- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Protesters who demonstrated inside the U.S. Supreme Court are facing the threat of a year in jail and stiff fines. The prospect of a harsher punishment is a sign that prosecutors - and the justices themselves - are losing patience over the courtroom interruptions after the third protest in just over a year.

Five people arrested last week after voicing displeasure with court decisions removing limits on political campaign contributions now face charges including one that carries a maximum jail term of a year and up to a $100,000 fine. It’s a sharp escalation from the possible penalties sought after two earlier protests by the group 99Rise, which opposes the influence of big money in elections.

Neither the court nor prosecutors would comment on the increasing severity of the charges.

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