- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2001

A legal dream team of political opposites — Kenneth W. Starr and Johnnie Cochran — are defending three unlikely compatriots who face charges for chaining themselves to the Sudanese Embassy on Good Friday.
Mr. Starr, the former Whitewater independent counsel, represents two left-leaning figures: radio talk-show host Joe Madison and the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, the Districts former delegate to Congress.
Mr. Cochran, the criminal defense attorney who got O.J. Simpson acquitted of murder charges, represents Michael Horowitz, a former Reagan administration official now working at the Hudson Institute.
Together, the two legal eagles are defending the three men in D.C. Superior Court against a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry in their protest against the African nations practices of slavery, selective starvation and genocide. They face up to six months in jail and a $100 fine.
The unusual pairing is deliberate to symbolize a coalition of conservatives and liberals who are pushing for action against atrocities in Sudan.
"If you think this is a strange coupling, wait until we get the Dick Armeys and the Charlie Rangels, and the Oliver Norths and the Al Sharptons chaining themselves to the Sudan Embassy," Mr. Madison said.
Mr. Cochran could not attend a court hearing yesterday because of a conflict in his schedule, and Mr. Fauntroy did not appear because his return flight from Europe was delayed.
None of the defendants was required to be present yesterday, and attorneys could have filed a simple motion with the court clerk.
Nevertheless, Mr. Starr lent some celebrity status to the proceedings and held forth for reporters and bystanders against a backdrop of posters calling for the end of slavery in Sudan.
Later, during the hearing, he sat in the front row of Room C-10, just like local lawyers.
After waiting for a tardy Commissioner Fern Saddle, attorneys entered not guilty pleas, and the commissioner set a May 15 status hearing before Superior Court Judge Anna Blackburne Rigsby.
Mr. Starr said he was glad to have Michael D. Jones, one of his Kirkland and Ellis law firm partners, on the team because it has been some time since he defended a client in criminal court."Maybe they will have me working on First Amendment issues," Mr. Starr said.
Mr. Starr and Mr. Cochran make an interesting pair, but everyone was dead serious about the Sudanese slavery issue, which is scheduled to be protested in New York City today at noon.
"No man in this century has the right to sit out a holocaust," Mr. Horowitz said. "The genocide is escalating."
Mr. Madison recounted two horrifying tales from recent visits he made to the country to free slaves. "I met a woman whose baby the slavers wanted," he said. "They literally cut her throat to get that baby. She kept fighting, so they took a torch and literally burned her breasts off."
He said he also spoke with a woman who was forced to carry the severed head of her infant for 13 miles. "They raped her upon her arrival and told her to throw her babys head in a fire," said Mr. Madison, who appears on WOL-AM (Radio 1450).
Incidents like these bring "a stuffy lawyer getting handcuffs put on and going to jail for the first time in his life," Mr. Horowitz said.
This unconventional coalition is only getting stronger and bolder, Mr. Madison said. "Its going to be heat in the streets on this issue," he said. "Were adding soul force, as Martin Luther King used to say."
* Jim Keary contributed to this report.



Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide