News Four Looks At The Jury In The Aryan Nations Trial
By: Erich R. Ebel
For the first time, we hear from a woman who helped decide the civil case.
News Four took an in-depth look at the jury.
For the first time, we hear from a woman who helped decide the civil case. The jurors felt the pressure and tension as the entire nation waited for a verdict. "And I had no idea what was going on. I didn't know it involved the Aryan Nations when I went in there. I parked my car, walked through wondering what was all the tape and cops around for." Juror Judy soon found out what was behind all the commotion. But as she told Dave Spozito on News Radio 920, she's now very much aware of the tensions surrounding the Aryan trial. "As you know in this kind of a case, only nine of the jurors out of 12 had to vote guilty or whatever, and there were three of us who didn't believe Mr. Butler was guilty."
Dave Spozito: "So at what point did you have the 9--3 vote? Was that the first day? Was that within an hour or two?"
Judy: "That was within probably the first 15 minutes"
But deliberations lasted another full day. It was a frustrating one for Judy. "That's why it took so long. I mean we argued, we fought. Some of us stormed out of the room, some of us went to the bathroom and cried. Of the three of us, it was very frustrating because we thought, 'Why are you even asking us? We have no opinion. We're just three people, and there's nine of you.'" Judy says based on the evidence, she didn't feel Butler was responsible for the actions of the three guards. "Things just didn't add up to me, to make it seem like Mr. Butler condoned this action from anybody living on his property."
The decision against Butler drew national attention. Today, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Morris Dees, was a guest on ABC's Good Morning America. One of the things he mentioned was a deal for Richard Butler. "His assets, his compound will be seized shortly by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit."
"So, $6 million assures that all of his assets will be seized?"
"I think so. They have a 20-acre compound in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The compound probably has $1-$1.5 million worth of memorabilia collected that people would be interested in getting as well as the organization's activities in some 18 states I hope will be curtailed."
"You said yesterday that you had a proposal to make to Richard Butler. What's that?"
"Well, he could simplify things if he simply just turned the deed to the Aryan Nation headquarters, which he has in a dummy corporation, over to our clients, that he cease operating the Aryan Nations and move out of the State of Idaho. He may or may not want to do that."
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