Jack Ruby, the slayer of President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, failed Friday (19 March) in an attempt to have a U.
Jack Ruby, the slayer of President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, failed Friday (19 March) in an attempt to have a U.S. federal court decide the question of his sanity and rule on the dispute over what lawyers will represent him. Federal Judge T. Whitfield Davidson refused to take jurisdiction and sent the case back to the Texas state courts.
Testifying at the hearing, Ruby said "I guess it was my destiny" to kill Oswald. He swore that he was not a part of any conspiracy.
After listening to Ruby's rambling testimony, Judge Davidson ordered the sanity issue returned to a state court, with a suggestion that some judge besides Joe Brown hear the case. Judge Brown presided at the trial last year at which Ruby was convicted of murder. Last week Brown scheduled a 29 March sanity trial by jury for Ruby in Brown's court.
Friday's hearing stemmed from a charge by the Texas Civil Liberties Union that Ruby's constitutional rights were being violated. The main issue was the assignment of Texas attorney Joe Tonahill as one of the lawyers to defend Ruby. Ruby and his family want Tonahill removed from the defense. Judge Davidson refused to order Tonahill removed, but he left the way open for a possible hearing of the matter. In the courtroom Friday, Tonahill walked up to Ruby, then walked away after Ruby scowled and apparently cursed him.
The sheriff and three deputies took Ruby in an unmarked car from the Dallas County Jail to the Federal Court Building in Dallas. Ruby seemed in relatively good spirits as he arrived and chatted with reporters as he walked into the federal courtroom. After the hearing, however, he commented: "Nothing satisfied me....You can't win."