RNC 8 to argue for consolidated trial

The group will hold a rally and press conference before their hearing Thursday.
October 07, 2009

The RNC 8 will argue in Ramsey County court Thursday that they should be tried together rather than individually, a move law experts say is unusual.
Max Specktor, a University of Minnesota student , and seven others each face multiple felony counts for allegedly plotting to violently disrupt the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul more than a year ago.
“We think it’s ridiculous that we would have to go to trial individually when they are charging us with things they say we did together,” Specktor said. “They are trying to skew it to their advantage even though they constantly portrayed us as a group of anarchists.”
Judge Teresa Warner will hear arguments but does not have to act on the motion immediately, Larry Leventhal, Specktor’s lawyer, said.
Dale Carpenter, a University of Minnesota law professor, said he’s surprised the group wants to be tried together.
Typically in conspiracy trials, the defendants request to be tried separately for fear that a jury, hearing incriminating evidence against one conspirator, might be inflamed against all the defendants, Carpenter said.
However, trying the RNC 8 together might preserve the group’s solidarity, he said.
“Otherwise the government may try to pick them off one by one,” he said.
Another consideration might be time and money, he said, adding that one trial will be considerably quicker and cheaper for the RNC 8.
Specktor isn’t currently enrolled in classes at the University but hopes to re-register in the spring, he said.
The hearing will take place in room 1040 of the Ramsey County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Thursday. It will follow a rally and press conference outside the courthouse.

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