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United States v. James

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
528 F.2d 999 (1976)


Wayne Maurice James and six other individuals (defendants) were members of the Republic of New Africa (RNA) located in Jackson, Mississippi. The RNA claimed to be an independent foreign nation composed of “citizens” that had descended from enslaved Africans in the United States. The members held regular meetings at a building called the “capitol” at which they spoke of inciting violence against the state and federal governments, law enforcement personnel, and others. A substantial part of the time members conducted military-type drills with weapons that were neatly stacked and accessible if the “capitol” were ever “invaded.” After a prolonged Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) undercover operation, it was learned that RNA members had plans to “wipe out the National Guard of Mississippi” and to set up a separate nation through the acquisition of five southern states. Federal and local law enforcement surrounded the “capitol” and a shootout erupted. One police officer was killed and two others were wounded. Defendants were charged with and convicted of (1) conspiracy to commit assault on federal officers engaged in the performance of their duties; (2) using firearms to commit the assault; and (3) possessing unregistered firearms. Defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brewster, J.)

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