The Trial Continues:
"The People' v. Dan Steiger" - East Hampton Justice Court Tuesday June 19 (jury selection) and Thursday June 21 (trial).
The court is in the East Hampton Town offices on Route 27 east of the windmill.
Dan Steiger of Sag Harbor was arrested while protesting the Iraq war on Main Street of East Hampton Village on April 15, 2006. Charges are Disorderly Conduct (2 counts) and Resisting Arrest (1 count). Mr. Steiger pleaded Not Guilty to these criminal charges and so a jury trial was in order.
Other protesters arrested the same day were charged with misdemeanors and their cases have yet to come to trial.
On Tuesday April 10 there were more people present (35) in support of the defendant Dan Steiger than there were prospective jurors (21). The attorneys for the defense (Joseph Gianinni and James Henry) and the prosecution (Assistant Suffolk DA John Halverson) rejected all potential jurors except two. Six jurors are required. At least one prospective juror said she thought that 'as long as the troops were in Iraq' it was improper to protest their being there.
Others said they had friends in the police and would believe whatever law enforcement testified to. The first group of 9 juror candidates were all opposed to the war.
The trial was re-scheduled by Justice Catherine Cahill for June 19 when the whole process starts again. If a jury is assembled on the 19th, the trial will be held Thursday June 21.
Of course this trial is not about the war. It is about our First Ammendment rights of free speech and assembly.