Sinclair Going to Trial


Fifth Estate # 80, May 29-June 11, 1969

Web archive note: This article is untitled in the print original.

In a lightning-fast surprise maneuver the Detroit courts have moved to bring John Sinclair to trial on his famous marijuana charge next Tuesday, June 3rd, in Recorder’s Court. This latest in a series of repressive police/court actions against Sinclair is also the most serious: the pigs have sworn to convict him on a charge the minimum sentence for which is 20 years in the state penitentiary, maximum: life.

Sinclair is charged with allegedly giving two joints to undercover hog Vahan (Louie) Kapegian on December 26, 1966. He was originally charged on a sales warrant January 24th, 1967, when he was arrested at the Artists’ Workshop in a “campus dope raid” that saw 55 other neighborhood brothers and sisters in one night in a sinister attempt to break up the burgeoning Warren-Forest community.

The trial has been delayed for a year pending a ruling by the State Court of Appeals on Sinclair’s motion to dismiss the charges based on the unconstitutionality of the state’s marijuana laws. A 3-judge panel headed by George Crockett denied the motion on the Recorder’s Court level, and the State Courts found against Sinclair last week.

The Fifth Estate calls on all our readers to support this brother in his struggle against the fascist pig goons of the Detroit Narcotics Squad. His fight is our fight, and we can show our support by turning out at the courtroom every day of the trial, starting at 9 a.m. on June 3rd. Be there!