North Carolina Newspapers

    PAGE 6...C0MPASS...APRIL - MAY, 1972
“We said all along that
she couldn’t get a fair
trial in this county by a
jury of her peers, and if
this jury panel is indica
tive of what is to come.
I’d say we were correct.”
So stated Chief Defense
Counsel Howard Moore,
Jr., after the first few
days of the jury selection
process in the Angela Da
vis kidnap-murder-con-
spiracy trial in San Jose
By Thursday, March 2,
a preliminary panel of
twelve jurors had been
seated in preparation for
more intensive question
ing by the defense and
The preliminary panel
includes one Black,Mrs.
Janie Hemphill, a house
wife who has resided in
Santa Clara County for
17 years. She was the on
ly Black included in
the initial list of 116
prospective jurors. She
stated that she has been
aware of Ms. Davis since
her struggles with the
governor and regents of
UCLA, and said, ‘It did
n’t stick with me to pre
judice me against Ms.
Davis.” It is expected
that the prosecution will
find some way of elimi
nating the sister.
The other preliminary
jurors consist mostly of
housewives and retired
people. There is one per
son 22 years of age,but
the effort to seat the new
ly enfranchised 18-21
year olds failed.
So far, all have been
students who have claim
ed hardship, either finan
cial, or because of im
pending final exams.
One of the preliminary
panel, William Hotaling,
a manager for IBM, was
seated over the objections
of the defense, despite
the fact he admitted, "I
am against members of
the Communist Party.”
He further stated that,
“Anyone who takes rad
ical action would tend to
The other preliminary
panelists in addition to
the two mentioned above
are: three housewives
(one of whom is related
to a member of the San
Jose police department);
a female accounting
clerk; an insurance sec
retary, also female; a
retired sub-contractor; a
retired trucker; a retired
librarian and a 22 year
old female collections
clerk. Eight women and
four men. Eleven white
and one Black.
The rigid security
measures, which add to
the tension, have remain
ed in force though Ms. Da
vis is now out on bail,
with six deputies and a
matron stationed inside
the courtroom in addition
to the five deputies and
one matron outside the
courtroom. The one Black
deputy in the county has
been stationed in a very
visible position, search
ing incoming spectators
and newsmen.
Further evidence of
the hostile attitude of the
state is the fact that Pro
secutor Albert Harris
(of the State Attorney
General’s Office) has
asked that an official
count of spectators seat
ed in court each day go
into the court’s record
for future use. Each per
son entering the court
room has to identify him
self with driver’s license,
etc., give his social se
curity number, and be
photographed. Obviously,
Harris feels this is not
intimidation enough since
the courtroom is full ev
If there are any ques
tions that this is a po
litical, rather than a
criminal trial, the treat
ment of the reporters
from Soviet Russia and
East Germany should be
illuminating. The repre
sentative of the Soviet
news agency, TASS, is
allowed to roam only
within a 25 mile radius
of San Jose (he can’t
even get to San Fran
cisco within those lim
its). And Dr. Klaus Stein-
iger of Easi Germany
cannot even leave San
Jose. These are orders
from the State Depart
ment of the U.S. Report
ers from other European
countries have no such
restrictions of course.
There are no press rep
resentatives from Third
World countries.
Ms. Davis’s entire
family has been in atten
dance at the trial this week
with the exception of her
father. Her mother, Ms.
Sallye Davis, two bro
thers, Reginald and Ben
jamin ( a football player
for the Cleveland Browns)
Ben’s wife, Sylvia and
their son, Sorji III and
Fania Davis Jordan who
has been very active in
garnering support for her
The family has to ?it
in the rear of the court
room because the first
three rows are reserv
ed for the press and TV
artists. Kendria Alex
ander, a member of the
National United Defense
Committee to Free An
gela Davis and All Polit
ical Prisoners was quite
upset at deputies for as
signing these seats in the
rear of the courtroom as
she had attempted to sit
in the front row on the
first day of the trial.
The clenched fist Black
Power salute had been
outlawed in the court
room, but the ban was lift
ed on the first day of the
trial to the delight of the
capacity crowd of sup
porters of Ms. Davis.
When Angela enters the
courtroom, she is greet
ed by the clenched fists
of the spectators, which
she promptly returns,
Roger McAfee, the
Fresno, Calif., farmer
who put up his property
as collateral for Ms. Da
vis’ bail, came out of
hiding on Thursday, Mar,
2 to attend the trial along
with his wife and sev
eral children. He and his
family had been threat
ened with bodily harm
by bigots after it became
known that he was an
active supporter of Ms.
Davis. As a consequence,
his children were ex
pelled from school (al
legedly because they did
not live in that district)
and his property had to
be protected by armed
He decided to surface
again because of the over
whelming support he has
received from those who
believe in the freedom
which this country
preaches, but rarely
The judge in this case
has already gagged the
sheriff of Santa Clara
County, after he stated
that Ms. Davis should be
freed on bail. The re
strictions on Ms. Davis
herself are such that she
cannot make any public
speeches, either relative
to the trial or anything
else. Now, Prosecutor
Harris is seeking to
gag everybody who has
anything to do with the
trial. This would include
Chief Defense Counsel
Moore who has been rery
outspoken about the tac
tics used by the state to
prevent a fair trial for
Ms. Davis.
The prosecutor wants a
ban on all press confer
ences by “principals re
lated to the trial.” After
the public support and
agitation that culminated
in the demise of the
death penalty which made
Ms. Davis’ release on bail
possible, the state is be
coming nervous about let
ting r.'ie people keep a-
breast of their methods.
If they can succeed in li
miting information about
the trial to what is re
ported by the traditional
media from the court
room, the implications of
their moves will not cre
ate any more crises which
will force their hand or
make them ptesent even
a semblance of justice.
Though a preliminary
panel of jurors has been
seated, jury selection is
expected to take several
more weeks. This panel
must be questioned in
depth before they may be
come members of the jury
to actually try Ms, Davis.
T 0 each prospective
juror. Prosecutor Har
ris reads a list of 104
witnesses he expects to
call for the trial to see
if each of the jurors is
acquainted with any one of
them. This list includes
51 police, San Quentin
guards, FBI agents, two
state attorney generals,
and two coroners. That’s
a total of 55 persons on
the state’s payroll.

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