Posts tagged ‘jury’

The Bundy Affair #21 – Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice

The Bundy Affair #21
Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 31, 2017

Introduction

In “Liberty or Laws?  – Justice or Despotism?“, I discussed how the case law method provides the government, through judicial proceedings, to move, a decision at a time, away from the intent of the Constitution.  In recent events in the second Tier 3 trial, only two-thirds of the trial was declared a “mistrial”, while the other third was not declared a mistrial.  I say this because the first trial, by the government’s design, included six defendants, all of whom were accused of wielding firearms on April 12, 2014, when the Bureau of Land Management returned the surviving captured cattle to their rightful owner.  Two defendants were found guilty of some of the charges.  The remaining four were not found guilty of any of the charges, though they were also not found not guilty.  So, there was no mistrial on the two, but there was a mistrial in the same singular trial of the other four.

Now comes the second trial, and the subject of this article.  Jury selection occupied the first two days of the trial and much of the third day.  Now, in jury selection, each side, Prosecution and Defense, may challenge a juror for cause.  Each side also has what are called “peremptory challenges”.  This is the definition of peremptory challenges found in Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition:

Peremptory challenge.  A request from a party that a judge not allow a certain prospective juror to be a member of the jury.  No reason or “cause” need be stated for this type of challenge.  The number of peremptory challenges afforded each party is normally set by statute or court rule.

However, on the third day of trial, the government, apparently butt-hurt over the Defendant’s Peremptory Challenges, brought up what is known as a “Batson Challenge”, historically exercised by the defense, not by the prosecution.  They allege that the peremptory challenges were intentionally applied (state of mind) to exclude certain potential jurors.  Well, it appears that the Defendants cannot have a state of mind presented in Court as to why they went from their homes to Bunkerville, but they can be held accountable for their state of mind when it comes to jury selection.

Background of the Batson Challenge

The Batson Challenge is based upon a 1986 United States Supreme Court decision in Batson v Kentucky 476 US 79.  It deals with the Defendant’s right to challenge a jury makeup if the government’s peremptory challenges create a gender or racial bias in the jury.  First, a little background based upon earlier decisions.  In reviewing these cases, you will see that the original protection afforded to the people by the Constitution is slowly being chipped away.  In this current trial, the right protected for the people is now being used to afford the government the opportunity to claim a right that was intended to be a prohibition against the government.

As early as 1879, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the right of the defendant, with regard to the use by the prosecution of Peremptory Challenges, to stack the jury.  The case was Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 US 303.  Based upon the 14th Amendment, the decision stated, “that a State denies a black defendant equal protection when it puts him on trial before a jury from which members of his race have been purposefully excluded.”  [Quoted portion cited from Batson v. Kentucky.]

Strauder goes on to say that “A defendant has no right to a petit jury composed in whole or in part of persons of his own race.  However, the Equal Protection Clause guarantees the defendant that the State will not exclude members of his race from the jury venire on account of race, or on the false assumption that members of his race as a group are not qualified to serve as jurors.  By denying a person participation in jury service on account of his race, the State also unconstitutionally discriminates against the excluded juror.”  [Quoted portion cited from Batson v. Kentucky.]

Interestingly, that underlined portion from Batson, “By denying a person participation in jury service on account of his race, the State also unconstitutionally discriminates against the excluded juror “, presumes that the juror has a right to sit on the jury, nearly equal to the right of the defendant.  This appears to be a very early example of Civil Rights (See Liberty or Laws? – Natural Rights versus Civil Rights), whereby the government grants a civil right at the expense of one who previously enjoyed a natural right.

However, note that since the Bill of Rights, particularly the Fifth Amendment, guarantees the people the right to a trial by jury, it does not grant that right to the jury.  If anything, the jury has no right to refuse jury service, unless they are otherwise exempted.  The Bill of Rights was to protect us from the government.  It was never intended to provide the government the means to remove our protection from the actions of that government.

What the Batson decision does not provide, however, is the background of Strauder.  Strauder was indicted for murder.  He was an ex-slave, and the indictment was tried in a West Virginia Circuit Court and found guilty.  His case then went to the West Virginia Supreme Court, where they upheld the lower court’s verdict.  It then went to the United States Supreme Court on a Writ of Error.  So, taking from the Strauder decision, we find what led to the composition of the jury in the Circuit Court trial, to wit:

In the Circuit Court of the State, before the trial of the indictment was commenced, the defendant presented his petition, verified by his oath, praying for a removal of the cause into the Circuit Court of the United States, assigning, as ground for the removal, that ‘by virtue of the laws of the State of West Virginia no colored man was eligible to be a member of the grand jury or to serve on a petit jury in the State; that white men are so eligible, and that by reason of his being a colored man and having been a slave, he had reason to believe, and did believe, he could not have the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings in the State of West Virginia for the security of his person as is enjoyed by white citizens, and that he had less chance of enforcing in the courts of the State his rights on the prosecution, as a citizen of the United States, and that the probabilities of a denial of them to him as such citizen on every trial which might take place on the indictment in the courts of the State were much more enhanced than if he was a white man.’

This led to West Virginia, not a seceding state that would have been required to rewrite its constitution, to revise its laws on jury makeup.  This, of course, was a consequence of the due process provision of the 14th Amendment.

As I have said in the past, the presumption of innocence was based upon the fact that the Indictment (the alleged story of events) was on trial, not the defendant.  However, we have lost sight of that concept and now perceive the guilt of the defendant (the focus) as the purpose of the trial, not the validity of the Indictment.  Subtle, but still effective.

The Batson decision also provides the following:

[T]he Kentucky Supreme Court observed that recently, in another case, it had relied on Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202, and had held that a defendant alleging lack of a fair cross section must demonstrate systematic exclusion of a group of jurors from the venire.

So, in this citation, the defendant has the burden of proving that the prosecution has not used “systematic exclusion” in their use of their peremptory challenges.  However, as we will see, in the current case, that burden will be transferred to the prosecution, and the defendant is accused of “systematic exclusion”.

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair #21 – Batson Challenge – in the Name of Injustice’ »

Liberty or Laws – Justice or Despotism

Liberty or Laws?

Justice or Despotism?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 10, 2017

When the colonies severed their allegiance to England, in 1776, through the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, they had to have some form of law upon which to deal with matters, both criminal and civil.  To do so, they adopted the Common Law of England, as it existed on July 4, 1776.  This, then, became the foundation of laws upon which both the federal government and state governments began the process of developing their judicial systems.

What is important to understand is that the laws that they adopted were concerned with Justice.  For example, though Webster’s 1828 dictionary has no definition of “judicial”, an adjective, it does have one for that body that is responsible for that function of government, the Judiciary:

JUDI’CIARY, n.  That branch of government which is concerned in the trial and determination of controversies between parties, and of criminal prosecutions; the system of courts of justice in a government.  An independent judiciary is the firmest bulwark of freedom.

Through our history, there have been legal scholars who stand well above the current lot, in that their concern for justice was paramount in their considerations, and the subject of much of their scholarly writings.

Perhaps the best known of these legal scholars was Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), and his seminal “Blackstone’s Commentaries.  From Book 1 of those Commentaries, we find some familiar phraseology:

“[A] subordinate right of every Englishman is that of applying to the courts of justice for redress of injuriesSince the law is in England the supreme arbiter of every man’s life, liberty, and property, courts of justice must at all times be open to the subject, and the law be duly administered therein.”

“And we have seen that these rights consist, primarily, in the free enjoyment of personal security, of personal liberty, and of private property.”

Of course, personal security is best defined as “life”, as without it, we have nothing.  And, Blackstone used the common term, “property”, as did most of the declarations of independence that predate Jefferson’s more poetic version.

What else did Sir Blackstone tells us about justice that was of extreme importance then, and should be equally so, now.  When he discusses Felony Guilt, he states his understanding and then refers to another scholar, Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676), from Book 4:

“Presumptive Evidence of Felony.  All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer.  Sir Matthew Hale lays down two rules: (1) Never to convict a man for stealing the goods of a person unknown, merely because he will not account how he came by them; unless an actual felony be proved of such goods.  (2) Never to convict any person of murder or manslaughter, till at least the body be found dead.”

This subject can easily be set aside by the government simply stating that “times have changed”, since Blackstone wrote the Commentaries in the 1760s.  However, that discounts the fact that justice cannot change, only the misapplication of justice can change.  That latter is quite simply defined as injustice.

The Constitution provided two means by which the constitutionality of a law could be challenged.  The first, found in Article I, § 9, clause 2:

. Continue reading ‘Liberty or Laws – Justice or Despotism’ »

Burns Chronicles No 58 – “Twice Put in Jeopardy”

Burns Chronicles No 58
“Twice Put in Jeopardy”

 

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 23, 2017

Of course, we must start with the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, as it is the “supreme Law of the Land.  The pertinent part reads:

“No person… shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

Now, that phrase, “twice put in jeopardy” is also referred to as “Double Jeopardy”, though whichever way we choose to phrase it, the meaning is quite simple.  If you are charged with a crime, absent a mistrial or some other legitimate cause, you can only stand trial one time.

It used to be that a crime was simply stated.  If you murdered someone, then you were charged with murder.  If you murdered more than one person, then additional counts of murder were added to the charge.  You would not be charged with, say, unlawful discharge of a firearm within the limits of the city, destruction of private property if the bullet damaged something, assault, illegal possession of a weapon, or any other crimes that you may have committed while also committing murder.  You simply stood trial for murder.

If you were acquitted, that was it.  If they found additional evidence that proved that you had really committed the murder, that was too bad.  They had their chance, and they blew it.

This protection, afforded by the Bill of Rights was a prohibition against the government trying and then retrying, you until they could get a conviction.  It also precluded your being tried by one court, found not guilty, and then tried by another court in different jurisdiction, for the same crime.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 58 – “Twice Put in Jeopardy”’ »

Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting

Freedom of the Press #11
Aiding, But Not Abetting

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
March 3, 2017   (Coincidental to the presumed authority of Judge Brown’s assumption that she could Order me to answer by this date.)

The government has persistently suggested that I have “aided and abetted” the defendants by exposing informants that were paid by the government to spy on the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during January 2016.  That is only one of the elements that needs to exist before the Court can find me in contempt of court for non-compliance with the Order to remove all prohibited material from my website and any other website.

The other elements include whether I am subject to the Court’s Protective Order, and, if so, do I fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.  Currently, the Court has an outstanding Order that I appear and show cause why I should not be held in contempt of court.

Well, as explained in Freedom of the Press #3 – “Contemptuous Postings”, aiding and abetting has a legal definition.  That definition can be found in case law as well as legal dictionaries, such as Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, which states:

Help, assist, or facilitate the commission of a crime, promote the accomplishment thereof, help in advancing or bringing it about, or encourage, counsel, or incite as to its commission.

The case law cited by the government shysters also includes criminal activity as a necessary element.  One of the reasons for the Supreme Court decision in New York Times Co. v. United States (Pentagon Papers) was that there was no crime resulting from the disclosure of the classified documents.  The Court then upheld, in rather strong terms, the right, even the responsibility, of the press to publish such information.

Key to that decision was an absence of aiding and abetting, since though the exposure of the information was in good faith and brought to light some misdeeds of government, the publication of that material was not criminal, nor did it lead to a criminal act.  The person (Daniel Ellsberg) who violated his signed agreement not to disclose the information, committed the only criminal act.  The New York Times aided and abetted no one.  (See Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”.)

In the Court’s Order (ECF #1691) of January 11, 2017, Judge Brown states:

On this record, therefore, the Court concludes the government has sufficiently demonstrated that Hunt has aided and abetted the dissemination of materials covered by the Protective Order, and, therefore, the Court GRANTS in part the government’s Motion (#1680) to Enforce Protective Order as follows:

Using her judicial discretion (See Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny), she has determined that there is no party that I aided, since that party is unnamed.  She has also made the dissemination of materials a criminal act, though I, similar to the New York Times, am not subject to the Protective Order.

Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting’ »

Burns Chronicles No 57 – Collusion or Conspiracy?

Burns Chronicles No 57
Collusion or Conspiracy?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 4, 2017

On October 27, 2016, shortly after the very just verdict of “Not Guilty” was announced in the Ammon Bundy, et al, Group 1 trial, a meeting was held in the Mark O. Hatfield Federal District Courthouse.  The 12 jurors, Judge Anna Brown, and a court reporter, attended the meeting.  It lasted about one and a half hours.

It is my understanding that such a meeting is not unusual.  However, circumstances surrounding this particular meeting are, to say the least, quite unusual, considering context.  That is exactly what we are going to do.

The first irregularity occurred when the Prosecutor moved to have the trial declared “complex”, which allowed the Court to circumvent the right to a speedy trial and to break the defendants up into two groups.  The first Group (mostly leaders) was tried in September and October 2016, and the second Group to be tried beginning in February 2017.  While the delayed trial date was agreeable, as the Defendants needed the additional time to prepare their defense, one drawback is that many of the Defendants were held in custody until the verdict was reached, in the first trial.  The latter trial date made the government’s case easier, as they had smaller groups to try, and it gave time to elicit plea bargains, thereby reducing the number who would be prosecuted at trial.

Next, during the pre-trial “paper chase”, with hundreds of motions filed, answered, and finally ruled on, there is no doubt that bias existed on the part of Judge Anna Brown.  Behind the scenes, many of us followed this legal maneuvering for months.  It seemed that even when the arguments presented by the defense were well supported, Judge Brown would still rule against the defense and in favor the Prosecution.

During the trial, there were rather strict rules imposed on the defense, especially when they sought to call additional witnesses to testify.  Judge Brown ruled that to allow that would be “repetitive”.  However, the prosecution showed a 1-minute video of approximately twenty of the occupiers firing across a canal.  The fact that the Prosecution showed that footage four times, however, was not considered “repetitive”.

Finally, and here we get to the meeting, Judge Brown called all of the participating jurors into the meeting, after dismissing the alternate jurors.  In that meeting, she explained that she would answer their questions, if they had any.  She also asks some questions, and explained that the answers would help the prosecution and the defense.  So, just how could it help the defense?  The Defense prevailed.  It could only help the Prosecution gain insight into the jurors’ minds in order to determine what they would need to overcome to obtain guilty verdicts in the Group 2 trial.

Some jurors indicated that had the charges been less serious, like simple “misdemeanor trespass”, it would have been much easier to render a guilty verdict.

Let me interrupt, for a moment, and point out that the Judge holds office under Article III (Judicial Branch of Government), and is, in essence, an impartial referee.  Her job is to “administer law in a court of justice”, “to control the proceedings”, and to make “decisions of questions of law or discretion”.  Her job is not to favor one side over the other, but rather to stand aside, interjecting only to the extent necessary to assure a fair trial.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 57 – Collusion or Conspiracy?’ »

Burns Chronicles No 56 – Is a Misdemeanor a Crime? or, Is the Court a Crime?

Burns Chronicles No 56
Is a Misdemeanor a Crime? or, Is the Court a Crime?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 29, 2017

Perhaps we should start with Article VI, clause 2, of the Constitution of the United States of America:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Now, that is easy to follow and understand.  First, “This Constitution“, and, next, “the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof“, “shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby.”

Article V of the Constitution states that when an Amendment is ratified, it “shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution.”  “Shall” is mandatory.  It is imposed, without recourse, and must be obeyed.  The requirement that any “Laws… which shall be made in Pursuance thereof” precludes any enactment, statute, or rule, to be in violation of the intent of the Constitution and the Laws made Pursuant to it

In a previous article, “To Jury, or, Not To Jury“, the Sixth and Seventh Amendments were discussed.  Now, let’s go to the top, the Constitution itself, and see what it says.  This led to the more descriptive wording in the Sixth and Seventh Amendments.  This case has to do with misdemeanor charges of trespass, tampering with vehicles or equipment and destruction of property.  This is the Article that established the Judicial Branch, Article III, § 2, clause three:

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury…

The subsequent Amendments set no limit on criminal charges and a minimum of twenty dollars in civil actions, each requiring a jury trial.  The Amendments made clear, without ambiguity, that any case tried in a court of the United States must fall within those two described areas.  There are no exceptions.

However, this Court, appearing to be inquisitorial rather than just, has opted to circumvent those limitations imposed upon judiciary, by the very document that created the judiciary.  It has put in place, by two methods, a means of deception, whereby the Court can circumvent the Law of the Land.  Chicanery, defined as “deception or trickery, especially by the clever manipulation of language”, is certainly involved in this current circumvention and “inquisition”.

First, chicanery is often used in the “case law method”, where higher court decisions are based upon previous decisions, not necessarily in accordance with the Constitution.  This method began being applied in 1872, shortly after the Civil War.  Harvard University set forth the “method”.  It has since become what appears to be the primary foundation for decisions, most often, without regard to the Constitution.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 56 – Is a Misdemeanor a Crime? or, Is the Court a Crime?’ »

Freedom of the Press #4 – The Order

Freedom of the Press #4
The Order

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 12, 2017

I got a call from FBI Special Agent Matthew Catalano, earlier today, January 11, 2017.  He told me that he had an Order to serve.  We made the same arrangements to meet at the restaurant in Los Molinos.  The restaurant only serves breakfast and lunch, so it was closed, but I figured that this wouldn’t take very long.

I arrived at about 4:15 pm, and he said that he had to serve me.  He handed me the Order, I looked at it and said, “I refuse this service, it is for the District of Oregon, and I am not within that jurisdiction.”  I held the paperwork out toward him, but he did not take it, so, I said, “I will keep this, but I want you to tell Judge Anna Brown that I refuse service, as I am not subject to the Oregon District’s jurisdiction.”  He agreed to convey the message, and then he proceeded to read certain portions of the Order to me.  When he was finished, I reminded him that I wanted Brown to receive my message, and he assured me that he would pass it on.  I feel certain that he will.  After all, that is his job.  We shook hands, and we departed.

Though I had already received two copies of the Order from other sources, I hadn’t read it.  The news traveled so rapidly that my phone was in near constant use.  However, between calls, I read portions of the Order.  As I did so, a smile crept across my face.  Now, you may wonder why I would smile after receiving the Order, but my first thought was that Judge Brown had not had an opportunity to read my article, that had gone out just a few hours before.  The Order had been docketed, and I received copies just minutes after posting my article.  Judge Brown had not had the opportunity to read my response to the Memorandum that had refuted most, if not all, of what she was provided by the US Attorney in the form of the Memorandum to prepare the Order.

Quite frankly, when Brown filed the Minute Order (See Freedom of the Press Update – A Grateful Thank You), there were two possibilities.  First, that she really was holding the government’s feet to the fire, seeking real legal justification for issuing an Order.  The other, that she simply wanted the government to give her the paperwork she needed, in the form of a Memorandum, to provide justification to issue such an Order.  I decided to act on the former.  I had said many things about Anna Brown in the past, few of them complimentary, but if she had turned to the right side, she was deserving of the benefit of the doubt.  Her actions, in the past, had been nigh onto dictatorial, and had no foundation in law or justice.

So, let’s look at her Order, and I will comment, as we go.  It is dated January 11, 2017.

This matter comes before the Court on the government’s Motion (#1680) to Enforce Protective Order in which the government seeks to enjoin a third party, Gary Hunt, from further dissemination of discovery materials that are protected by the Court’s Protective Order (#342) issued March 24, 2016.

Through the Affidavits (#1681, #1690) of FBI Special Agent Ronnie Walker, the government asserts Hunt published excerpts from protected discovery materials on his website beginning on November 15, 2016, and continuing through the present. In particular, the government contends the postings on Hunt’s website identify some of the confidential human sources (CHSs) that the government used during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. This information is not only protected by the Protective Order (#342), but the Court also found in its Order (#1453) issued October 18, 2016, that the government had provided to Defendants all information regarding CHSs that was relevant and helpful to the defense and, in particular, that the government was not obligated to disclose to Defendants the identities of the CHSs. Thus, the information in Hunt’s postings should not be publicly available.

Well, that is cute.  Have I not said, from the beginning, that I was not subject to the Protective Order?  Now, she says that the “information is protected by the Protective Order.”  That means that those subject to the Protective Order have an obligation to protect the information.  She is right in line with my thinking.  But, that will change a little later.

Then, she finds that “the government had provided to Defendants all information regarding CHSs that was relevant and helpful to the defense.”  That information was relayed to the defense on October 18, about ten days before the jury returned the not guilty verdict.  She also stated, “that the government was not obligated to disclose to Defendants the identities of the CHSs.”

So, let’s get real.  The government gave out redacted copies of the 1023 forms.  The defense could not call any witnesses who had been informants.  Obviously the information the government, and Judge Anna Brown, were willing to allow the defense to have was totally insufficient for them to prepare their defenses, especially with regard to possible exculpatory testimony those informants might have provided.  The Judge, well let’s just go with Brown, from this point on, disregarded the fact that two of the government’s informants testified.  Terri Linnell came forward voluntarily, against the wishes of the Prosecution, and testified for the defense. A diligent effort by the defense teams in tracking down Fabio Monoggio, another informant, whose testimony also was beneficial to the defense.  Both gave testimony, which may well have turned the tide on the jury’s verdict.  This testimony would have been denied the defense under the enforcement of the Protective Order and the subsequent statement on October 18.

This is absolutely contrary to the right protected by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which says that the accused has the right, “to be confronted by the witnesses against him“.  Now, some have claimed that informants, unless they testify, are not witness.  However, that is not what the Protective Order (March 24, 2016) says.  That Protective Order clearly states what the prohibitions are, to wit:

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Protective Order applies only to:

(1) Statements by witnesses and defendants to government officials;

(2) Sealed documents; and

(3) Evidence received from searches of electronic media.

Now, there are only two human objects in the Protective Order.  It applies to “witnesses” and “defendants”.  Well, I am not exposing defendants, so if the informants are not witnesses, then I am not in violation of the Protective Order.  Ergo, the informants are witnesses, so saith Brown.

Therefore, Brown has denied the constitutionally protected right of the defendants to confront those witnesses.

The record reflects FBI Special Agent Matthew Catalano met Hunt, who resides in Los Molinos, California, on January 5, 2017, and personally served him with a cease-and-desist letter from the government that demanded Hunt remove all discovery materials from his website. Special Agent Catalano also provided Hunt with a copy of this Court’s Protective Order (#342). According to SA Walker, Hunt stated he did not intend to comply with the cease- and-desist letter and did not believe that the Protective Order applied to him. It appears Hunt has not removed the protected discovery materials from his website.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #4 – The Order’ »

Burns Chronicles No 50 – Informants – What to do About Them #2

Burns Chronicles No 50
Informants – What to do About Them #2

Mark McConnell
Merry Christmas, Mark

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 25, 2016
Merry Christmas, Mark McConnell

The matter of informants, and the government’s efforts to protect the names of those who have snuck into our midst is a denial of justice and to some degree, the Sixth Amendment right “to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”

Now, we can look at what the government wants us to believe. We can also look at what common sense dictates that the Framers of the Constitution meant. Just because a person doesn’t take the stand in court, when that person has provided information to the government, upon which the government builds its case, he has witnessed against the accused. The defendants, then, had every right to confront that “witness”, as he is privy to what he saw, what he heard, and what he said to the government. He is as much a part of the case against the defendant as the person who takes the stand, takes an oath, and testifies. Quite often, he is the justification for a search or arrest warrant to be issued, or a criminal indictment to be brought, before the court.

However, when that ‘witness’ is hidden from the defendant, the defendant is denied information that may aid him in a proper and fair defense. In some cases, their testimony might provide exculpatory evidence, testimony that might prove his innocence, that would undermine the contrived case made by the government.

With the recent trial of Ammon Bundy, et al, we can begin to put together a picture of the injustice and the dishonesty of the government’s pretext for hiding such “witnesses.”

We will begin with a partial trial transcript of the trial on October 17, 2016:

THE COURT:

I would like to start first with Ms. Harris’s motion with respect to the identity of a witness. [Some of] the defendants have subpoenaed, it’s Docket No. 1443, And it is really a subset of the larger issue raised both by Ryan Bundy in previous filings and by Ammon Bundy in his motion to compel 1423. Before, I received Ms. Harris’ filing, which I only received this morning about 7:00 a.m. it showed up in my system, I had emailed to the parties my preliminary conclusions having reviewed, in camera, the unredacted reports related to the so-called CHSs confidential human sources, 15 different individuals, 112 reports, and I conveyed in that email to the parties that I have compared the redacted to the nonredacted reports and according to the applicable standard, did not find any basis to disclose the identity of those 15 confidential human sources. I observed to the parties that as I compared the redactions from the unredacted material, I really didn’t find any substantive significance. The redactions primarily looked to me as necessary to protect the identity of the informant, and so with respect to that general review, I conveyed to the parties my intention was to deny the motion generally.

Then came in Ms. Harris’s motion on behalf of Ms. Cox with respect to a very particular one of those 15 confidential human sources, identified in her motion as number two, as to whom I have the redacted and unredacted materials. That was one person’s records I went through.

The motion indicates that the defendants have found the actual CH#2 who was known to the — who went by an alias, according to this motion, of John Killman. K-I-L-L-M-A-N. And so the motion goes on to argue why it’s relevant, first of all, for the defendants to call this person whose alias is John Killman and to introduce evidence from his personal knowledge of observations he made at the refuge.

And I presume defendants already know his true name in that they — Ms. Harris tells me in this filing that he’s been subpoenaed in his, is physically present, and needs to testify first thing because of other issues in his life.

We can see that the identification of the informants is a primary concern of Judge Anna Brown. Next to speak is one of the Government attorneys.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 50 – Informants – What to do About Them #2’ »

Burns Chronicles No 46 – Words from the Poor Losers #2

Burns Chronicles No 46
Words from the Poor Losers #2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 13, 2016

Shortly after the verdict in the first Oregon Conspiracy trial, I wrote Words from the Poor Losers.  It was based upon statements made by government ‘officials’ who were upset over the verdicts of not guilty on all but one count one of the defendants.

That article laid out the government’s response to the verdict from the United States Attorney’s Office, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

On December 6, 2016, Defendant Jason Patrick filed “DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT: PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT – PREJUDICIAL EXTRAJUDICIAL STATEMENTS” and his “MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT“.  On the same day, Jason also filed another motion and memorandum, though the government has yet to respond.  That second motion, then, will be addressed when the government decides to answer it.

Rather surprisingly, as far as the first motion, the government filed their “GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT” just six days later, on December 12.

So, first, let’s look at what Jason said in his motion.  He “moves the Court for an Order dismissing the Superseding Indictment herein by and for the grounds that the United States Government by and through The United States Attorney, and other Executive Agencies have made public statements disparaging the jury’s acquittal of the first seven defendants tried herein while a second trial of the remaining defendants was pending.”

In his Memorandum, he cites:

United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Billy J. Williams, October 27, 2016:
“While we had hoped for a different outcome, we respect the verdict of the jury and thank them for their dedicated service during this long and difficult trial.”

The suggestion of “hope” seems to go beyond the pursuit of justice.  If there was to be “hope”, it should be that the outcome of the trial would serve justice, not their hopes or desires.  Then, they condescend with their “respect” and thanks.

Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon, October 27, 2016.
“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.  Although we are extremely disappointed in the verdict, we respect the court and the role of the jury in the American judicial system.”

If “rigorous obedience” to the Constitution is what Bretzing means, then should he respect the verdict of the jury as being a “rigorous obedience” to that Constitution?  If so, why should he be “disappointed in the verdict”?  Shouldn’t he be pleased that justice has been served?

Tweet from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, October 28, 2016.
Respect the court, but deeply disappointed in Malheur verdicts.  Safety of employees remains the top priority.  S J.

Now, Sally Jewell doesn’t seem to respect the jury, only the “court”.  And we have seen just how that Court, under the rule of Judge Anna Brown, has done all within her power to obstruct the defense while favoring the prosecution.  It seems that there is no respect for the jury, because it would be difficult to respect someone who had “disappointed” you.

So, we see that the federal officials who have voiced their displeasure seem to view the entire judicial process as a personal vendetta against those they choose to prosecute.  It is no longer a matter of justice, because the vindictiveness of those officials shows through like a sore thumb, or, rather, a poor loser.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 46 – Words from the Poor Losers #2’ »

Burns Chronicles No 45 – Mark McConnell #2

Burns Chronicles No 45
Mark McConnell #2

mm-on-border-2016-2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 30, 2016

I have obtained some additional information on Mark McConnell that will be of interest to all.  After my last article, “Mark McConnell“, it seems that McConnell kept saying that the information was readily available.  He never really addressed whether he was an informant, or not.  He simply sidestepped the issue of the role he played.

So, let’s separate the issues between what he said and whether he was an informant.  To do so, we simply look to the Court record and see what transpired, on two separate occasions, during the trial of the United States of America v. Ammon Bundy, et al.  The verdict was not guilty on all but one count.

From the rough draft transcripts of the trial, September 21, 2016.  Mr. Gabriel is one of the prosecuting attorneys.  Beckert is an Oregon State Police officer.  Mr. Mumford was Ammon Bundy’s attorney.  Yu will not that the government prosecuting attorney intentionally outed McConnell as a government informant.  I will leave the reader to speculate as to why they would do this.

GABRIEL: Your Honor, Jeremiah Beckert from the Oregon State Police. He will testify to the stop of the Jeep that Ammon Bundy and Mark McConnell and Brian Cavalier were traveling in.

* * *

Mr. Gabriel: So I want to direct your attention to the evening of January 26th of this year, 2016.

A.  Okay.

Q.  Were you a part of a traffic stop on a brown Jeep?

A.  Yes, I was.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 45 – Mark McConnell #2’ »