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In a jury trial concerned with the spreading of false news about the killing of Jews during World War II, the defense sought to keep Jews and Freemasons off the jury. Defense lawyer Douglas Christie of Vancouver, B.C., had proposed to question potential jurors to see whether they had an “open mind “about the Jewish holocaust.  Consequently, he proposed tow questions to be put to all potential jurors: “Do you believe that Jews today are God’s chosen people or are especially favored by God?” and, “Are you employed by a Jew or Freemason or do you have a close friend or relative who is Jewish?”

 

Outside the courtroom, Christie made reference to the questions put to potential jurors by Morris Manning in the Morgentaler trial. According to Manning’s two American specialists in jury selection, these questions (together with their own advice) resulted in the elimination of housewives, regular churchgoers, young men and older professionals, in other words, whole categories of people. In Christie’s case, Judge Hugh Locke denied the request, saying that the right of challenge should not be used to “determine what kind of a juror a person will be or to indoctrinate a jury to the defense argument.”

 

Morgentaler has been charged again in Ontario and he and his lawyer once more have chosen a jury trial. It will be of interest to see what form of selection tactics Morris Manning will employ this time. The Morgentaler-Manning team also insisted on an early trial. They did this in the hope of getting a jury acquittal before the legal professionals, lawyers and judges, rule on the technical errors of the previous acquittal as submitted to them by the Ontario government.

 

However, their strategy failed when the Court, on January 17, refused to set a date until after the Appeal has been heard.