By Shari Dovale
Judge Gloria Navarro is presiding over the Bunkerville retrial in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has continued to show her bias against the defense in her rulings and her reactions in the courtroom.
She has insisted that they not look around, at all, while in the courtroom, even during breaks and sidebars. Navarro was so concerned, one day this week, that she had Eric Parker removed from the courtroom for an entire segment of the trial because he turned to look at the overheard viewscreen.
He did not talk to anyone. He did not look at another person, though Scott Drexlar was seated behind him. All he did was look at the overhead viewscreen that hangs behind the defense tables.
Navarro was so anxious that, though this time was not serious, it could become a serious issue if she did not react to this immediately. She now has someone watch Mr. Parker, and the other defendants, during sidebars to see if they violate her rules.
Additionally, she has insisted that the defendants be kept shackled in the courtroom. Yes, they are restrained while sitting in their chairs, in front of the jury.
Let’s not forget her clearly prejudicial rulings. She allows the prosecution to paint these men as terrorists, yet does not allow the documented bad behavior of the BLM to be presented to the jury. She almost encourages the FBI agents to cry on the witness stand, but refuses to let the defense talk about the assault on Margaret Houston, or the tazing of Ammon Bundy, or to use it as a reason for the defendants to travel to Nevada.
She denies the defendants their right to choose their defense, in essence, she is forcing them to testify, though it should be their right not to do so. Their attorney’s should be allowed to present the evidence of their innocence, yet Judge Navarro is too afraid of the truth.
And, she forbids the US Constitution from being used in this trial.
This behavior could show one of two things, in my opinion.
First, it could show a paranoid personality, to the point of a disorder. She seems, personally, very afraid of these men, though they are surrounded by US Marshals and other law enforcement. There are multiple security protocols in place, which are designed for minimal security breeches.
The second, more likely, reasoning is that she is going out of her way to portray these men as dangerous to the jury. This goes beyond bias. This actually elevates her reactions to being invested to a higher degree than that of the judiciary.
All persons accused of a crime are entitled to a fair and impartial trial. This is a basic premise of our judicial system. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that defendants have a right to be free of shackles and handcuffs in the presence of jurors, in part to maintain the presumption of innocence and prevent bias.
Judge Gloria Navarro does not believe this should be applied to these defendants. She believes they are far too dangerous to be allowed even a small amount of movement in a room where they are surrounded by multiple law enforcement.
What is she reacting to? Why is she so invested in the verdicts of this particular case? It is not a respect for the law, as is evidenced by her disregard for the higher courts rulings. Fear of acquittal consumes her.
More truth being revealed is inevitable. Gloria Navarro will be held accountable. The only question will be “when?”