Magazine article Skeptic (Altadena, CA)

Waco Trial Ends Government Is Not Held Responsible

Magazine article Skeptic (Altadena, CA)

Waco Trial Ends Government Is Not Held Responsible

Article excerpt

The Associated Press reported on July 14 from Waco, TX: An attorney for the Branch Davidians says it would be "a lost cause" to continue trying to convince a judge that federal agents fired on sect members as they tried to escape their burning compound during a 1993 siege. An advisory jury hearing the Davidians' $675 million wrongful death lawsuit determined Friday that the government bears no responsibility for the deaths of sect leader David Koresh and some 80 followers in the final hours of the 51-day standoff. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith will issue the final ruling, expected in the next month, and will also consider perhaps the most contentious issue--whether federal agents shot at the Davidians at the end of the siege. But Davidian lawyers, survivors and victims' family members say they aren't expecting any change. "I think a vast majority of the American public will take this as the final word," Michael Caddell, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said. "For most people that will be the finish to Moun t Carmel." Caddell said he doesn't plan to file any more documents in the case and will tell the judge to make his decision based on the evidence in hand. "Given what's happened in Waco with Judge Smith, we don't see the point. It's a lost cause. Judge Smith obviously has an agenda. At some point, it simply becomes futile," Caddell told the Associated Press.

Surviving Branch Davidians and relatives of those who died contend the government should shoulder some blame for the botched initial raid and holocaust at the end. …

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