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Judge dismisses one of the gun charges against Ammon Bundy, 7 co-defendants

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posted on Jun, 11 2016 @ 12:29 PM
Judge dismisses one of the gun charges against Ammon Bundy, 7 co-defendants

A federal judge has dismissed the charge of using and carrying firearms in the course of a crime of violence against Ammon Bundy and seven co-defendants, finding the underlying conspiracy charge doesn't meet the legal definition of a "crime of violence.''

Judge Anna J Brown's Order (pdf)

This was the charge that carried the harshest penalities, including a minimum sentence if found guilty.

Defense lawyer Per C. Olson had argued in legal briefs and oral arguments for dismissal of Count 3 on behalf of his client, David Fry, and the others charged.

Olson told the court that the government wrongly applied a definition of "intimidation'' from a federal bank robbery charge to the conspiracy charge. He argued that prosecutors can't "lift a definition'' from another statute and "shoehorn it'' into this charge without any case law to base it on.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight had conceded in a hearing that Count 3 presented "a close call'' for the court.

I don't exactly understand the judge's reasoning -- or at least how it's explained in this article -- but she apparently agreed. (If someone can explain it better, I'd sure appreciate it!)

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown issued a 16-page written ruling Friday afternoon, finding that the umbrella charge of conspiring to impede federal officers from doing their work at the refuge through "intimidation, threats or force'' doesn't necessarily mean that the conspiracy must involve the "threatened use of physical force'' against a person or property.

She noted that the word "intimidation,'' for example, could apply to threats of nonviolent harm to property.

Further, a "threat'' under the conspiracy allegation could involve the blackmailing of a federal officer to prevent the federal officer from doing his or her federal duties -- a threat that doesn't necessarily require "threatened use of physical force,'' the judge wrote.

So, if the underlying conspiracy charge isn't restricted to a "crime of violence'' but encompasses a "broader swath'' of conduct, then the count that charged eight refuge occupiers with using or carrying firearms in the course of "a crime of violence" should be thrown out, the judge ruled.

I think what she is saying is that because their alleged criminal conspiracy was not violent in nature... in other words, their intention was not to hurt or kill anyone, but simply to occupy in protest... as evidenced by the fact that they did not use their firearms in the course of their actions... that the alleged criminal conspiracy does not rise to the level of a "crime of violence."

Whatever she meant, this is good news for the defendants -- and all of us. It would seem that the defendants have in fact been over-charged. And that, in fact, this entire case is just more bullying, intimidation and tyranny by the Feds against the people. Unfortunately, I also suspect that this is just part of an overall plan... a conspiracy if you will... to hide the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the federal agents' dirty deeds in not just this case of the "Oregon Protesters," but in the Bundy's Bunkerville case, the Hammonds' case, and pretty much all across the west where the BLM and FWS and other federal agencies are wreaking havoc on the people.

I would also think that this decision vindicates Lavoy Finicum in whole or in part, and can be used by his family in their wrongful death suit against the federal and state agencies, in that the level of force deployed was disproportionate to the level of his alleged crime. So the felony stop and deadman's roadblock were not justified based on the complete absence of any previous violence by Lavoy Finicum. (Keeping in mind, of course, that Finicum -- and everyone -- has the natural and Constitutional right to protect their own life and limb against violence... especially from law enforcement who would abuse their power and authority).

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 12:10 AM
a reply to: Boadicea

From what I am seeing the use of the bank robbery definition of "intimidation" specifically targets the use of violence / threatened violence. Since bank robberies generally deal with a weapon / threatened use of a weapon the intimidation definition is better suited to what occurred in Oregon.

The intimidation definition for conspiracy encompasses actions beyond the threatened use of violence / physical / force / weapons.

It looks like by using the bank robbery definition it better supported the argument for the charge and that the intimidation used was involving weapons / threatened / actual us of physical force.

In layman's terms (as I am understanding it) by using the bank robbery definition it painted a better picture for the prosecution's argument to demonstrate the level of violence by the bundy people.

With this being said its what im getting out of it. I could be wrong. When you look at each section of us code you will find a section that defines terms used in the following statutes. Since bank robbery and conspiracy are both under an 18 USC code you will find they both define intimidation however its defined differently.

Bank robbery intimidation encompasses violence / threatened violence.
Conspiracy intimidation encompasses a larger cross section that includes non violent actions.

Is it vindication? nope.

in order to violate a statute the person must meet the criteria established. In this case it comes down to a definition. All the judge did was dismissed that count based on the possibility of lesser criteria being an option that is non violent in nature.
edit on 12-6-2016 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 07:50 AM
a reply to: Xcathdra

Thank you so much for that. It makes a little more sense to me now, but I sure hate this legalese! I'm going to read the judge's order again and maybe now I can understand her better...

posted on Jun, 12 2016 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: Boadicea

I don't care for legalese either...

Here is a link to Cornell Law School - Section 18 USC. It lists all federal crimes that fall under that title. When you select a link (crime) you will see a breakdown, including an explanation of terms used for that statute.

Title 18 USC - Entire list

Example -
* - Bank Robbery and Burglary - 18 USC Chapter 103 - § 2111 thru § 2119 - Burglary is § 2113

* - 18 USC §2113 - Robbery and Burglary

(a) Whoever, by force and violence, or by intimidation, takes, or attempts to take, from the person or presence of another, or obtains or attempts to obtain by extortion any property or money or any other thing of value belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management, or possession of, any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association; or


* - Conspiracy - 18 USC Chapter 37 - §371 - §373

* - 18 USC 372 - § 372 - Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

You will notice intimidation is used in both sections but each section defines it differently. You will also notice the Burglary definition does not apply since their actions didn't occur in a bank / credit union.

Again this is how im understanding it.

posted on Jun, 13 2016 @ 07:51 AM
a reply to: Xcathdra

Thank you for those links -- lots of really good information there. (I'm bookmarking for future reference!)

I understood that criminal charges have specific criteria that defines the crime, but I didn't realize that words -- like intimidation -- can have different definitions under different criminal charges. Good to know. And I thank you for the education.

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