DEVITT: 2 November 5 November 1970: TILTON & TURCHICK, St. Paul
DEVITT: 17 November mistrial BENEKE, OLSON & SIMMONS, St. Paul
DEVITT: 30 November 3 December 1970 BENEKE, OLSON & SIMMONS, St. Paul
Judge Edward Devitt's two trials proceeded as most draft trials did. He disallowed any defenses, and any mention of the Vietnam War or other moral or political issues. He stated that the defendants were indicted on a breaking and entering charge, and that the issue of the war or any moral motivation was irrelevant and immaterial. In this respect, he was following the letter of the law. Beneke, Tilton, Olson, Simmons and Turchick, then,could only take the witness stand and make personal statements. Their trials were over in several days. Their appeals were as quickly judged and denied.
Devitt ruled with an iron hand. He had Federal Marshalls lining his courtroom. He threw out any supporters who spoke out or refused to stand when he entered the room. His was an intense, hate filled confrontation. If he could have had the 8 executed, he would have chosen that option. He stated, "You gentlemen are worse than the common criminal who attacks the taxpayers pocketbook. You strike at the foundation of government, itself."
Trial 3 - Judge Phillip Neville.