More news today on the Nevada Bundy Ranch trials. It is the second loss for the government.
Here’s the high-level summary:
Last year, the government charged 19 people for their roles in the Nevada standoff. Two men took plea deals. Trials for the remaining defendants were broken into three tiers based on their alleged levels of culpability in the standoff.
Although defendants in the first trial and the retrial were considered the least culpable, all 17 defendants face the same charges. Those convicted could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
The second trial will include Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who are considered ringleaders.
A little more detail on this particular round:
This marks the second time a jury failed to convict the defendants on charges related to the standoff…
A jury in April deadlocked on charges against the four men. It convicted two other defendants on multiple counts. But it could not agree on conspiracy charges — a key component of the government’s case — against any of the six.
So, basically, this is the trial of the first (and least culpable) “tier” of the 19. The trail in April deadlocked on anything beyond finding 2 of the first 6 men guilty. The Feds ran a retrial for the deadlocked charges for the remaining 4 men in this tier and the current jury acquitted on the most serious charges, completely freeing 2 men and leaving 2 pending a hearing on deadlocked decisions for less serious charges.
- 19 Arrested
- 2 take plea deals
- 17 remain
- Tier 1 = 6 men (least culpable group)
- 2 found guilty and now doing life
- 4 retried and acquitted of most serious charges
- 2 freed
- 2 awaiting final hearing on lesser charges
- [now 11 remain]
- Tier 2 (more culpable) will include Bundy and his sons
- Tier 3 (most culpable) TBD
- Tier 1 = 6 men (least culpable group)
So what contributed to the verdict?
[Judge] Navarro barred defendants from discussing why they traveled thousands of miles to join protesters at the Bundy Ranch. She did not allow them to testify about perceived abuses by federal authorities during the cattle roundup that might have motivated them to participate.
Navarro also restricted defendants from raising constitutional arguments, or mounting any defense based on their First Amendment rights to free speech and their Second Amendment rights to bear arms. In her rulings, Navarro said those were not applicable arguments in the case.
Federal officials did not face the same restrictions. To show defendants were part of a conspiracy, they referenced events that happened months, or years, after the standoff.
And how did the jury fell about that?
The case climaxed Aug. 11 when Navarro abruptly ended court by ordering Parker off the stand and striking his testimony from the record as jurors watched.
The defendant was attempting to tell jurors what he saw during the standoff over a barrage of objections from prosecutors. Navarro ruled Parker violated court orders by discussing prohibited topics. Parker returned to the defense table and started crying while Navarro dismissed the jurors.
Marchese said jurors told him Tuesday the incident was a factor in their verdicts.
“That weighed heavily in their decision,” Marchese said. “They wanted to hear him speak. It was very bothersome to them. They felt like they weren’t getting the whole story.”
Marchese said jurors were sympathetic to the defendants and their inability to mount a cogent defense in light of restrictions that prevented them from talking about why they participated in the standoff and what they were thinking while they were there.
“It wasn’t one thing,” Marchese said about what led to their verdicts. “They (jurors) said it didn’t make sense.”
Jury: Last Functioning Part of The American Justice System
Years ago my reading on corruption in the family court systems across the country brought me to a legal defense group for men in Colorado accused of Domestic Violence. Their aim is to stop a runaway court system which simply chews up men and women and families with no care for justice or the good of a family. The court system’s aim is to look good in their careers – to score a high number of “arrests,” “prosecutions,” and “convictions.” None of these tallies care whether someone was actually guilty or whether it destroyed a family or lead to more death and violence.
There’s a lot there, and I highly recommend you take the time to read the whole DV area of the site if you are either interested in justice or the corruption of American justice, or have ever had a brush with the family courts.
In the midst of their early discussion on 911 calls for DV and how that plays out in Colorado, they give a high level view and include this interesting gem:
A jury trial is your best chance
1. There is a very good chance, much better than 95%, that you will have your case dismissed or be found innocent in a jury trial, but a plea of guilty, no contest, or accepting a plea bargain of any kind simply because you want to get it over with will be virtually impossible to change. The sentence, protection order, and the label of abuser, are for life. If you value your honor, your career, and freedom, these hearings are the time to defend them.
2. We hear from many men and women who have taken a plea bargain because they were afraid to go through a jury trial…. The jury system is about the only process still working in our courts. Because of that many legislators and judges are doing their best to eliminate jury trials.
Conversely, a bench trial to a judge is simply a long, slow way of pleading guilty.
So how do the Feds in the Bundy case feel about jury trials?
Federal prosecutors had little to say about the verdicts.
“While we are disappointed with the verdicts, we thank the jurors for their service,” Trisha Young, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, said in a statement Tuesday.
Your Rights Exist at the Government’s Whim
So why all the restrictions on the defense?
Federal prosecutors, led by Acting Nevada U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, argued in court the case wasn’t about the First or Second Amendments; that the Constitution doesn’t give people the right to threaten federal officers.
Ah, I see. Your inalienable rights end whenever you might end up pitted against a tyrannical government. Because the government never does wrong. Who knows why America’s founders even fought a revolution? Those Redcoats were just following orders.
Allow me to highlight a founding statement I’ve been pointing out for years, since apparently the public schools today only teach kids that all our founders were illegal immigrants or something. I’ll break it into bullet points to make the old, wordy, sentence structure easier to follow for the Twitter generation.
From the Declaration of Independence (which was a declaration of war against their current government):
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
- that all men are created equal,
- that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
- that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
- That to secure these rights,
- Governments are instituted among Men,
- deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
- it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government
So men were CREATED and have God-given rights. And governments exist for the reason of protecting those God-given rights. And if a government stops protecting those God-given rights then it is the God-given right of the people to do away with that government, as they did in the American Revolution.
The founders rejected rightful British government and law on the basis that it violated a higher law: God’s law.
But American elite today have largely rejected God, particularly in the halls of academia and in our school buildings and policy centers. If there is no God, then there are no God-given rights, the American founders were terrorists, might makes right, and when it comes to any so-called rights, “The government giveth and the government taketh away.”
Warning: Don’t Be Rambo
This detail jumped out on one of the guys who got jailed for life:
Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in Las Vegas cut five years off the maximum recommended sentence of 73 years, taking into consideration that Gregory Burleson, 53, has serious health issues and once was an informant for the FBI.
Harsh. Why so serious?
A jury found Burleson guilty in April of threatening and assaulting a federal officer, carrying a weapon in a crime of violence, obstruction and traveling across state lines in aid of extortion.
Burleson was convicted as much for what he said after the standoff as for what he did during it.
Months after the standoff, Burleson was interviewed by undercover FBI agents posing as a film crew working on a documentary about the standoff called “America Reloaded.”Burleson told the video crew that he’d gone to the Bundy Ranch to kill federal agents, and that he hoped to see them die in a hail of gunfire.
Juries are the last functioning part of our justice system, but who knows for how long with average IQ dropping across the country and public schools teaching propaganda instead of independent thought.
If you are in trouble with the law, hold out for that jury trial at all costs (assuming it is an option in your case). You’ll be sitting in jail for a year or more while you wait, but you’ll have a better chance to live out your days a free man as a result.
And for all passionate patriots – “Don’t be Rambo!” The modern courts and culture are stacked against you and that sentiment, even as empty words, will put you behind bars for the rest of your life.