The trial of American political prisoner Edgar Steele, charged with possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, use of interstate commerce to commission murder for hire, use of explosive material to commit a federal felony, and tampering with a victim, began in Boise, Idaho on Tuesday April 26th 2011 with jury selection. A pool of 65 potential jurors was called to the federal courthouse in Boise this morning; twelve primary jurors and two alternates would be selected. Although court was scheduled until 5 p.m. today, trial for the rest of the week is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. MDT. Steele faces at 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge - possession of a destructive device.
-- FreeEdgarSteele.com; blog entry HERE.
-- "Edgar Steele charged in murder-for-hire plot", Vanguard News Network Forum (discussion of the trial itself begins on page 73)
-- "Help Free Ed Steele", Stormfront (discussion of the trial itself begins on page 16)
-- "Edgar J. Steele accused of murder-for-hire by previous govt. informant", White News Now
Media Story References:
-- "Jury selection begins in Edgar Steele trial", Spokane Spokesman-Review, April 26th 2011
-- "13 women, 1 man to hear Steele case", Spokane Spokesman-Review, April 26th 2011
-- "Jury picked for Steele trial", Coeur d'Alene Press, Pril 27th 2011
-- "Jury selected in Idaho murder-for-hire trial", Idaho Statesman, April 26th 2011 (AP story)
-- Four Boise-area TV stations also posted reports, but all are regurgitations of various parts of the AP story, and add nothing of additional significance.
The jury selection was completed today; 14 jurors were selected, 13 women and one man. Potential jurors were quizzed on their feelings about lawyers, their experiences with the federal government and their interest in subjects ranging from explosives to popular crime television shows. Most notably, all jurors were asked if they were affiliated with groups that either advocated “racial or ethnic superiority” or opposed it; only one said yes - a woman who said her daughter served as the youth representative for the Ada County Human Rights Commission. She was not stricken because of that. Among those excused were a forensic psychologist, a former law enforcement officer for the Department of Transportation and a woman who said she was upset over the way federal agencies have handled land use issues in the West. Interesting observation by Leonard Rouse on VNN Forum; he thinks selecting so many women for the jury could backfire against the prosecution, because if Cyndi Steele continues to stand by her man, it will put the prosecution in the position of having to risk denigrating Mrs. Steele to a bunch of other women. Oops.
Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin on Wednesday April 27th. Cyndi Steele speculates that FBI Agent Sotka [present when Mr. Steele was arrested June 11th, 2010] and Federal informant Larry Fairfax will be among the witnesses testifying. She believes the prosecution will call her to testify as early as Thursday April 28th.
An interesting comment about the tapes was posted to the Spokesman-Review:
DoesntMakeSense on April 26 at 10:43 a.m.
The defense hired audio experts who have revealed that the prosecution tapes were manufactured, but the Judge won’t allow their testimony. The experts have produced charts showing 351 electronic transients that occur where splices have been made. The two tapes of June 9 and June 10 contain about 30 and 40 minutes of audio, and there are all sorts of discontinuities and changes of background noise and changes of subject in these tapes, and the electronic transients that the experts found always occur at the beginning and ending of these dubs.
If the Judge had shown fairness, he would have allowed the defense experts to display these electronic graphs to the jury, and would allow the prosecution to attempt to rebut them. But the government wants to silence Edgar Steele, and what we have is a farce, a kangaroo court. We need to put in jail those who manufactured these phony tapes.