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Headscratchers / The Trial of the Chicago 7

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  • Why exactly did Bobby Seale not want to take Kustler as his lawyer? For that matter, why did Kustler not just take on Seale as his client when ordered by the judge?
    • Because by him being refused a lawyer and him being put on trial without it, he was being denied his rights and it should have been an immediate mistrial.
      • He was he being refused a lawyer? You have the right to a public defender if you don't have a lawyer, and the judge offered him a first-class lawyer. That's a better deal. It was Seale who refused the lawyer and that was his mistake. Why the judge didn't allow him to advocate for himself, I'm not sure (and not a legal expert)
        • But he did have a lawyer on record already though, and thus was not eligible to receive a public defender. His lawyer was not able to appear at the trial due to a legitimate medical emergency(gallbladder surgery) and 99% of the time this would allow for a motion to postpone the trial, but Judge Hoffman refused the motion. The court knowingly began the trial when Seale's attorney of record was unable to represent him due to a legitimate medical emergency, effectively denying him legal representation which is a clear violation of his right to due process and should have been grounds for a mistrial from the start, and easily would've gotten his conviction thrown out on appeal.
      • Lawyers have to know what the client's alibi is before defending them in a court of law, in order to help in any meaningful sense. Even the greatest lawyers have to know what is going on before building a case. Bobby either had to get his original lawyer, or trust in someone who he has never met to defend him without any knowledge on the case.
    • He was also making a point about how he had no connection whatsoever to the other seven defendants. By accepting Kustler as his lawyer he would have been tacitly accepting the connection to the other seven that was effectively being pushed on him.

  • Why was Daphne O'Connor in the final scene? Her testimony was over. Also, why was she called upon to testify if Jerry Rubin did turn the crowd around and keep things peaceful at her urging? The defense would have known she had nothing that could entrap the witnesses.
    • She had nothing preventing her from being in the audience on her own volition to witness the sentencing, since it was hinted that she was actually sympathetic to the Chicago 7, but her presence was likely artistic license and she wasn't there when it actually happened. As for her testimony, she would have been obligated to appear as a witness likely regardless of her being helpful or harmful to either defense or prosecution since she was literally there.

  • Why was Abby among the group of people who bailed Tom out?