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II AMII PM -1171603 December13-24 REFRESHMENTS LIVE MUSIC NIGHTLYHeduced admission Weekdays unt ii 7 Austin Opera House 200 ACADEMYAUSTI N,TEXAS 10 NOVEMBER 22, 1985 East Dallas Printing Company Full Service Union Printing 211 S. Peak Dallas, Tx 75226 and Associates 1117 West 5th Street Austin, Texas 78703 Representing all types of properties in Austin and Central Texas Interesting & unusual property a specialty. 477-3651 REALTOR \(“” “This is not a trial of free speech,” Averitte wrote. Judge Robinson did not act on the motions until minutes before the trial began. Miller had expected an opportunity to argue the point before testimony, but the judge simply handed him her order preventing any jury voir dire statement, questioning, testimony, or final argument that might involve a justification defense. “A defendant’s belief that the government-approved conduct violated some religious or moral code is not sufficient,” she wrote. “I felt stifled,” Miller said, “but I wasn’t surprised.” Judge Robinson usually allows each side in a criminal case to have some time to question the jury members personally about prejudices and other conflicts that could prevent fair and impartial jury service. She allowed none in the Miller case. Instead, the judge questioned potential jurors herself in an extensive voir dire. Showing how dependent the Panhandle’s economy is on the Pantex Plant, eleven of the 49 potential jurors said they had worked at Pantex or knew someone else who did. An eight-woman, four-man jury was picked. Miller did not participate by striking any names. “I really didn’t want to participate in the trial in a legal sense,” Miller explained later. “I wanted to speak my piece. I wouldn’t call it a martyr complex I have just a hyperactive conscience. I see the justice system as violent and unjust, and I feel really uncomfortable with a nice, polite facade that covers up that violence.” Meanwhile, in the gallery Assistant U.S. Marshall Ray McClendon kept a keen eye on the small group of supporters who had come from Iowa to watch the trial. Several local organizers also came, although they had distanced themselves from Miller during Hiroshima Day actions at the Pantex plant in August. Jenny Nelson, from Iowa, was expelled from the courtroom when she did not rise for the judge’s entrance. Nilson also objected to the fact that Judge Robinson’s bailiff reads the following prayer to begin each session: “God save these United States and this Honorable Court.” Nilson avoided future confrontations by standing outside the courtroom until the judge had already entered. The trial itself was anticlimactic. Miller was ordered to “be seated” when he began to explain his actions during opening statements. The prosecutors quickly presented their case in a trial that lasted only three hours. Miller declined to cross examine all but two of the witnesses. Miller asked Pantex Chief of Operations Gerald Johnson how many weapons are built and shipped from the facility each year. Johnson declined to answer, citing national security. Observers say Johnson’s earlier testimony that actually does carry nuclear weapons was perhaps the first time the government had admitted that fact in open court. Miller also asked Santa Fe trainmaster Bill Slaughter about “derails” on the railroad spur. Miller was trying to prove that the tracks have security crossbars on them that have to be removed by hand before a train can cross, and, therefore, no train would be approaching at full speed toward the section of track that Miller had dismantled. Trains would have been able to stop and none would have derailed. Slaughter confirmed that safety crossbars are used. In closing arguments, Miller was allowed to say, “The government is doing what I don’t want it to do by preparing for mass murder. To whatever extent I allow that to happen by silence or inaction, I am guilty of mass murder.” He asked jurors if they were willing to become “accomplices” to mass murder. Averitte argued that an “anarchy” of bombings and assassinations would result if people are allowed to break the law during political protest. The jury took ten minutes to return a verdict of guilty. On November 8, Judge Robinson sentenced Miller to four years in prison. Miller’s family and supporters had expected a 10 to 15 year sentence for Richard, considering his past protest record. In 1981, Miller trespassed on the White House lawn for a prayer vigil. In 1983, he defaced the Pentagon and blockaded the entrance. He also jumped headlong into a giant apple pie that Reagan supporters had placed on the Washington mall as a publicity stunt in support of the Reagan tax cuts. Miller and his friends got a good share of the publicity, instead, as they wore nametags of prominent Reagan supporters and scooped up as much of the pie for themselves as possible. Miller served 60 days in jail for the pie incident and six months for the Pentagon protest. Educated as a mathematician, Miller plans to spend his current four-year sentence working on prison education projects. Amarillo resident Les Breeding, who helped organize the Hiroshima Day sitin on the same railroad track spur that Miller had dismantled \(and publicly distanced the sit-in from Miller’s acdisobedience in the wake of Miller’s unexpectedly light sentence. “No social movement has happened without people going to jail,” Breeding said. “I think that’s going to be happening more and more, even here in Amarillo.”