In a verdict that astonished all sides, Ammon Bundy and seven other members of a right-wing militia were acquitted Thursday of all charges related to their 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year, with even one defendant's lawyer characterizing the jury's decision as "off-the-charts unbelievable."
Does anyone --with a lot more legal knowledge than I've got--know if there are other legal charges pending somewhere beyond the conspiracy stuff--like property damage or armed force against employees, or obstruction of public use or ??? Or are such charges possible now?
I am in shock.
This is a big victory for jury nullification - the ability of a jury to consider moral and community values when delivering a verdict - a first in the USA.
But there is a small catch...it only works for cases of right wing thugs attacking one of the relatively few decent things that our government does.
If the activism is on the left and unarmed - peacefully occupying US military facilities, or hammering on nose cones or A-10 warthogs or planting flowers on Minuteman silo lids or buying BLM oil leases in order to keep the oil in the ground - or god forbid, peacefully occupy some capitalist's sacred "private property", they will be prosecuted and do long, hard, time. Any of the activists moral arguments will be loudly declared inadmissible by the judge, and any jury who dares consider those arguments will themselves do hard time for so-called "contempt" of court.
But apparently, none of this judicial precedent applies in jury trials of violent armed fascist redneck thugs.
Does anyone know the basis of the acquittal? How can these people be declared 'not guilty' of something that the whole nation watched them do?!? The juxtaposition of this verdict with peaceful water Protectors being hauled off to jail by militarized cops (corporate defenders?) is brutal, and so very disheartening.
The basis for this acquittal Is not Not unbelievable; it is unconscionable!
Normalized deviance and violence protected and encouraged by the state.
Maybe they should have charged them with plain old trespass, with video evidence of same, instead of all that conspiracy stuff. That apparently only works for leftists, black and Muslims. You might have thought the prosecutors would have known that.
This was a jury trial? And the jury considered "moral and community values when delivering a verdict"?
Another sad thing about this election season is we can't tell if that jury was composed of Clinton, Trump, or Johnson supporters - one thing we know for sure, they ain't Stein supporters ...
Citizen nullification of duopoly "community values" - vote Stein/Baraka '16
Maybe the "prosecutors" did ... (smile)
Apparently, the defense was allowed to argue that possession of property by the U.S. government was unconstitutional, thereby legitimizing the armed takeover. Why this defense was allowed to be argued is beyond comprehension. Now the jury has found and the court and the DOJ seem to have accepted the verdict that seizure of federal property by armed militias is both legal and acceptable. What could possibly go wrong from here? I don’t know if a verdict can be vacated in this instance, but it surely deserves to be.
LOL! Shucks, those guys were just having an outing in the woods, and wanted to shoot a deer or 2 with their assault rifles, for dinner, right?
Just in time - now those thugs can go up to Standing Rock and join the gov't in knocking off the Natives in "defense of private property" ...
The judge allowed that argument? Well there you go ....
How did they select this jury?
Love to hear what the jury has to say.
The idea of "jury nullification" was something Tim DeChristopher was trying to incorporate into his trial but the judge wouldn't let that happen.
The acquittal can't be vacated without violating the 5th Amendment unless it can be proven that the jury was under some sort of outside influence, or duress. The burden of proof in such a case would lie with the Prosecution, and since people already mistrust the government more than ever, good luck finding a jury that'll go along with that.
What I don't understand is how the jury was able to come up with a unanimous verdict... A hung jury is always possible if you have one or two yahoo's on the panel, but ALL OF THEM?
Don't forget that their "deer hunt" lasted for 41 days while they took pot shots at Federal employees, and was broadcast in a live stream on the Internet.
A tragic misunderstanding, I'm sure.
Corrupt Prosecutors know how to Cherry Pick charges that Sound Good to the Public, knowing full well that the evidence at hand will not support a conviction of those Specific Charges, yet will give the appearance that the Prosecutors have Done Their Job, while at the same time they avoid Charges that they know, would both Apply and Result in Conviction.
Members of BLM wouldn't have lived long enough to be charged and there probably wouldn't even have been enough left of them to bury.