A Texas jury ordered Friday that well-known broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones pay $45.2 million as a “punitive penalty” to the parents of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, where 20 children and 6 adults died in 2012.
This is the second verdict received by Jones, founder of the InfoWars podcast, since on Thursday the same jury ordered the far-rightist to pay 4.1 million dollars in compensation to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, parents of little Jesse, 6 years old, who died in that shooting.
Punitive sanctions are contemplated in those cases in which someone has engaged in particularly harmful behaviour.
From his InfoWars podcast, Jones spent years spreading the theory that the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was a “farce,” prompting several of the victims’ families to sue him.
After the complaints began to be filed, the radio commentator changed his speech and went on to acknowledge that the shooting was real.
Even so, the theory propagated by Jones led several of his followers to threaten and harass the parents of the victims, including those of little Jesse, whom they accused of lying about their son’s death for political purposes.