Synopsis of the HOLYSMOKE Trial of God

Robert Curry

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