Nullified (Not!)

We don’t know what happened in the jury room in Oregon yesterday – but as we noted last night, a jury acquitted all of Ammon Bundy’s group of all charges.

The decision smells like jury nullification – the notion that a jury can invalidate bad law by not finding people guilty of it.

Say what you will about the Bundy clan and their methods, but the original charge that led to the fracas – the “setting a fire in federal property” rap that arose from a controlled blaze that became not-so-controlled and overlapped federal property in the trackless waste of eastern Oregon – was a crock and needed to be nullified.

And, as a lot of libertarian Westerners (or as the Southern Poverty Law Center would refer to them, “terrorists”) have been talking about for a long time, the jury would have none of it.

The feds don’t like being denied:

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford argued that his client, dressed in a gray suit and white dress shirt, should be allowed to walk out of the court, a free man.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.

“If there’s a detainer, show me,” Mumford stood, arguing before the judge.

Suddenly, a group of about six U.S. Marshals surrounded Mumford at his defense table. The judge directed them to move back but moments later, the marshals  grabbed on to him.

“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.

As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”

Mumford was taken into custody, a member of his legal team confirmed.

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer J. Morgan Philpot, said afterwards on the courthouse steps that Mumford had been arrested and marshals had used a stun gun, or Taser, on his back.

Jurors (apparently) nullified the charges because, one suspects, they believe the feds have become an authoritarian bureaucracy.  The feds then give them evidence to support the thesis.

It’s going to be an interesting four years.

UPDATE:  Not nullification?  No problem.  Good guys win either way.

10 thoughts on “Nullified (Not!)

  1. Keith Ellison sent out a Facebook post saying that they got off because they were white, and then he tied it into police shootings in the Twin Cities.

  2. If only Charles Manson had played up the “I’m white” angle, he’d be a free man today.

  3. “We believe now — as we did then – that protecting and defending this nation through rigorous obedience to the U.S. Constitution is our most important responsibility.”

    That’s a very strange statement from a Federal prosecutor given the decisions involving Hillary and confidential documents, the illegal fundraising and records submitted by the Clinton Foundation, the cover given Loretta Lynch’s decision not to testify to Congress about the $1.7B ransom payment to Iran, the lack of prosecutions about the illegal transmission of tax records by Lerner, etc. Maybe there’s a clause in the Constitution exempting Democrats from all crimes committed for political reasons that’s missing in my copy.

  4. OK, if the marshals disobeyed a judge’s order, I know exactly who belongs in jail, and it’s not Marcus Mumford or Ammon Bundy. Interesting case, really, where the BLM apparently ignored grazing that was illegal in their view for 20 years before taking action. At some point, don’t you have to assume they’re going to let things slide in perpetuity?

  5. Yeah, if I wanted to show people the Feds got the short end of the stick, first thing I’d do is have a mob of armed federal agents mug and tase a lawyer IN THE FUCKING COURTROOM.

    We’re in for dark days, boys. Gird your loins and stiffen those upper lips.

  6. And so many journalists get a ‘whiff of authoritarianism’ from Trump, while they praise Obama for using executive orders to ‘work around’ the people’s congress.

  7. Another interpretation of the U.S. Marshals’ action; they didn’t have the order with them that would have allowed them to take anyone into custody. Having read a touch about the behavior of the police in other areas–though doubtless nowhere near as much as Swiftee–I dare say “this is getting to be a habit, isn’t it?” If indeed the Constitution allows only “reasonable” search and seizure per the 4th Amendment, and that is true, then ought not agents be required, ahem, to have the “reason” with them?

    Along those lines, I would hope that I would be smart enough to see through this kind of thing if I were ever in a jury box, smart enough to be what many corrupt prosecutors/etc., would call a “juror from Hell.”

  8. I had to read this 3 times, I thought at first it was one of Merg’s parables.
    And certainly now more than ever cameras should be mandatory in all legal proceedings.

  9. Having federal agents tase and then detain a defendant’s attorney is Putin-level authoritarianism.

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