“It’s a mechanism to punish someone for doing something bad, because oftentimes the value of punishing someone arguably far exceeds the actual harm to the plaintiff,” Cevallos said, adding the jury decides that “in addition to the harm you caused this plaintiff, we’re punishing you for the harm you caused society.”
Courts in Texas and Connecticut have already found Jones liable for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax involving actors. Jones had claimed the purported hoax was aimed at increasing gun control.
On Friday ahead of deliberations on punitive damages, Wesley Todd Ball, a lawyer for the parents, asked jurors to send Jones a message.
“We ask that you send a very, very simple message, and that is: stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies,” Ball said.
The lawyers had asked jurors to award an additional $145.9 million, which would have brought the total damages to the $150 million sought by the prosecution.
Earlier Friday, an economist for the prosecution testified that Jones and Infowars are worth between $135 million and $270 million combined.
Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal, said the Infowars host has learned his lesson and asked the punishment be less than $300,000.
Following the verdict, Reynal objected to the jury’s decision, arguing that the verdict did not comply with Texas law, which caps the actual award at $750,000 per plaintiff.
Daniella Silva is a reporter for NBC News, focusing on education and how laws, policies and practices affect students and teachers. She also writes about immigration.