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Conscience and the Constitution
Conspiracy Trial

For their own trial, the Fair Play Committee leaders got a better lawyer, and they asked for a trial by jury. They argued theirs was an act of civil disobedience in the best American tradition. But the jury still convicted them of conspiracy to counsel draft evasion; James Omura was acquitted on First Amendment freedom of the press. The leaders got two to four years each. Their attorney quickly appealed.

Documents and Video Get RealPlayer 
Grand jury indictment (May 10, 1944)
10 pages.
original original

Pre-trial Hearing (August 5, 1944)
Transcript, with testimony from Frank Emi and others. 43 pages.
original original

Order of judgment and sentence (November 2, 1944)
original original

Wyoming Tribune,"Nisei War Hero Hits Japanese-Americans Who Fight the Draft" (November 3, 1944)
Sgt. Ben Kuroki was not called to the stand, but he did give this statement to a local reporter before leaving Wyoming.
See Kuroki's reaction to his statement today.
original original
video video: 56k | DSL
JAMES OMURA on press reaction to his acquittal
(19 seconds)

"The Wyoming Eagle reporter was very close to me and when the verdict came down he says, 'I'm glad you were acquitted.' He says, 'If you were convicted I wouldn't know what freedom of the press really meant.'"

video video: 56k | DSL


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