in the road during a 2003 war protest was overturned by the Vermont Supreme C ourt will not be tried again.

"Given the severity of the crime, I do not believe it is a wise use of taxpayer dollars to continue this prosecution," Erica Marthage, the new Bennington County state's attorney, said in a statement Friday.

Rosemary Jackowski was among 12 people arrested for standing in the street after being asked to move by police in the 2003 protest against the Iraq war. Eleven reached plea agreements with the state; Jackowski, an Air Force veteran, decided to go to trial.

A jury found her guilty after a one-day trial, but in November, the Vermont Supreme Court overturned the conviction. The court said that Judge David Suntag had given faulty instructions to the jury.

After Friday's announcement, Jackowski said she was a bit disappointed that she will not have another day in court.

"Now I will not have the opportunity to set the record straight. People still don't know what we did or why we did it," she said.

Jackowski, a member of Veterans For Peace, said she would continue protesting but was growing discouraged about what effect such efforts have.

"Instead of marching, if we just sat down and stopped everything, stopped commerce, that would get more attention," she said. "I think everything should stop until the killing stops."