Thursday, January 17, 2013
Political Trial in Buffalo
A trial is political if it protects the interests of the powerful. The government says that there are no political trials, since that claim protects the interests of the powerful.
However, examples of political prosecutions abound; a readily accessible one is the case of Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong, as documented in the film "AKA Tommy Chong", available in the usual places.
Our case in Buffalo is the case of Nate Buckley, arrested for trespassing, what else, during a demonstration in front of M+T Bank on April 8th, 2011, and obstructing the administration of justice. Here is a video of that event and arrest, from YouTube.
A trial was held for three defendants. Two were acquitted on a bench trial, but the jury phase, for Buckley alone, resulted in a mistrial, due to juror misconduct. A motion to dismiss the charge against Buckley in the interests of justice was granted by the judge. Here is the judge's ruling.
The District Attorney, Frank Sedita Jr., son of a former mayor, is appealing the dismissal. He intends to prosecute, despite the judge's written opinion that a conviction would represent a miscarriage of justice.
Note that besides the existence of political trials, there are political not-trials; people "too big to jail".