Sit-In Cases Overload County Court

After the February 1st protests, explains why trying so many people is expensive, Chief Blake complains about policemen working overtime.

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Sit-In Cases Overload County Court - From The Chapel Hill Weekly A mountainous...
From The Chapel Hill Weekly A mountainous clerical job is adually developing around anti-segregation anti-segregation anti-segregation anti-segregation demonstrators due for trial in Orange Superior Ourt in Hillsboro. District Solicitor Thomas D-Cooper D-Cooper D-Cooper said he planned to hold special criminal terms of Superior Superior Court to try members of the Chapel Hill freedom movement movement arrested in sit-ins sit-ins sit-ins here during during the past five weeks and charged with trespassing and resisting resisting arrest. Cooper said he would start trying some demonstrators at the regular criminal term of Orange Superior Court, which opens February February 24. These first demonstrators to do tried are 17 who were involved in the sit-in sit-in sit-in at the Chapel HiD Merchants Association last July. Four of the Merchants Association Association demonstrators have already been convicted. One pleaded So, TT Cases guilty. Cooper said if he finished finished with the remaining 17, and enough time remained in the regular term of court (unlikely), he would start trying the other demonstrators arrested si n c e demonstrations started here December December 13. Those demonstrators came to trial in Chapel Hill Recorder's Court recently and requested jury trial in Hillsboro. The amount of clerical work and expenses in trying these demonstrators is unmatched in the annals of Orange County justice. justice. Since demonstrations started started last month, 152 demonstrators have accumulated 255 arrests as of last week (some were arrested several times, at different demonstrations.) demonstrations.) Only five of those 255 arrests involve one charge, trespassing. All the others resulted resulted in a dual charge: trespassing trespassing and resisting arrest. Because a grand jury must act on each charge, Cooper must Overload County draw up and present to the Orange Orange County grand jury 505 separate separate bills of indictment. When Cooper's two, possibly more, special terms of court are held, probably in March or April, there is a strong possibility that defense counsel for the demonstrators demonstrators will demand that each defendant be tried separately for each arrest. If he does, and if all defendants appear and are ready for trial, and none pleads guilty, there will be 225 trials. A jury must be chosen for each trial. These juries are chosen from one venire, if possible. A venire usually numbers about 70, and of these about 35 usually appear; appear; the others are either dead or out of the County. It is possible that considerable delay can occur in choosing the juries. The State is allowed four peremptory challenges of jurors; the defense,, six. Both sides are allowed unlimited challenges for cause. Two juries are usually operating at once, one out deliberating, deliberating, the other either being formed or hearing a case. The potential delay in choosing juries is one of Cooper's reasons for holding special terms of court. Another is . that Orange County holds only four criminal terms of Superior Court every year, and normal dockets keep these terms busy. Still another is the inconvenience to defendants defendants of having to wait for days in the Courthouse to be tried. Cooper said he did not want to have happen in the coming demonstrators demonstrators trials what occurred in December, when four demonstrators' demonstrators' cases were consolidated for simultaneous trial. Consolidation Consolidation gave the defense 24 peremptory peremptory challenges, six for each defendant, and when the original venire of jurors was exhausted by challenges, a new venire had to be called by the next day. Contacting the new jurors kept the Sheriff's Department up half the night. It is in these special terms of court that expenses appear. A juror is paid $6 per day in court plus mileage for one day only. Mileage from Chapel Hill to Hillsboro Hillsboro is $1.40. In addition to the regular jurors, 18 grand jurors must be called for every term. Grand jurors get the same pay as regular jurors. In addition to this, a court stenographer stenographer must be hired. Court stenographers cost about $120 a week. All told, the cost of a special criminal term of court is about $1,000. There are other less apparent expenses connected with the demonstration trials, some not calculable. For instance, Chapel Hill Police Chief W. D. Blake says that he expects every single one of his 24-man 24-man 24-man force, including including himself and excluding only the parking meter maintenance man, to be called to Hillsboro to be ready to testify at one time or another during the demonstration demonstration trials. Chief Blake said he would confer confer with Cooper to try to arrange for trials of demonstrators in such a way that policemen on the morning shift would be called to testify in the afternoon and vice versa. At the same time, Cooper is in the process of arranging special term dates convenient to both himself and to Chapel Hil attorney attorney John Manning, who has been retained as private prosecutor prosecutor in some of the demonstration cases. Chief Blake said that in 22 years as a policeman he had never experienced such mass arrests. arrests. He said he remembered one UNC-Duke UNC-Duke UNC-Duke football game at which 19 arrests were made, for public drunkenness or disorderly conduct, but that even that game was an unusually busy one for the police. Couir

Clipped from The Daily Tar Heel05 Feb 1964, WedPage 1

The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)05 Feb 1964, WedPage 1
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  • Sit-In Cases Overload County Court — After the February 1st protests, explains why trying so many people is expensive, Chief Blake complains about policemen working overtime.

    talidegroot – 25 Oct 2014

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