Fort Smith, Arkansas, Trial

In 1987, several prominent white supremacists, including key members of the Order, the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, and the Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA), were indicted on conspiracy charges. A year later, all were acquitted, striking a major blow to government efforts to root out domestic terrorism of the far right.

More than two dozen white supremacists were named in two separate indictments returned by grand juries in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in April 1987. Five men, including CSA member Richard Wayne Snell, were indicted for conspiring to murder a federal judge and an FBI agent. Ten others, including the chief of the Aryan Nations, Richard Girnt Butler, and two top Aryan Nations leaders, Louis Ray Beam, Jr., and Robert E. Miles, were indicted for conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government by force.

The government maintained that the ...

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