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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Prosecution begins it's case

In the trial of the first 8 defendants, the opening statements were made late yesterday afternoon and the prosecution is currently taking testimony from it's first witness. We'll post updates throughout the day. Here are 2 articles from the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News.

Clash over jurors starts off Columbus Day parade trial

By Amy Herdy
Denver Post Staff Writer

Like the parade and all its controversy, the start of what is known as the "Columbus Day trial" began with color and conflict.

Faced with prosecuting eight of the more than 200 protesters arrested in Denver on Oct. 9 for blocking the parade, assistant city attorneys were rebuffed Tuesday in an effort to have two potential jurors dismissed. A defense attorney said the prosecutors' move was racially motivated, with one of the targeted potential jurors having American Indian heritage and the other, Hispanic - backgrounds that match most of the defendants. Both people were chosen for the jury.

"It's shocking," said David Lane, attorney for three defendants charged with disobeying a lawful order. "They were trying to challenge the jurors based on race. Twice they tried it, and twice they were rejected. They got caught."<full article

The Rocky Mountain News article follows
Parade protest trial starts

Opening statements draw on history, rights of citizens

By Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News
January 19, 2005

Eight organizers of last year's Columbus Day parade protests in Denver went to trial Tuesday, and at times the proceedings sounded more like a civics lesson than a legal process.

In his opening statements at Denver County Court, defense attorney David Lane told a jury of six women and two men - two of them are serving as alternates - that his clients chose to obstruct the parade because they saw it as a celebration of the destruction of the Native American culture.full article


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