Sunday, December 25, 2011

Defense in Hutaree militia case oppose anonymous jury

Associated Press

hutaree-militia-mug-shots.jpgThis combo of eight file photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday March 29, 2010 shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr., 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio,; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich.; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.

Lawyers for eight people accused of being part of anti-government militia are opposing the use of an anonymous jury at an upcoming trial in Detroit.

The court file shows nothing official from U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts. But in a filing Monday, defense attorney Richard Helfrick quotes her as saying in an email that "jurors will enjoy anonymity."

Trial is set for Feb. 7 for eight people accused of belonging to a southern Michigan militia called Hutaree. The government claims they were scheming to kill a police officer, then attack the funeral. The defense says they're guilty of nothing but meaningless bluster.

"The decision to empanel an anonymous jury is a drastic measure, which should be undertaken only in limited and carefully delineated circumstances," Helfrick said. "An anonymous jury raises the specter that the defendant is a dangerous person from whom the jurors must be protected, thereby implicating the defendant's constitutional right to a presumption of innocence."...[Full Article]

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