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Abigail Hernandez's legal team files appeal, attorney compares courts to Alice in Wonderland

Aug 27, 2019

Abigail Hernandez’s legal team filed an appeal Tuesday. That’s after losing a bond hearing earlier this month. Her immigration attorney compares the case to something out of a Lewis Carroll novel.

Hernandez is a 22-year-old woman with an intellectual disability. She made an online threat against East High School in Rochester back in 2018. Though protected under DACA at the time, she is now an immigrant without legal status.

Abigail Hernandez has been detained for 14 months in federal detention center, her attorney says.
Credit Spectrum News

In the appeal summary, immigration attorney Michael Marszalkowski says he has not seen “such convoluted and harmful” logic since reading Alice in Wonderland.

Marszalkowski says even though she was charged with falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, it was ruled to be false, so there could be no intent to cause harm. However, a judge still said that Hernandez could pose a threat due to a “further propensity for violence.”

“As soon as I realized that was occurring here, it immediately brought to mind Alice in Wonderland and the queen, ‘off with her head – sentence first, verdict afterward.’ We can’t have that,” Marszalkowski says.

Hernandez has spent the past 14 months in a federal detention center in Batavia. Her intellectual ability is limited to an IQ of 57, her lawyer says, meaning that her mental faculties are equivalent to a 7 or 10 year old. The judge ruled that she was “mentally competent” to stand trial.

"It is something you’re with the rest of your life. You need protection, you need and - and that’s what Abby's  seeking," he says.

If her appeal is accepted and won, Hernandez could be released from detention, but her immigration case is still pending, so it is still possible she could be removed from the U.S.