Day 2: Nuns Are People, Too


(Photo: Baylor.edu)

For the second day in a row, spectators were barred from the trial of four anti-war protesters in Hamilton County Municipal Court. With prospective jurors taking up all of the available seats in the courtroom, spectators were forced to stand in the hallway.

Jennifer Kinsley and Louis Sirkin, part of a team of five volunteer lawyers representing the protesters, told Judge David Stockdale that the defendants wanted the trial open to the public, as stipulated by the U.S. Constitution.

“People are guaranteed the right to a public trial,” Sirkin said.

“(Spectators) were excluded because the state fire marshal has put a limit on the number of people who can be in this room,” Stockdale said.

Nearly three hours later, at 3:45 p.m., seats became available and the first spectators were allowed to enter to watch the trial.

Jury selection again consumed the whole day’s agenda. At 5 p.m. a jury of five women and three men was seated. Two alternate jurors, a man and a woman, were also chosen.

Attorneys again quizzed prospective jurors about their views on the war in Iraq. But the questions were sometimes more personal, asking whether jurors’ jobs — one works for the IRS, for example — or their family situations might make it difficult for them to serve on the jury. Kinsley told one prospective juror that her client, Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen, is a nun, asking whether that would influence the juror’s ability to be impartial.

“They’re people, too,” the juror replied, leading to laughter on all sides.

Trial resumes at 1 p.m. Wednesday with opening arguments and the first witnesses. Because of a death in the judge’s family, court will not be held Thursday. That delay in turn means the trial could last into early next week, he said.

— Gregory Flannery

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2 Comments on “Day 2: Nuns Are People, Too”

  1. Marilyn Says:

    Nuns are people, indeed!

    As are the innocent Iraqi’s who have been slaughtered.

    I hope the local media (at the very least) pick up on this story… there was nothing on the local news at 5:00 or 6:00.

  2. Neal Watzman Says:

    I applaud the actions and motives of those on trial in this case in bringing the war in Iraq to the forefront as an issue.

    The local media may not have the time to cover this story in between their coverage of Anna Nicole Whatever, which crotch was last spotted, and the latest juicy crime. There’s no blood or sex (at least to be seen) in the trial, so don’t count on seeing it on television.


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