Early in the course of the trial, Black Panther Party activist Bobby Seale was denied his constitutional right to counsel of his choice and was thereafter illegally denied his right to defend himself. Seale requested that the trial be postponed so that his attorney Charles Garry could represent him (as Garry was about to undergo gallbladder surgery). The Judge denied the postponement, and refused to allow Seale to represent himself. Seale vehemently protested the Judge’s illegal and unconstitutional actions, and argued that the Judge’s actions were not only illegal, but also racist. The Judge in turn accused Seale of disrupting the court, and on October 29, Judge Hoffman ordered Bobby Seale to be bound, gagged, and chained to a chair. For several days Seale appeared in court bound and gagged before the jury, struggling to get free and managing to make muffled sounds.
Bobby Seale was one of
the original “Chicago Eight” defendants charged with conspiracy and
inciting a riot, in the wake of the 1968 Democratic National Convention,