Justice for Lynne Stewart!
Notes from the trial...
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
After a few weeks of working my way through over 500 potential jurors, summoned to judge my case; on Thursday, June 4th at 6 p.m. - the final field was winnowed down to 78 Persons. All of them have promised, under oath, to be fair and impartial. Other than that, they are a diverse group mirroring Manhattan, the Bronx, small communities and cities in Westchester and Rockland Counties and more rural locales in Putnam. There are 38 women and 40 men. They range in age from 23 to 79. Ethnically diverse - immigrants from Italy, Ecuador, China and the Philippines. Racially Diverse - African Americans, Carribean Americans, Slavery Survivor Americans, Orientals, Semites, and Caucasian European Americans. They are of differing sexual orientations. Educationally - there is a Quaker biophysicist doing medical research and a young Harlem native born working at the USPO in as she works her way through college.
Many of these potential jurors have read and know about Lynne Stewart and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. Some have lost friends, acquaintances and relatives at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Others disqualified themselves or were challenged or excused by the court because they couldn’t “afford” to be out of work, out of salary for a 4 to 6 month trial (Ah, Capitalism! once again raises its ugly head!) A few were visibly frightened or could not deal with a “terrorist” case. Others expressed their repugnance for John Ashcroft, racial profiling of people of color (including Muslims), and the government listening to attorney-client conversations.
Also in this jury pool, there were people who just “wanted” to get on as a respite, with pay, from there everyday routine - retirees, prison guards (2), civil servants and who knew all the “right” answers.
From this diversity in American of 2004 - where so many of the people are involved by a manipulative government into emotionally following the so-called “American” way, that we must choose a jury that understands not only that it can acquit but that it can also proudly return with that verdict to their community.
So, on June 21 the 78 will return to the old federal Courthouse on Foley Square and 53 of their names will be drawn at random. (This number represents a total, including government and defense peremptory challenges, necessary to come down to a jury of 12 people plus 6 alternates.) That jury will decide my future and perhaps that of the 1, 4, 5 and 6 Amendments.
So, invoke whatever God, Great Spirit, gods, goddesses or Spirituality you rely on. Get the auras of Joe Hill, John Brown, Mother Jones, Harriet Tubman, Clarence Darrow and the countless others who fought for American justice to hover in that courtroom. And get yourselves, if you can, weary though you may be, as we all are(!), down, over, out to the Courthouse starting June 21 - Jury Selection, June 22 - Openings and Government case begins.
I’ll be there for 4 to 6 months. Bring a cushion and Bring Hope and Encouragement and Righteousness! We Can Win!!!
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004