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Darrell Brooks, convicted in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack, claimed he was a ‘sovereign citizen.’ Does the concept have any legal basis?

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(Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP, Pool)
Darrell Brooks reacts as the guilty verdict is read during his trial in a Waukesha County Circuit Court in Waukesha, Wis., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022. Brooks, who is represented himself during the trial, was charged with driving into a Waukesha Christmas Parade last year, killing six people and injuring dozens more.

A man convicted on Wednesday of driving into a crowd of people during a Wisconsin Christmas parade last year had, for some weeks, represented himself during his murder trial and invented a “sovereign citizen” legal defense strategy. 

Darrell Brooks, 40, was found guilty on all 76 criminal charges related to the deaths of six people he struck with his truck when plowing through the crowd during the parade. Dozens of others were injured.

During the circus-like trial, Brooks frequently clashed with the judge and offered bizarre legal theories that had no basis in law or reality. Chief among them was the concept of sovereign citizenship, a notion linked to far-right extremism

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