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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Gary Myrick. Branch Davidian Cult Hearings—Waco—Whitecliff, 1993. Crayon and colored pencil on gray paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (048.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51112 © Gary Myrick
Gift and purchase, Gary Myrick

Branch Davidian on Trial

When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents came to arrest Branch Davidian leader David Koresh for firearms violations, members of his group engaged in an exchange of gunfire that led to the deaths of four agents. A six-week standoff between agents and Branch Davidian members ended with the compound engulfed in flames. On March 30, 1993, Kevin A. Whitecliff, depicted here, was indicted of conspiracy to murder a federal official and using a firearm during a violent crime. Eleven defendants were indicted for conspiring to murder federal agents and faced trial in 1994. Seven of the defendants were found guilty on the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and weapons possession. They received long prison sentences that were later reduced: appeal for rehearing denied at 91 F.3d 699 (1996). Whitecliff was released from prison in 2006.