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Hung Jury in NY Anti War Felony Case

What follows is a summary of the St. Patrick 4 Trial, which started 4/6 in
Ithaca, NY and ended on 4/13 at 9pm with the 12 person jury stating they
were deadlocked after 20 hours of deliberation and the judge declaring a
mistrial. The St. Patrick 4 were charged with felony criminal mischief for pouring
their own blood in the Marine/Army Recruitment Office in Ithaca on March
17, 2003.
What follows is a summary of the St. Patrick 4 Trial, which started 4/6 in
Ithaca, NY and ended on 4/13 at 9pm with the 12 person jury stating they
were deadlocked after 20 hours of deliberation and the judge declaring a
mistrial.

The defendants - Daniel Burns, Peter De Mott, Clare Grady and Teresa Grady
-
felt it was critical to draw attention to the tragedy unfolding in Iraq at
the time of their action (March 17, 2003) and feel that now it is more
essential than ever to stop the war against Iraq and bring the troops home
before any more deaths and injuries occur. In light of the horrors taking
place this week in Iraq and the devastating loss of life, it is clear their
action, and the actions of millions of others around the world, to oppose
the war against Iraq, was essential.

The St. Patrick 4 were charged with felony criminal mischief for pouring
their own blood in the Marine/Army Recruitment Office in Ithaca on March
17,
2003.

They stated they carefully poured their blood on the walls, door, flag and
floor of the recruitment office as an emergency measure to alert potential
recruits to the danger of military service and to expose the disinformation
that recruiters provide the public about job training, adventure and money
for college after military service.

Judge Sherman denied the defendants' request for expert witnesses,
including
respected author and professor Howard Zinn and Ramsey Clark, former US
Attorney General. They were prepared to testify regarding the legality of
the defendants actions under International Law. The defendants were also
denied testimony from Damacio Lopez of the International Depleted Uranium
Study Team, who has testified at the World Court in The Hague, the UN in
Geneva and New York, and at the UN Development Program in Iraq. Lopez was
to
testify about the hazards health effects of depleted uranium (DU) on U.S.
soldiers and U.S. citizens who live near the DU test site in New Mexico,
such as himself.

All 4 defendants represented themselves with the assistance of attorney
advisor's and each took the witness stand to explain their intent for their
action. They were permitted to give personal background as to their
religious beliefs, the history of non-violent civil resistance in the U.S.
and its role in changing oppressive and violent policy, and the reasons why
they poured their blood and knelt in prayer at the recruitment office two
days before the onslaught of "Shock and Awe" in Iraq in 2003, which
continues to devastate life and the environment in Iraq to this day.

All testified that they were raised Catholic and that the non-violent
teachings of Jesus strongly influenced them, as did the teachings of the
works of mercy, as opposed to the works of war.

Clare Grady testified regarding her eyewitness knowledge of the suffering
in
Iraq at the hands of the U.S. sanctions when she visited there with a
Voices
in the Wilderness Delegation in 1999. Clare spoke of her strong religious
belief that there is never justification for killing. She spoke of her
father's acquittal in the Camden 28 trial, in which he and 27 others were
involved in destroying the draft files of men about to be drafted for the
Vietnam War. Clare said that she was raised to oppose injustice, to oppose
racism, war making and the injustices of poverty. She spoke of her work as
kitchen coordinator for 15 years in the community kitchen in Ithaca,
serving
free meals 5 times per week.

Teresa Grady also testified about being raised to embrace all of God's
children and to greatly appreciate the diversity of people while growing up
in New York City. She said her religious convictions were a strong
motivation for her to take her action. Teresa spoke as the parent of a
teenage boy and how important it is to educate young people about the real
impact of signing up for the military, the reality that the recruiters
gloss
over. She pointed to the numbers of people killed in Iraq during the time
of the trial alone, and how that pointed to the desperate need for the
prevention of this war.

Daniel Burns testified that as a parent of a small child, he felt that the
loss of a child would be too great for anyone to bear, and that he was
thinking very much of that when he took his action. He thought of the
parents of soldiers and Iraqi citizens and how horrible it was for any of
them to lose their children to war. The prosecutor said to Danny, "Why
didn't you just bring your own flag to the recruitment station and pour
your
blood on it outside? That would have been fine." He stated that Rosa Parks
didn't just stand outside the bus and hold a sign. She went inside the bus
and took more serious action. Danny said he felt there was an emergency
about to occur in Iraq and that our country is essentially "on fire", with
the emergency continuing in Iraq and the tragedy continuing here as well in
the form of U.S. military people still coming home dead, wounded and
scarred. He felt his action was taken as an emergency measure, in
conjunction with many others around the world who were also saying "NO" to
this war.

Peter DeMott testified as a Marine and Army Veteran, who served in the war
against Vietnam. He stated it was his duty under International Law and the
Nuremberg Principles to take non-violent action to stop an illegal and
immoral war undertaken by his country. He spoke of his sincere concern for
the Iraqi people suffering under the U.S. sanction, invasion and
occupation.
He also spoke of great concern about the U.S. service people who are
suffering in Iraq and elsewhere from the ravages of war, and especially
about the toxic effects of depleted uranium (DU) on the troops in Iraq and
the Iraqi people. Peter also spoke of the contamination of the air, soil
and
water for millions of years as a result of the U.S. dropping tons of DU in
Iraq in the current war and the first Gulf War. At one point, the
prosecutor
asked him about the command to "Love Your Enemies", and he responded by
saying he had no enemies.

On Saturday April 10, two days after Peter's testimony, Peter suffered a
small sub-arachnoid hemorrhage of the brain and had to be hospitalized for
4
days. His condition was serious, however he is now home recuperating and in
good spirits. The judge allowed the trial to go on as scheduled on 4/12, as
was the wish of all the co-defendants including Peter, because all that was
left was closing statements and the judges instructions to the jury,
followed by jury deliberation. Peter was able to send a closing statement
through his attorney adviser, Joani Brandon.

The jury deliberated for 20 hours. At one point a few hours before their
final declaration of deadlock, the jury sent a question to the judge. It
said, since the jury is supposed to consider what the defendants knew prior
to their action, does their knowledge include their religious, political
and
moral beliefs? The judge stated yes, all the above DOES constitute their
knowledge. The defendants maintained throughout the trial that they had a
right and a duty to be in the recruiters' office taking non-violent
measures
to stop recruitment for the imminent war, and they strongly felt they had
reasonable belief that their action was right, justified and legal.

The jury also asked in their note, is it appropriate to speculate on the
effect of our verdict on the further actions of the defendants or other
people? The judge instructed them they were not to speculate on this.

Four hours later, the jury stated there was no possible way for them to
have
a unanimous verdict.

News reports have stated that the jury was divided into 2 groups,
indicating
it was more than 1 or 2 jurors holding out for one decision or another.

Judge Sherman gave the defendants until April 30 to file a motion for
dismissal in the interest of justice.

The DA's office today indicated they were planning to re-try the case.
good job 15.Apr.2004 12:45

.

keep it up out there! hope that they do not take you to trial again.

peace.