From: Gary Hunt at theOutpost of Freedom in Orlando, Florida
Date: January 10, 1994 Phone: messages (407) xxx-xxxx
Davidian Trial, San Antonio, Texas
January 10, 1994 Day 1 Post 1
Although the trial itself will be viewed by up to one hundred people, and listened to by up to one hundred more, Jury selection will be attended by far fewer. A pool was drawn of five members of the press, one from print, broadcast, radio, wire service and a sketch artist. Besides these five only members of Davidian families were allowed in the courtroom today as Judge Walter Smith (of Waco, and involved in this matter since the first weeks of the siege) asked questions of potential jurors. He had already reduced the number of potential jurors from 120 to 80 and has now begun the process of selecting 12. There will be 6 alternative jurors. The expedient method chosen by the Judge Smith will reduce the time for jury selection to three days. The question as to whether this is justice, American Style, or justice, Smith Style is yet to be answered. This expediency seems to be denying some of the basic principles that America has held dear for so long. The list of possible witnesses read to the potential jurors was relatively short, however Dick DeGurien and William Sessions were among those listed. Potential jurors were asked if they knew any of the witnesses. Whether they had strong feelings about gun ownership was also asked. It appears that Smith had developed his list of questions from those submitted by prosecuting and defense attorneys, but he is limiting attorneys for the defense to extend questioning beyond these basics. The remainder of the press was allowed to listen in on the questioning from the press room.
FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) was present in a demonstration conducted in front of the courthouse and involving about twenty people. A lady, a member of FIJA, Frances Summer, was arrested upon attempting to enter the closed jury selection.
It was noted that above the entrance to the courthouse there is an engraved "Great Seal of the United States of America" (the pyramid with the all seeing eye) bearing the date "May 1, 1776". The Davidians have questioned the significance of this seal, and particularly the date which predates the creation of this great nation.
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