I haven't been able to keep up with this trial as much as I would have liked, but finally got a chance to catch up, for better AND worse...
This trial is an unconscionable and unacceptable travesty of our justice system. We'll find out if it's a travesty of justice when we hear the jury's
verdict. I am hopeful that they will either be completely acquitted or there will be a hung jury -- and I say this as one who never supported the
Bundys' tactics, but fully understand their greater cause against a Federal agency that's gotten way too big for their britches that our congress
critters refuse to rein in. I hope and pray that the jurors know their Bill of Rights -- the defendants' Bill of Rights! -- and can see through this
that our founding fathers fought so hard to protect us from. Based on
what I know, I don't think the Feds proved their case, so I could vote "not guilty" with a clear conscience. I might also exercise my right to "jury
nullification" and still vote "not guilty" with a clear conscience if I judge the law to be illegitimate or inapplicable. I hope the jurors know
about their right to jury nullification as well, because the judge and prosecutors have done everything they can to keep that thought from these
jurors. And that's just one of the many lowlights of this case:
-- Judge Navarro seals all evidence from public view
-- Judge orders that copies of the U.S. Constitution -- thee law of the land -- cannot be visible in the courtroom
-- Judge rules that previous threats and actions by law enforcement/BLM leading up to confrontation cannot be introduced at trial, while allowing
prosecution to present evidence of words and deeds by defendants prior to confrontation.
-- Judge forbids anyone mentioning "jury nullification" to or in front of the jury
-- Judge rules that the federal investigation and report into serious misconduct by Dan Love, the BLM supervisor of this operation, cannot be
mentioned before the jury, including the fact that several prosecution witnesses are on record as telling investigators that they were intimidated and
threatened by Dan Love to protect him
-- Judge denies witnesses their right to call Dan Love as a witness, and thus denies their Constitutional right to confront their accuser AND their
Constitutional right to call compulsory witnesses
-- Judge denies a defendant his Constitutional right to defend himself (or even speak!) after he asks a witness about the investigation
-- Judge asserts that defendants only have three rights
: 1-Plead Guilty; 2-Testify on his own behalf; and, 3-Appeal his conviction
-- Judge denies defendants their Constitutional right to question FBI agent who testified under oath that he "handled" one of the defendants (Greg
Burleson) who is/was an FBI informant, and despite the defendants' right to cross-examine all prosecution witnesses regarding anything and everything
brought out in testimony. (Because this "defendant" and FBI informant was charged together with the other defendants, he has been involved in and
informed of all the defense's activities, plans, etc..... is he still an informant and informing the prosecution about the other defendants'
confidential dealings with their attorneys? Gotta wonder...)
-- Judge and prosecutor both deny Constitutional right to bear arms and defend one's person by asserting before jury that no one has the right to
defend themselves against law enforcement
-- Judge denied defendants' Constitutional right to call witnesses in their defense by refusing most listed witnesses as non-experts or political
witnesses -- even eyewitnesses! -- and threatening others with arrest as "unindicted co-conspirators." Consequently, prosecution called witnesses and
presented their case over 7 weeks time; defendants were told
they had two days to present their defense while denying the defense
-- Judge denied defense attorneys right to object, or even explain their objections because it was "disruptive," while allowing the prosecution to
continue before jury.
-- Jury was given specific instructions on how to fill out jury forms for a guilty
verdict during jury instructions -- but NOT a "not guilty"
Despite all of this, I am hopeful that the jury will not convict. In part because of the testimony they heard that the Bundys et al had been told
that the BLM operation had been called off, so the Bundys et all had every reason to think it was okay to round up their cattle. But the BLM did not
close down the operation, and were told to expect an imminent attack from the protestors, provoking a volatile and potentially bloody confrontation.
This never should have happened.
Bundy Ranch surprise: Agents told to stop day before major confrontation with anti-government protesters
This was one of the first times law-enforcement officials have publicly acknowledged the government orders to back down, drawing attention to a
little-known detail about the high-profile confrontation.
But someone wanted
U.S. Park Police Officer Brandon Novotny, who was armed with the gas-canister launcher in the stack, testified that officers were warned armed
militia members were going to attempt to overrun the command post on the night of April 11.
"We had intelligence from the FBI that individuals on a domestic terrorist watch list had arrived and were camped out at the Bundy compound," he said.
"We received intelligence there was going to be an attack."
I am also hopeful because the jury has asked the court about hung juries and possible results if the jury cannot come to a unanimous decision on all
Jury notes snag on conspiracy counts in Nevada standoff case
Navarro didn't read Thursday's jury question aloud with prosecutors, defendants and their lawyers before convening the jury to say a conspiracy
can involve any person.
"You don't need to be a defendant to be a person," she said.
I expect the jury to find the judge's responses to be a little confusing -- if not outright confounding and obstructive to their purpose!
The jury was given the case Thursday, April 13, so they have had it a little more than a week now and it's obviously not an open and shut case for
them... we'll see what happens.
* Star Chamber:
In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are
sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers.... the justice meted out by the Star Chamber could be very arbitrary and
subjective, and it enabled the court to be used later on in its history as an instrument of oppression rather than for the purpose of justice for
which it was intended.
edit on 23-4-2017 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)