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Twelve unsure people
The verdict form in the first Bunkerville standoff trial suggested confusion and indecision among jurors on the two conspiracy charges.
Jurors marked “not guilty” on the first two conspiracy counts, and then subsequently crossed out the check marks before submitting the verdict form to the court. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the case on Monday, after jurors deadlocked on 50 of the 60 counts against the six men on trial.
Jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict against any of the men on the first two conspiracy charges, but they convicted Arizona resident Gregory Burleson of eight other counts and Idaho resident Todd Engel of two. The jury hung on all 10 counts against the four other defendants.
The conspiracy charges represented the central dispute of the trial. During deliberations, jurors asked the judge multiple times to clarify her legal instructions on those two charges.
When you work with words, your words should work.
While it was gratifying to see the morning paper finally get around to writing about the difficulty federal prosecutors are having getting jurors to convict armed protesters in Oregon and Bunkerville of conspiracy — Now, where have I read that before? — this one description of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy caused a bit of whiplash: “notorious anti-federalist rancher Cliven Bundy …”
Even though it officially ended on Feb. 11, 2016, the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon still stirs passionate opinions.
But Josh Turnbow, who directed “American Standoff,” a new documentary from the AT&T Audience Network about the occupation, says he wasn’t interested in taking sides.
“I was looking for an interesting documentary about where things were going in land management,” says Turnbow, a senior producer for content for DirecTV and AT&T.
President Trump’s signing of an executive order calling for a review of the national monument designations made in the past 20 years prompted the local newspaper to drag out the usual suspects to moan and groan about the need to “protect” the million acres of Nevada land that Obama designated as national monuments in his last months in office.
Trump called Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create monuments an “egregious abuse of federal power.”
CONCORD, NH — Granite Staters on Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 1 to 3 p.m. will be meeting in front of the NH State House at 107 N. Main St. in Concord to show support for Rochester resident and decorated U.S. Marine Gerald (Jerry) DeLemus, and for President Donald Trump, according to a press statement. DeLemus was arrested by FBI agents in March 2016 and transported to Nevada on a charge in connection with the 2014 tense standoff involving Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.
By Jenny Wilson Las Vegas Review-Journal April 25, 2017 – 5:12 pm Ryan Bundy, a son of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy who is incarcerated pending trial on conspiracy charges, has sued the federal government. In a lawsuit filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for Nevada in Las Vegas, Bundy challenges the constitutionality of prison policies and alleges deprivation of rights after he was punished for refusing to obey those policies. Bundy was transferred to prison in Nevada last fall after he was acquitted of conspiring to stage an armed takeover of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon. He is […]
One question is hanging over the federal courthouse in the wake of Monday’s mistrial: What happens next? Federal prosecutors still have not decided whether to retry the defendants. Taxpayers already have been saddled with significant costs, which only will balloon in a repeat trial. And the remaining 11 defendants who have been in prison for over a year do not want to wait any longer for their day in court.
That is why some defense attorneys who represent the second group of defendants, charged as “leaders” of the armed protests in Bunkerville, are hoping that if prosecutors decide to retry any or all of the men in the first group, they will do so by combining them with the second group.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
Now, this sets the stage for Jurisdiction. Any criminal proceedings must be in “the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” Could it be any less for, say, a violation of a Court issued Protective Order? Especially, if that Protective Order only subjects a few, fully described people, in its mandate? The Order:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Wednesday instructing the Interior Department to review national monument designations made over the past two decades.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was grateful that Trump was moving to roll back what Hatch called “massive federal land grabs” by presidents dating to Bill Clinton. Hatch and other Utah Republicans have long lamented Clinton’s 1996 designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.
An agreement between two or more persons to engage jointly in an unlawfulor criminal act, or an act that is innocent in itself but becomes unlawful whendone by the combination of actors. — Legal definition of conspiracy
The feds have a poor batting average of late in proving conspiracy.
Government prosecutors stumbled again Monday in a bid to gain convictions of armed protesters in a case arising from skirmishes in a decades-old battle over control of public lands in the western United States.
A federal jury in Las Vegas found two gunmen guilty of some charges in a 2014 armed standoff that stopped federal agents from enforcing court orders and confiscating cows belonging to Cliven Bundy from public rangeland near his Nevada ranch and melon farm.
A federal judge declared a mistrial Monday in the first Bunkerville standoff case, which targeted six men accused of conspiring with rancher Cliven Bundy to derail a court-ordered cattle seizure in 2014.
The mistrial — an anticlimactic end to a highly anticipated trial — was declared hours after the jury convicted two men of some of the 10 counts in the superseding indictment.
In returning the guilty verdicts, which still stand, jurors informed the court they were “hopelessly deadlocked” on the remaining counts and defendants. U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro sent them back to the deliberation room in a last-ditch effort to encourage them to reach a more complete verdict.
Some people have a really strange concept of “democracy,” and that says a lot about some of the people elected to the Nevada Legislature.
Also, if you thought an earlier proposal to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day as a silly waste of time and paper, wait till you take a gander at Senate Bill 413.
SB413 proposes to designate the last Saturday in September each year as Public Lands Day in Nevada and require the governor to issue a proclamation encouraging the observance of said Public Lands Day.
LAS VEGAS – A federal jury in Las Vegas signaled trouble deliberating conspiracy charges Thursday before ending work for the week in the trial of six men who brought assault-style weapons to a standoff with government agents near Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April 2014.
Jurors adjourned shortly before 12:30 p.m. without a verdict and decided to return Monday, after Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro told the eight women and four men that they are allowed to set their own schedule.
In my previous article, “Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento“, I mentioned the telephonic hearing held on Thursday, April 6, leading to my release, just a few hours later. Prior to the hearing, it was set in stone, by Magistrate Brennan, in Sacramento, that I would not arrive in Portland until April 25. This fits the schedule for “diesel therapy” (where the run you all over the country, in a sense, punishing you for being accused of a criminal act), which would take me to Oklahoma, then to Pahrump, Nevada, and then on to Portland over a period of twenty-five days. The hearing, however, forestalled that tour of the West. What led up to that hearing is the subject of this article.
BUNKERVILLE, Nev. — Carol Bundy sits alone in the living room of her family’s home, restlessly awaiting word that a federal jury is ready to render its verdict on the fate of “the custom and culture of the West; the cowboy way of life.”
Outside the front window, a sprinkler splashes water onto a small square of grass. Inside, a washing machine with worn bearings grinds through another load.
It’s hard to imagine this pastoral setting, past the concrete walkway and on the other side of a wagon-wheel entry gate, as the staging ground of what nearly became the 21st century’s first range war.
Her husband will never return to trail the cows to winter range again, but Jeanette Finicum is determined that she will get the job done, eventually.
Although she’s provided a check to fully cover fines assessed over the last year, the Arizona rancher continues to be locked out of both her winter and summer grazing ranges.
Jeanette, whose husband Robert “LaVoy” Fincium was shot and killed by Oregon State Troopers last January, has managed grazing decisions on their northern Arizona ranch alone since his Jan. 26, 2016 death.
Pounding staples, doctoring sick calves and putting out mineral are on Jeanette’s list of tasks to complete throughout the year. Those are the easy jobs. She can soon add a much more painful item to the list: filing suit against the Bureau of Land Management. She plans to file suit within the next two weeks.
Jurors in the first Bunkerville standoff trial finished their second day of deliberations Monday without reaching a verdict.
The jury received the case Thursday, after hearing two months of testimony in the trial of six people charged as “gunmen” in the April 2014 armed standoff near Cliven Bundy’s ranch. The men are accused of conspiring with Bundy to stop federal agents from seizing his cattle from public land.
There is considerable consternation in rural counties across the West over the Trump administration planning to cut the size of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) checks this year. The current budget blueprint calls for cuts but doesn’t specify how much.
Because the federal government does not pay property taxes, since 1977 Congress has seen fit to dole out to counties — calculated based on population and number of acres of federal public land — PILT checks to help pay for everything from schools, to police, fire, social services, etc. Since 85 percent of Nevada is owned by various federal land agencies, that is a lot of property tax to forgo.
BURNS, Ore. — A year ago, this corner of rural Oregon became center stage in the drawn-out drama over public lands when armed militia leaders seized a national wildlife refuge, arguing that the government had too much control of land in the West.
Now that President Trump is in office, people here and in other parts of the 11 states where 47 percent of the landmass is publicly owned are watching to see what he will do on everything related to public lands, from coal mining and cattle grazing to national monuments and parks. In Burns, some ranchers and others are feeling emboldened, hopeful that regulatory rollbacks by the federal government will return lands to private use and shore up a long-struggling economy.
But the change in administration has also spawned a countermovement of conservatives and corporate executives who are speaking up alongside environmentalists in defense of public lands and now worry about losing access to hunting grounds and customers who prize national parks and wildlife.
CARSON CITY — Nevada’s top election official on Friday opened an investigation into alleged voter fraud in last year’s election, saying her office has uncovered evidence that non-citizens had cast ballots.
“Based on new information we have recently uncovered, we have initiated an investigation into illegal votes cast in the last general election,” Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told the Review-Journal late Friday.
“Our office has been clear; we will investigate any allegation of election law violations that may jeopardize the integrity of Nevada’s voting process.”
Her office Friday sent a letter to the head of the Department of Motor Vehicles about voter registration forms issued by the DMV.
“It has come to our attention that when offering voter registration opportunities to customers, DMV’s employees offer voter registration materials to DMV customers whom they know to be non-citizens based on their presentation of a Green Card for identification purposes,” Cegavske wrote in a letter to DMV Director Terri Albertson.
A federal prosecutor on Wednesday characterized six Bunkerville protesters as militiamen who heeded rancher Cliven Bundy’s call to arms, while defense attorneys used closing arguments to portray the men as peaceful demonstrators who asserted their constitutional rights.
After six hours of impassioned arguments in a full-to-capacity Las Vegas courtroom, the first of three conspiracy trials resulting from the 2014 standoff in Bunkerville still had not been sent to the jury. Several more lawyers are scheduled to give their closing arguments when court resumes Thursday.
Attorney Marcus Mumford, who last month had criminal charges dismissed against him stemming from his arrest on the day his client Ammon Bundy was acquitted of conspiracy in federal court in Portland, now faces more legal challenges.
Oregon’s Chief U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman is seeking to revoke Mumford’s ability to practice law in any federal court in the District of Oregon, a rare move.
The judge has given Mumford until May 4 to argue in writing why he should not impose such a sanction.