By the beginning of November 1994, the trial proposed by echo regulars Dan Ceppa and Preston Simpson moved out of the discussion stage and into the beginnings of implementation and action.
With Coridon Henshaw offering to serve as judge for the case, Judith Bandsma volunteering to serve as chief prosecutor alongside Preston, and - after several calls for religious participants to serve as defense went unheeded - Robert Curry volunteering to serve in that capacity, the trial was about to get underway.
Although this was to be a jury trial, the first idea was to have a jury of "peers" chosen from various pantheons of gods, goddesses and assorted deities to decide the guilt or innocence of the god being charged, namely, "God, aka Yahweh, aka Jehovah."
That idea was scrapped in favor of having the jury pool consist of regular and semi-regular HolySmoke echo participants.
"I don't think you can get twelve unbiased jurors from the pool of candidates you've got," remarked Marilyn Burge. (09 Nov 94 14:42)
A work-around that would minimize biases, or at least balance them somewhat, was chosen whereby the jury would be composed of six people whom the prosecution and defense found least objectionable from lists proposed by the each side alternately. See the following post entitled "Jury Synopsis" for a history of that process.
The person posting as Dr. James Robertson was summoned as a witness for the prosecution. (28 Nov 94 16:20)
Matt Giwer motioned the court to recognize that legal interests of his client are intrinsically involved in this case: "I would move, on behalf of His Infernal Majesty, that no article of indictment reflect upon the character or reputation of my client. Amicus Curiae brief on his behalf will be submitted upon request." (17 Dec 94 17:45)
Officers of the virtual court: Presiding Judge - Coridon Henshaw, 1:250/820 Court Clerk - Dan Ceppa, 1:350/401 Bailiff - David Worrell, 1:3615/81 Assistant Bailiff - Audra Richards, 1:222/290 Chief Prosecutor - Judith Bandsma, 1:372/911 Assisting - Preston Simpson, 1:123/318 God's Advocate - Robert Curry, 1:3603/210.2 Associate Counsel - John Prewett, 1:355/2.1012 Second Associate - Jim Staal (tentative) Other interested parties: Satan's Attorney - Matt Giwer, 1:3603/141 Special Vendor - J.J. Hitt, 1:106/9788.2 "I was hoping to sell little toy effegies of the defendant, along with tiny plastic gallows and electric chairs (batteries not included)." (18 Nov 94 12:45) The prosecution and defense arranged to enpanel a jury by means of alternately submitting lists of names from which the _other_ side would select those deemed (for the purposes of this trial) the least objectionable. Here is a history of that process. ------ Round 1, Prosecution's List ----------------------- Selected: Blanche Nonken Stricken: Scot Bear Karen Davis Gwenny the Pooh Quentin Fai Marty Leipzig Steve Quarrella Neither: Garrett Banse Amy Anderson-Coffin Astara Miremdell Kelsey Bjarnason ------ Round 1, Defense's List --------------------------- Selected: James Bolick Stricken: Charlie Cowan Glen Davis Ken Wiens Mike Staab Dave Oosterman John Prewett Neither: Michael Hardy John Jeanneault Jesse Jones John Brawley (later excused) ------ Round 2, Prosecution's List ----------------------- Selected: Brian Kolacy Aaron Boyden Stricken: Eddie Benson Don Martin Glen Todd Chris Ferree ------ Round 2, Defense's List --------------------------- Selected: Phil Morrison Johnny McKinney Stricken: Jesse Jones Terry Carney Kenneth McAbee Neither: Michael Hardy John Jeanneault ------ Round 3, Prosecution's List (alternates) ---------- Selected: Astara Miremdell Garrett Banse Not selected: Kelsey Bjarnason Amy Anderson-Coffin ------ Round 3, Defense's List (alternates) -------------- Selected: Michael Hardy Hector Plasmic Not selected: Marguerite Kendall Ralph Jansen RESULT. The following list is the jury to be empanelled as per agreement of both prosecution and defense. Jurors Alternates 1. Blanche Nonken 1. Astara Miremdell 2. James Bolick 2. Michael Hardy 3. Brian Kolacy 3. Garrett Banse 4. Aaron Boyden 4. Hector Plasmic 5. Johnny McKinney 6. Phil Morrison