INDIAN DETAIL: FROM ‘PRO BONO’ TO ‘PRO SE’

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MNN. May 16, 2015. “Pro bono” are free lawyers. “Pro se” are those who represent themselves. The “INDIAN Detail” military attack on Rotinoshonni at Onondaga was eighteen years ago. The “pro bono” lawyers had a winning case. Instead they decided to negotiate a financial settlement to drop the charges. 16 victims out of 100 refused to take the money and wanted a trial. Judge Wylie Dancks allowed the lawyers to drop them as clients, “I let the lawyers drop those victims who refused to take New York State’s money because I follow the law”?? “Remember”, said the judge, “this is a really big case!”

NYS military/troopers on trial in Syracuse.

NYS troopers on trial in Syracuse.

On May 15th, 2015, only one “pro se” victim was invited to the private Syracuse court discussion on the forthcoming trial. The judge suggested this plaintiff not attend and would phone if something important came up. Only the lawyers for all parties would have been there to make decisions. The other lawyer-less plaintiffs heard rumors on Facebook and showed up. Throughout the judge reminded the victims that the money is there and the charges can still be dropped.

One “pro se” reiterated, “I want to talk about how my nation was attacked by a foreign entity, my father was murdered and my ceremony was trampled upon”.

The “pro se” group asked many questions. The judge laid out the rules of the game: “Look at my direction of April 4”, “You’ll have to read everything in those boxes of disclosures”. “Where’s the statement about Ronald Jones and his wife” [he was murdered shortly after the attack and his wife died]. “Why didn’t one victim not make a deposition” [she’s almost 100 years old, doesn’t speak English and can’t travel!], so the judge let her off. She ordered another lawyer to send more stuff like copies of all the videos of the attack. There’s a truckload on the two cases that NYS Troopers already lost. One “pro se” said, “You sent me disks and I don’t have a computer”. Wylie Dancks suggested, “Go to the library and use their computer”. The former “pro bono” lawyers have copies and transcripts, which the victims have to pay for. Now another box of stuff is being sent to each “pro se”.

The judge ordered, “I will not have Mohawk spoken in my court room!”. One plaintiff asked, “Who were the people responsible for what happened to us?” The judge said, “Read docket #149!”

'I firmly believe in the right to a speedy trial.'The judge continued: “By September 11th we’ll do this; by September 25 we’ll do that; we’ll make more discoveries; October 3 we’ll have some more motions; on Nov. 6th other documents can be added; after that we can talk to each other by phone or in court; by New years eve we could have a summary dismissal [she hopes]. Otherwise, jury trial starts in 2016 [which will go on for a year], unless something ‘extraordinary comes up’, [like we might be so hopelessly confused we’ll drop the charges.] The victims of the INDIAN DETAIL were treated to “American exceptionalism”. [RONALD JONES VS. NY STATE 98-CV-374

Buffy Sainte Marie has this to say about corruption: “I got a man in the business line. He power hungry. He’s a money mine”.

[Fallen Angel].

MNN Mohawk Nation News kahentinetha@mohawknationnews.com more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go to www.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0Lthahoketoteh@mohawknationnews.com for original Mohawk music visit thahoketoteh.ws

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