Likely prison sentence for graffiti artist, Shepard Fairey, stokes debate

www.boston.com:

When graffiti artist Shepard Fairey was arrested for vandalism in February, the charges sparked furious debate around Boston about the sometimes blurry line between art and crime.

At about the same time, and with considerably less fanfare, another graffiti case was playing out in the courts. Danielle Bremner, a 24-year-old New Yorker, was charged with 13 counts of vandalism and defacing property for spray painting her moniker, “Utah,’’ in the Back Bay and East Boston.

Last week she pleaded guilty to the charges, and on Thursday she is expected to be sentenced to six months in jail, a sentence prosecutors said is extremely rare but just.

“In most cases we try to use finan cial restitution as a deterrent,’’ said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. “There are some cases, however, in which the damage is so extensive and so egregious that it requires incarceration. Financial deterrence simply is not enough sometimes.’’

But other attorneys and artists blasted the decision as draconian.

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