FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mistrial in Olympia 15 Case

by CounterPunch News Service

The trial of 15 defendants, arrested at The Port of Olympia during eleven days of protest in May of 2006 ended in mistrial on Thursday March 29th, 2007. The group, formerly known as the “Olympia 22”, was arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass. Allegedly the defendants’ crossed onto Port property while peacefully demonstrating against the use of the Port of Olympia for military shipments.

Detective Mike Hirte, along with his supervisor Jim Chamberlain of the Thurston County Sheriffs Office, interrupted proceedings and presented Prosecutor Steve Straume with case-sensitive information obtained from the defendants’ confidential email list. Detective Hirte had been present
at the Port of Olympia protests in May 2006 and at the time had identified himself as a Department Homeland Security agent. When questioned by defendants at the conclusion of trial on March 29, 2007 he refused to identify himself or give his badge number.

Testimony up to this point had included four police or security officers, two of whom were impeached by the defense during cross examination for making inconsistent or untrue statements. According to a discussion with jurors directly after the declaration of the mistrial the majority of the jury was inclined to vote not guilty due to the lack of credible and unbiased witnesses

Profiles of the jury pool were sent to an email list that included defendants, lawyers, former defendants, and other members of the legal team. The information discussed through email is protected under
attorney-client privilege. This information was inadvertently sent to about 10 former defendants.

The defense team immediately noted the error and sent an email to unauthorized recipients instructing them to disregard and to delete that email. The defense sought solutions to the situation that would not result in a mistrial, however the judge refused to hear further defense solutions, including calling in all 10 unauthorized recipients to testify under oath that they did not disseminate this information and to agree to disregard and destroy the document.

The judge found no fault upon the defense, but the prosecution was not required to disclose how they obtained the document.

This decision by Judge Dubuisson concludes four days of chaos, including mistrial requests on behalf of the defense for prosecutorial misconduct, an emotional outburst by Prosecutor Debra Eurich which resulted in the trial being held in recess for the rest of the day, all of which followed months of dismissal requests due to the destruction of a video of events recorded by Olympia Police Department Detective.

On Friday, March 30, 2007, the defendants and their supporters will be holding a demonstration outside the Thurston County courthouse at 1pm. The event will protest the unjust treatment of the defendants and the surveillance of the group by federal agents.

 

 

More articles by:
February 21, 2018
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail