Densho Digital Archive
Steven Okazaki Collection
Title: Gordon Hirabayashi Interview
Narrator: Gordon Hirabayashi
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Date: October 25, 1983
Densho ID: denshovh-hgordon-06-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

Q: Gordon, tell us what you think is the importance of the coram nobis cases now.

GH: Well, I always felt that the court cases, something was wrong with the court cases when it got to the Supreme Court and we were turned down. But finally, with Peter Irons' discovery, we were able to follow a path to challenge one portion of it through government suppression of information. So this is not a re-trial. Coram nobis is not a re-trial of the whole thing, but it allows us to discuss the implications of the suppression of key information in our case. And actually, that has given us an opportunity to request vacating of our charges against us. And we're asking for another thing. We'd like to have this registered in court or someplace officially so that the reasons for the government decision to vacate the charges if this comes to be, are recorded. Just vacating the charges is not sufficient, but we want to know, we want to have it on record why.


Q: Can you talk about how this whole process, your conviction, changed your feelings about the United States?

GH: Oh, it hasn't changed my feelings. I've always felt that basically, U.S. is on the right beam. Some of the representatives have not always measured up to what I think was the standard. So in due course, if not in my case, in other amendments and so on of the court cases, the rights of citizens would be restored. But I think it's, I feel gratified that we have had the opportunity, even after over forty years, to get a hearing on this and possibly a solution that will secure citizens' freedom, citizens' rights, for all people, not just us. I've served my sentence. I'm not gonna get much out of this personally, but I'd like to use this opportunity to make it a little more difficult for deviations in the future.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1983, 2010 Densho and Steven Okazaki. All Rights Reserved.