THE COURT: I now proceed with the imposition of sentence.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, we were not informed on Wednesday that sentence would occur today.
THE COURT: There is no obligation of a Court to notify you of every step it takes.
MR. KUNSTLER: Well, it is wrong, your Honor, both morally and I think legally.
THE COURT: If you are telling me I am morally wrong in this case, you might add to your difficulty. Be careful of your language, sir. I know you don't frighten very easily.
MR. KUNSTLER: The defendants had no way of knowing they are going to be sentenced today. Their families are not even present, which would seem to me in common decency would be permitted.
THE COURT: The reason they were kept out is my life was threatened by one of the members of the family. I was told they would dance on my grave in one of the hearings here within the last week.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, are you serious?
THE COURT: Yes, I am, sir.
MR. KUNSTLER: Well, your Honor, I have no answer for that then.
THE COURT: I am not a law enforcement officer.
MR. KUNSTLER: It is your life.
THE COURT: I deny your motion to defer sentencing.
MR. KUNSTLER: I think my other applications, your Honor, can await sentencing. I have several other applications.
THE COURT: All right, I will hear from you first then with respect to the defendant David T. Dellinger.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, I think for all of the defendants, Mr. Weinglass and I are going to make no statement. The defendants will speak for themselves.
THE COURT: All right, Mr. Dellinger, you have the right to speak in your own behalf.
MR. DELLINGER: I would like to make four brief points.
First, I think that every judge should be required to spend time in prison before sentencing other people there so that he might become aware of the degrading antihuman conditions that persist not only in Cook County Jail but in the prisons generally of this country.
I feel more compassion for you, sit, than I do any hostility. I feel that you are a man who has had too much power over the lives of too many people for too many years. You are doing, and undoubtedly feeling correct and righteous, as often happens when people do the most abominable things. . . .
My second point is whatever happens to us, however unjustified, will be slight compared to what has happened already to the Vietnamese people, to the black people in this country, to the criminals with whom we are now spending our days in the Cook County jail.
I must have already lived longer than the normal life expectancy of a black person born when I was born, or born now. I must have already lived longer, twenty years longer, than the normal life expectancy in the underdeveloped countries which this country is trying to profiteer from and keep under its domain and control.
Thirdly, I want to say that sending us to prison, any punishment the Government can impose upon us, will not solve the problem of this country rampant racism, will not solve the problem of economic injustice, it will not solve the problem of the foreign policy and the attacks upon the underdeveloped people of the world.
The Government has misread the times in which we live, just like there was a time when it was possible to keep young people, women, black people, Mexican-American, anti-war people, people who believe in truth and justice and really believe in democracy, which it is going to be possible to keep them quiet or suppress them.
Finally, all the way through this I have been ambivalent in my attitude toward you because there is something spunky about you that one has to admire, however misguided and intolerant I believe you are. All the way through the trial, sort of without consciousness or almost against my own will I keep comparing you to George III of England, perhaps because you are trying to hold back the tide of history although you will not succeed, perhaps because you are trying to stem and forestall a second American revolution. . . .
I only wish that we were all not just more eloquent, I wish we were smarter, more dedicated, more united. I wish we could work together. I wish we could reach out to the Forans and the Schultzes and the Hoffmans, and convince them of the necessity of this revolution.
I think I shall sleep better and happier with a greater sense of fulfillment in whatever jails I am in for the next however many years than if I had compromised, if I had pretended the problems were any less real than they are, or if I had sat here passively in the courthouse while justice was being throttled and the truth was being denied. . . .
THE COURT: Mr. Davis, would you like to speak in your own behalf? You have that right.
MR. DAVIS: I do not think that it is a time to appeal
to you or to appeal the system that is about to put me away. I think
that what moves a government that increasingly is controlled by a police
mentality is action. It is not a time for words; it is a time that
And since I did not get a jury of my peers, I look to the jury that is in the streets. My jury will be in the streets tomorrow all across the country and the verdict from my jury will keep coming for the next long five years that you are about to give me in prison.
When I come out of prison it will be to move next door to Tom Foran. I am going to be the boy next door to Tom Foran and the boy next door, the boy that could have been a judge, could have been a prosecutor, could have been a college professor, is going to move next door to organize his kids into the revolution. We are going to turn the sons and daughters of the ruling class in this country into Viet Cong.
THE COURT: Mr. Hayden, you have the right to speak in your own behalf.
MR. HAYDEN: I have very little that I want to say
because I don't have very much respect for this kind of freedom of speech.
This is the kind of freedom of speech that I think the Government
now wants to restrict us to, freedom to speak in empty rooms in front of
prosecutors, a few feet from your jail cell.
We have known all along what the intent of the Government has been. We knew that before we set foot in the streets of Chicago. We knew that before we set foot on the streets of Chicago. We knew that before the famous events of August 28, 1968. If those events didn't happen, the Government would have had to invent them as I think it did for much of its evidence in this case, but because they were bound to put us away.
They have failed. Oh, they are going to get rid of us, but they made us in the first place. We would hardly be notorious characters if they had left us alone in the streets of Chicago last year, but instead we became the architects, the masterminds, and the geniuses of a conspiracy to overthrow the government. We were invented. We were chosen by the Government to serve as scape goats for all that they wanted to prevent happening in the 1970s.
I have sat there in the Cook County Jail with people who can't make bond, with people who have bum raps, with people who are nowhere, people who are the nothings of society, people who say to me, "You guys burned your draft cards. I would like to burn my birth certificate so they can never find me again."
I sit there and watch television, and I hear Mr. Foran say the system works. this trial proves the system works.
Mr. Foran, I would love to see a television cameraman come into Cook County jail and show the people how the system is working. Maybe you could televise us sitting around the table with the roaches running over our wrists while we watch somebody on television, a constitutional expert explaining how the jury verdict demonstrates once again the vitality of the American system of justice.
If you didn't want to make us martyrs, why did you do it? If you wanted to keep it cool, why didn't you give us a permit? You know if you had given us a permit, you know that by doing this to us it speed sup the end for the people who do it to us.
And you know that if this prosecution had never been undertaken, it would have been better for those in power. It would have left them in power a little longer. You know that by doing this to us it speeds up the end for the people who do it to us.
You don't believe it but we have to do this. We have no choice. We had no choice in Chicago. We had no choice in this trial. The people always do what they have to do. Every person who is born now and every person under thirty now feels an imperative to do the kind of things that we are doing. They may not act on them immediately, but they feel the same imperative from the streets. Some day they are going to proclaim the that imperative from the bench and from the courthouse. It's only a matter of time. You can give us time. You are going to give us time. But it is only a matter of time.
THE COURT: Mr. Hoffman, the law gives you the right to speak in your own behalf. I will hear from you if you have anything to say.
MR. HOFFMAN: Thank you.
I feel like I have spent fifteen years watching John Daly shows about history. You Are There. It is sort of like taking LSD, which I recommend to you, Judge. I know a good dealer in Florida. I could fix you up.
Mr. Foran says that we are evil men, and I suppose that is sort of a compliment. He says that we are unpatriotic? I don't know, that has kind of a jingoistic ring. I suppose I am not patriotic.
But he says we are un-American. I don't feel un-American. I feel very American. I said it is not that the Yippies hate America. It is that they feel that the American Dream has been betrayed. That has been my attitude.
I know those guys on the wall. I know them better than you, I feel. I know Adams. I mean, I know all the Adams. They grew up twenty miles from my home in Massachusetts. I played with Sam Adams on the Concord Bridge. I was there when Paul Revere rode right up on his motorcycle and said, "The pigs are coming, the pigs are coming. Right into Lexington." I was there. I know the Adams. Sam Adams was an evil man.
Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson called for a revolution every ten years. Thomas Jefferson had an agrarian reform program that made Mao Tse Tung look like a liberal. I know Thomas Jefferson.
Hamilton: Well, I didn't dig the Federalists. Maybe he deserved to have his brains blown out.
Washington? Washington grew pot. He called it hemp. It was called hemp them. He probably was a pot head.
Abraham Lincoln? There is another one. In 1861 Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural address said, and I quote "When the people shall grow weary of their constitutional right to amend the government, they shall exert their revolutionary right to dismember and overthrow that government."
If Abraham Lincoln had given that speech in Lincoln Park, he would be on trial right here in this courtroom, because that is an inciteful speech. That is a speech intended to create a riot.
I don't even know what a riot is. I thought a riot was fun. Riot means you laugh, ha, ha. That is a riot. they call it a riot.
I didn't want to be that serious. I was supposed to be funny. I tried to be, I mean, but it was sad last night. I am not made to be a martyr. I tried to sign up a few years, but I went down there. They ran out of nails. What was I going to do? So I ended up being funny.
It wasn't funny last night sitting in a prison cell, a 5 x 8 room, with not light in the room. I could have written a whole book last night. Nothing. No light in the room. Bedbugs all over. They bite. I haven't eaten in six days. I'm not on a hunger strike; you can call it that. It's just that the food stinks and I can't take it.
Well, we said it was like Alice in Wonderland coming in, now I feel like Alice in 1984, because I have lived through the winter of injustice in this trial.
And it's fitting that if you went to the South and fought for voter registration and got arrested and beaten eleven or twelve times on those dusty roads for no bread, it's only fitting that you be arrested and tried under the civil rights act. That's the way it works.
Just want to say one more thing.
People-- I guess that is what we are charged with-- when they decide to go from one state of mind to another state of mind, when they decide to fly that route, I hope they go youth fare no matter what their age.
I will see you in Florida, Julie.
THE COURT: The next defendant, Mr. Rubin, do you desire to speak in your own behalf? You have that privilege.
MR. RUBIN: Well, five months are over. Look
at the courtroom, fluorescent lighting. We sat for five months in
swivel chairs. The press, the marshals, the judge, now it is over.
This is one of the proudest moments of my life. This one of the happiest moments of my life, if you can dig what I mean. I am happy because I am in touch with myself, because I know who I am. I am happy because I am associated with Rennie, Tom, Dave, Abby and myself. That makes me very happy.
This is my life. I used to look like this. I use to look like this, Judge. See? (displaying picture)
I was a reporter for a newspaper. Most everybody around this table once looked like this, and we all believed in the American system, believed in the court system, believed in the election system, believed that the country had some things wrong with it, and we tried to change it.
I'm being sentenced to five years not for what I did in Chicago-- I did nothing in Chicago. I am going to jail because I am part of a historical movement and because of my life, the things I am trying to do, because, as Abbie said, we don't want to be-- we don't want to have a piece of the pie.
We don't just want to be part of the American way of life. We don't want to live in the suburbs. We don't want to have college degrees. We don't want to stand before the judge and say, "Yes, we respect you judge, no matter what happens." We don't want that. We are moved by something else. We are moved by a firm belief in ourselves.
And you are sentencing us for being ourselves. That's our crime: being ourselves. Because we don't look like this anymore. That's our crime/
Judge, I want to give you a copy of my book. I want you to read it on your vacation in Florida, because this is why I am on trial. I inscribed it. I made two little inscriptions. One says, "Dear Julius, the demonstrations in Chicago in 1968 were the first steps in the revolution. What happened in the courtroom is the second step." Then I decided to add another note, and that was: "Julius, You radicalized more young people than we ever could. You're the country's top Yippie." I hope you will take it and read it.
What you are doing out there is creating millions of revolutionaries. Julius Hoffman, you have done more to destroy the court system in this country than any of us could have done. All we did was go to Chicago and the police system exposed itself as totalitarian.
And I am glad we exposed the court system because in millions of courthouses across this country blacks are being shuttled from the streets to the jails and nobody knows about it. They are forgotten men. There ain't a whole corps of press people sitting and watching. They don't care. You see what we have done is, we have exposed that. Maybe now people will be interested in what happens in the courthouse down the street because of what happened here. Maybe now people will be interested.
This is the happiest moment of my law.
THE DEFENDANTS: Right on.
THE COURT: I call on the Government to reply to the remarks of the defendants and each of them.
MR. FORAN: The Government has no comment on their remarks, your Honor, I think the evidence in this case speaks for itself/
THE COURT: Mr. Clerk, the defendant David T. Dellinger
will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United
States or his authorized representative for imprisonment for a term of
five years. Further, the defendant Dellinger will be fined the sum
of $5,000 and costs of prosecution, the defendant to stand committed until
the fine and costs have been paid. That sentence of five years will
be concurrent with the sentence the court imposed for contempt of court
previously. The two sentences will run concurrently.
Mr. Clerk, the defendant Rennard C. Davis will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the Untied States for a term of five years. Further a fine of-- a fine will be imposed against Mr. Davis in the sum of $5,000 and costs of prosecution.
The defendant Thomas C. Hayden will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States for a term of five years. Further a fine of $5,000 and costs of prosecution will be imposed.
The defendant Abbott H. Hoffman will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States for imprisonment for a term of five years. Further a fine of $5,000 and costs--
MR. HOFFMAN: Five thousand dollars, Judge? Could you make that three-fifty?
THE COURT: --$5,000 and--
MR. HOFFMAN: How about three and a half?
THE COURT: --and costs will be imposed, costs of prosecution
will be imposed.
The defendant Jerry C. Rubin will be committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States for a term of five years. Further there will be a fine of $5,000 and cost of prosecution will be imposed.
Not only on the record in this case, covering a period of four months or longer, but from the defendants made here today, the Court finds that the defendants are clearly dangerous persons to be at large. Therefore the commitments here will be without bail.
THE COURT: Does the defense have any observations?
MR. KUNSTLER: In conclusion, your Honor, speaking
both for Mr. Weinglass and myself, we didn't need to hear our clients speak
today to understand how much they meant to us but, after listening to them
a few moments ago we know that what they have said here has more meaning
and will be longer remembered than any words said by us or by you.
We feel that if you could even begin to understand that simple fact, then their triumph would have been as overwhelming today as is our belief--
MR. KUNSTLER: --as inevitable--
THE COURT: I gave you an opportunity to speak at the very beginning. You said counsel did not desire to speak.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, couldn't I say my last words without you cutting me off?
THE COURT: You said you didn't want to speak.
MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, I just said a moment ago we had a concluding remark. Your Honor has succeeded perhaps, in sullying it, and I think maybe that is the way the case should end, as it began.
ABBIE HOFFMAN: We love our lawyers.
THE COURT: Mr. Marshal, the court will be in recess.
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