Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Frank Emi Interview
Narrator: Frank Emi
Interviewers: Emiko Omori (primary), Chizu Omori (secondary)
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: March 20, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-efrank-01-0015

FE: So, well, when the defense took the stand, we completely did the unexpected. Instead of trying to hide anything, we came out and said, "Yes, we did it. We put out the bulletins. We had mass meetings. We explained about the situation, the draft situation to people, and we encouraged people not to..." etcetera, etcetera. Well, the prosecution was a little taken, taken aback because they didn't expect us to come out and admit all this. And we said that we did this because we felt that the draft was, as applied to the camps, was unconstitutional, that it wasn't right. It was unfair, and unjust and immoral.

The upshot of the trial was that after I guess maybe a week of it, we figured we had a pretty good case because our attorney was a very sharp constitutional lawyer, presented a very good case. But we heard that one weekend, this Judge Eugene Rice had gone duck hunting with the district attorney who was prosecuting us. So when we heard of that, why, our attorney said, "Well, you know, there goes your case. We'll probably have to take this up to the appellate court." And sure enough, that's what happened. We were convicted and sentenced to, we were convicted of conspiracy to violate selective service, aiding and abetting and counseling others to resist the selective service law. And we were given the sentence of four years in a federal penitentiary. And we appealed that and the attorney had asked the judge to let us out on appeal into the camps, pending the appellate court's decision. But the judge called us... what did he say? "You're agitators, troublemakers," and refused to grant us any bail while the appeal was in process.

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