He shook Randy's hand, shook
the hands of the defense team, and—as he always did—let
the jury in on his fear as if it were some secret. “I’ve been at this
forty years, and I never begin any case the way I feel right now. . . .
to myself, can I do what I need to do now? . . . I need to be the best
can be in the next two hours and thirty-five minutes.”
then he talked about the jury. Two jurors were in their seventies,
their sixties, and only one was younger than forty-three. Spence said
he didn’t offend them, but he guessed their average age was forty. “You
the most important jury that’s come along in a decade,” he said. “This
watershed case. . . a case kids in law school are going to read about.”
the trial, Judge Lodge had ruled that Spence had to remain in one
something the lawyer called “a spastic embrace” with the podium. Now
allowed to move around the courtroom and he ran like an unleashed dog.
walked over and knelt next to Randy, looking into his eyes. “Randy,
you what you’re guilty of. You’re guilty of being one stubborn mother.
guilty of being afraid.” He looked up the jury. “And aren’t we all
threw everything he could think of into his argument. This was no time
subtle. He accused the government of a cover-up and spun out new
was murdered because they thought she was a witness at the roadblock.
own men shot him. He told a story about a talking swan and another
about a boy
who crushes a bird. Federal agents were “the
a man stumbling around in a dark room, Spence’s argument was all over
until—as always—he found the switch and turned on the lights.
voice boomed through the courtroom. “Marshals aren’t supposed to shoot
boys in the back!” Sara shuddered. “A little boy whose voice hadn’t
changed!” Rachel sat up straight and squeezed her aunt’s hand. “This is
who has been the victim of a smear and had his wife and son killed. And
want him hurt anymore.
is a murder case,” Spence said. “But the people who committed the
not been charged, and the people who committed the murder are not here
Weaver was not a criminal,” Spence said. “He had no propensity to
crimes. This is a man who never even had a traffic accident, never even
traffic ticket. Never been charged with a crime of any kind and
want to talk to you about. . . punishment. Randy Weaver would willingly
the penitentiary for the rest of his life if he could have his boy
Weaver would go to the penitentiary for the rest of his life. . . if he
Vicki back. Hasn’t he been punished enough? Doesn’t this terror and
have to end sometime? Shouldn’t it end with you, and shouldn’t it end
having to compromise? Shouldn’t this jury have the courage to stand up
‘No, they overexercised their power.’ I ask you to do that.”
Walter's Ruby Ridge: The Truth
and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family (Harper, 1995), pp.