Thursday, December 27, 2007


Some of the major points in hearings before Judges Jordan and Bohning in Denver City and County Court:
  • The Columbus Day cases will be consolidated and four or six (the number has not been determined) defenders will appear before Judge Jordan on January 16. Judge Jordan seemed pretty adamant about it being four. Our attorneys will still have to negotiate with the city attorneys about which four, so the consolidated trial may not quite be a done deal. Assuming it is, other trial dates will be vacated.
  • The defense’s request for Internal Affairs documents was limited, and a request to subpoena communications between the Mayor’s office, Denver Police, and the Sheriff’s Office was denied by Judge Bohning, who said they were “not relevant.”
  • Motions citing violations of international law were denied and the violations were disallowed as a defense by Judge Bohning, although he termed them “interesting reading.” Judge Jordan said she would allow discussion of international law at trial.
  • The defense’s motion to use a Choice of Evils defense was declined for failure to meet the threshold test. (The motion argues that protesting the parade was a lesser evil than allowing a hate crime to be committed).
  • Defenders should be aware that while these motions were denied, there is nothing to prevent a defender from testifying at trial that she or he was motivated to oppose the parade by their understanding that the parade was a violation of international law, or that they felt they had to act as they did to prevent a greater evil. In any case, David Lane pointed the judges to a recent Supreme Court case, Holmes v. South Carolina, which he believes is precedent for allowing those defenses in any of the trials.
  • Speedy trial will not be waived for those in Courtroom 151P, but will be waived for those in 117M. Cases without waiver will have a status review January 25. Suppression hearings will be January 4.
  • A reminder: the next TCD meeting will be WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2, 6:30 PM, FOUR WINDS. The consolidated trial and these other issues will be discussed at that meeting.


Thursday, December 6, 2007


Press release December 6:


COLUMBUS DAY TRIALS BEGIN WITH MOTIONS HEARING. Motions to suppress evidence hearing set for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2007. 1:30 P.M., Courtroom 117M, City and County Building, Denver. Media are welcome to attend.

Attorneys for 83 Transform Columbus Day Alliance (TCDA) defendants will be challenging the probable cause to arrest Columbus Day protesters on October 6, 2007 at this year's Columbus Day parade. Police will be required to justify the reasons for arresting protesters and will be questioned about the use of excessive force that day. TCDA attorneys will assert that unnecessary and even illegal measures were employed by police in making arrests.

The TCDA legal team led by David Lane and Mark Brandes will vigorously examine police motives and testimony in the hearing. "We will not be surprised if several of the defendants in this case leave the courtroom with the charges against them dismissed. The city acted in a manner that disregarded the constitutional and human rights of lawful citizens."

This hearing begins a series of legal battles with the City of Denver, including challenging the constitutionality of the ordinances under which the defendants are charged. It is expected that Mayor John Hickenlooper and other high city officials will be subpoenaed in these cases.