Trials for the Quitman 10+2 have finally started. George Boston Rhynes is covering them every day on YouTube.
The only other reporter George has seen there was one from the Valdosta Daily Times. George is waving a copy of the VDT here as he discusses what the case is about: the Quitman 10 registered enough voters that several black people got elected to the school board in Brooks County for the first time ever.
Front page of the VDT yesterday, Quitman 11 trial gets under way, with no byline and no pictures,
Underneath the Latin inscription Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum — Let Justice Be Done Though The Heavens Fall — the trial of Lula Smart got underway Tuesday morning at the downtown Brooks County Courthouse.
Smart, part of the “Quitman 11” who were charged with multiple counts of unlawful possession of ballots in relation to the July 2010 Brooks County school board primary election, is charged with 25 counts of illegal possession of ballots and six counts of interfering with an elector. One count of each was dropped Tuesday, leaving 24 counts of illegal possession of ballots and five counts of interfering with an elector.
Initial charges came after school board candidates lost the election at the polling places then won their respective races via absentee ballots. Though charged in the case, these school board officials served, then couldn’t serve for several months due to the charges, then were reinstated to the board. Originally, these suspects were called the Quitman 10 then two more people were charged prompting the title Quitman 10+2. One suspect has since passed away.
The VDT story continues with details of the first day.
John Robinson from Valdosta told George he thought the judge was doing a fine job. Miss Gladys Lee, former teacher from Quitman, told George all media should be covering this trial.
George reports that during jury selection some of the potential jurors got up and left without permission, and one came back late from lunch.
Judge Ronnie Joe Lane is enforcing a no recording policy on everybody. The judge has even told people nobody can record on the street in front of the courthouse. At least he’s being consistent, unlike the Lowndes County Commission.
George says Lowndes County District Attorney David Miller was on the stand yesterday, among others.
I didn’t start out to do this. I only got into this when I found out there’s so much news in south Georgia and North Florida that goes unpublished. And so I took it upon myself.
George says the Madison 9, who were brought up on charges like those of the Quitman 10, had all charges dropped except 2. He speculates it’s all a voter intimidation ploy, and he wonders why a high profile case such as this is not being covered.
Here’s a video playlist:
Quitman 10+2 trial, three years late
Videos by George Boston Rhynes, Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia