Judge issues second Order to protect jury from influence by protesters.
The Judge in the trial of Rasmieh (Rasmea) Odeh has issued a second order addressing protests at the courthouse which may be part of attempts to influence the jury, Supplemental Order Regarding Public Conduct (full embed at bottom of post):
It has come to the attention of the Court that leaflets prepared by Defendant’s supporters were passed out to individuals entering the courthouse prior to the hearing on October 28, 2014. Of course, contact with the jurors or prospective jurors is strictly prohibited. See Dkt. No. 110.
Moreover, this Court has explicitly stated that no one shall “attempt in any way to influence or intimidate any juror or prospective juror through any means, including … carrying any clothing, buttons or other items in the Courthouse that may be clearly visible to the jury that carry any message or symbol addressing the issues related to this case.” ld. at 2.
As such, passing out literature of the type passed out on October 28, 2014 to individuals entering the courthouse is STRICTLY PROHIBITED on November 4, 2014, since Defendant’s supporters have no means of knowing whether an individual entering the courthouse on that day is a prospective juror for the trial in this matter.
Odeh is charged with lying on her naturalization application by failing to disclose she had been convicted in an Israeli military court in the late 1960s of planting a bomb in a supermarket on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Odeh claimed she was tortured into confessing, but there is evidence apart from her confession of her involvement in the bombing in question. The issue seems to be whether she planted the bomb (for which she was convicted) or only was involved in planning the bombing.
Judge Drain may not be fully aware that, despite his multiple Orders to protect the jury from influence, there is a national effort by a variety of groups to organize street protests and to pack the courtroom. While these activities in themselves may not violate his Orders, there has been some suggestion that the activities are for the purpose of influencing the trial.
The Rasmea Defense Committee has opened a Detroit office for the specific purpose of mobilizing:
The Rasmea Defense Committee office opened near Detroit Oct. 23. Located in the Beit Hanini Outreach Community Center, at 4045 Maple Street, the office will serve as center for mobilizing for Rasmea Odeh’s Nov. 4 trial.
The group Stop FBI Repression also is involved:
A major mobilization Is underway to pack the courtroom during Odeh’s Nov. 4 trial. “People from around the country will be coming to Detroit to support Rasmea. We will stand with her at her trial and demand Justice,” stated Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.
The U.S. Palestinian Community Network is organizing buses from Chicago.
The Defense Committee released a Statement and call to action in response to Judge Drain’s substantive legal rulings which eliminated may of Odeh’s defenses (via Workers World), which reads in part (emphasis added):
Determined and collective action by those of us who yearn for justice, and civil and human rights, is imperative. We must fill the streets around the courthouse in Detroit, pack the courtroom during the trial and organize demonstrations around the country. If there is to be a measure of justice in this case, we are the ones who must provide it.
That is the type of verbiage that caused Judge Drain, at the prosecution’s request, to issue a previous Order restricting protesters and providing for the jury to gather off site and be transported to the courthouse.
There is every reason to expect disruptions of the trial, in some form, whether inside or outside the courtroom.
In this audio, Odeh’s attorneys give her side of the story:
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