Serial 2694


Date: August 16, 1983

To: Mr. Revel
From: [name deleted]
Subject: RYMUR

PURPOSE: To advise of the prosecutive status as concerns captioned matter.

RECOMMENDATION: None. For information only.

DETAILS: By way of background, on 9/26/81 in US District Court, Northern District of California, a mistrial was declared in the trial of Laurence John Layton on the basis of a deadlocked jury. Layton had been charged with violation of Title 18, USC, Section 351 (D) – Conspiracy to Murder; Section 351 (A), 2 – Aid and Abet Murder of Congressman; Section 1117 – Conspiracy to Kill Internationally Protected Person; and Section 1116 (a), 2 – Aid and Abet Attempted Murder of Internationally Protected Person, for the 11/18/78 murder of Congressman Leo J. Ryan at Jonestown, Guyana.

The presiding Judge, Chief Judge Robert Peckham, had denied the Government’s motion to present into evidence several Jim Jones tape recordings considered critical to the prosecution.

On 8/10/83, the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, issued an opinion which reversed Judge Peckham in his decision to disallow the tape recordings as evidence. The US Attorney, Northern District of California, is expected to confirm with the Department of Justice in the near future concerning a decision to retry Layton.