sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Saturday, August 27, 2005

.....I'll pick up on this Cone post regarding the TRC hearings.

So Chewie doesn't like the media coverage of the hearings. Imagine that. Thirty-second sound bites and a 1,500-word article not getting the true gist of hours and hours of testimony. But it's all I've got to work with.

What I found interesting was the testimony of Judge James Long, who presided over the 1980 criminal case. Surely everyone would agree that Long is a truly impartial and credible witness, considering the fact that he had nothing to do with the events of 11/3/79 as they unfolded. He was just trying to pick up the pieces.

The most interesting part:

"......Prosecutors decided not to use evidence they had initially thought would help their case: a sound analysis of gunshots fired at the scene. An agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to use the sound from television footage to determine where the shots came from — but discovered that 18 of 39 shots fired came from positions occupied by demonstrators......"

Long also takes the viewpoint that "prosecutors had little cooperation from the surviving members of the CWP — many of whom vowed the trial would be a sham and refused to testify......disruptions in the courtroom by CWP members — including the release of a stinkbomb — did little to win the jury's support."

Here's my question: If surviving CWP members did indeed believe a jury trial would be a sham, then how exactly did they expect their grievance to be redressed?

I was going to respond to that question with another question: How can the TRC redress a grievance that "two long and expensive criminal trials" couldn't? But I have to be fair. Without the hearings and the media coverage, I wouldn't be able to sit here and ask these questions.


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