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Judge Bans Defense Arguments in Bundy Retrial

Saturday, July 15, 2017 7:57
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EDITORIAL: Judge bans defense arguments in Bundy retrial

Government prosecutors have a friend in U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro.

The judge is presiding over the retrial of four defendants charged with various crimes stemming from their participation in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff near Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The first trial ended in April with the jury deadlocked on all counts involving the four men.

On Monday, the judge eviscerated the defense’s legal strategy, putting off limits a whole host of issues that might make it more difficult for the government to win convictions. The defendants will be forbidden from arguing that they were exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and bear arms. They may not highlight the actions of BLM agents in the days leading up to the incident or mention federal gaffes such as the ill-advised “First Amendment” zone created for protesters.

And if imposing these restrictions on the defense wasn’t enough, Judge Navarro ruled that prosecutors may introduce testimony about the four accused men and their associations with so-called militia groups.

Judge Navarro made a similar ruling before the first trial. She is going to extraordinary lengths to address prosecution fears of “jury nullification,” in which jurors refuse to convict based on a belief that the law or potential punishment is unjust. The practice dates to 1734, when a jury ignored statutes and acquitted publisher John Peter Zenger on charges of criticizing New York’s new colonial governor, accepting arguments from Mr. Zenger’s attorney, Alexander Hamilton, that the newspaper had simply published the truth.

Federal prosecutors have encountered unexpected difficulty — both here and in Oregon — in securing convictions against those protesting federal control of Western public lands. But the issue here isn’t whether one believes the Bundy defendants are courageous freedom fighters or zealous lunatics.



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Total 4 comments
  • XPAT-Unlisted
    Marbury v. Madison 1803, vol 5, pg 137
    It is also not entirely unworthy of observation that, in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the Constitution itself is first mentioned, and not the laws of the United States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the Constitution, have that rank.
    Thus, the particular phraseology of the Constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written Constitutions, that a law repugnant to the Constitution is void and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.
    Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886)
    While acts of a de facto incumbent of an office lawfully created by law and existing are often held to be binding from reasons of public policy, the acts of a person assuming to fill and perform the duties of an office which does not exist de jure can have no validity whatever in law.
    An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it had never been passed

  • Boo

    Looks like this judge is making a fool of themselves and the defendants will, will out at the supreme court level. Let’s hope judicial watch has a team standing by to take up this fool judge’s courtroom dictatorship and set this case aright for the defendants.

  • st

    black robes = babby rapers how do you think a judg get appointed :idea: :arrow:

  • Anonymous

    Since the Bundy’s have been locked up their “free range” cows and bulls have not been in my backyard eating my plants. So, I’m OK with this. I’ll tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a good buzz going with the medical weed here and you look up and three feet away is a 2,000 pound bull with huge horns staring at you. That was an experience. :eek: :eek: :shock:

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