Posts tagged ‘patriots’

Burns Chronicles No 61 – Jon Ritzheimer is Going to Prison

Burns Chronicles No 61

Jon Ritzheimer is Going to Prison

But His Service Continues to Help His Fellow Defendants

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 4, 2017

Jon Ritzheimer had some things to say, after he was sentenced by Judge Anna Brown to serve 1 year and 1 day.  However, with time served and good time, he will probably serve only eight more months, beginning in February when he has to begin his sentence.

Below is a letter Jon sent for me to get out to those who wish to see our once great nation returned to obedience to the Constitution, as written and intended.  It also explains Jon’s continued willingness to help those who have been required to pay restitution as a part of their sentence.  Though I have known about his intention in this regard, for some time, it is time for all to know how kind and caring Jon’s heart really is.  The two guns going to auction were the only two that were not confiscated by the government.  Truly historical pieces.  This will be explained in the following letter.

Further, though he has arranged to have the Gremlin Garage continue in his absences, he is concerned with the needs of his family and provides a means for those of you willing to help, a means to do so.

And, finally, the government sought a 24 month, 3 years of supervised release for Jon.  Fortunately, for us, and especially for Jon and his family, Judge Brown saw that though she had to punish him, she chose a much more fair sentence than what the government sought.

For Jon’s letter:
Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 61 – Jon Ritzheimer is Going to Prison’ »

The Bundy Affair #22 – Ryan Bundy’s Brilliant Opening Statement

The Bundy Affair #22

Ryan Bundy’s Brilliant Opening Statement

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 20, 2017

Bret Whipple is Cliven Bundy’s attorney in the current trial in Las Vegas, Whipple, in an interview with John Lamb, made some observations on Ryan Bundy’s opening statement, that I will paraphrase. He said that he was impressed with Ryan’s statement because it cut to the chase in common language; he had the courage to speak so calmly and so well, with the pressure on him, and in so short an amount of time. He then pointed out that the jury seemed mesmerized and that the entire courtroom was silent for a few minutes after Ryan competed his statement.

Now, I know that sounds awfully over the top, but, then, when I read Ryan’s statement, well, it is seldom that I have tears in my eyes, but this was an exception. And, all I did was read it. I’m sure that those who heard Ryan give this statement, with the eloquence that has been stated by others, that nobody could walk away and be unmoved by what he had to say.

Below is the entire opening statement given by Ryan Bundy, to the jury, on November 15, 2017.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks to the jurors for being here. I Told you a little about myself at voir dire, but I’d like to introduce myself a little more, and tell you about my heritage and how that affects my case. (Projects a picture of his family – AND leaves it up throughout his statement!) [Note: the picture shown above.]

This is my ID! Not my driver’s license. This is who I am, a man with a family and I’ll do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want you to picture in your minds…you’re out on the land… I’ll take you to our ranch, you can see all the beauty of the land, the fresh air, sunsets and sunrises, the brush, you’re on a horse in front of the cattle – place yourself there – feel the freedom – out of the congestion of the cars – that’s how I was raised, playing in the river, we were called river-rats and that is where my life began and I hope ends.

My family has been on that land 141 years, my pioneer ancestors settled there in 1877 – there was nothing there. They carved out a living… they brought a horse and wagon and some provisions… this case, the government mentioned is “not about rights”, but it is – those rights do mean something – rights are created through beneficial use. When my ancestors arrived, undoubtedly the horse would need a drink, so they lead him to the water and that is beneficial use. The horse and perhaps a cow that had been lead behind the wagon need eat some brush in the hills, that is beneficial use. That established rights. The water rights are real! So real, the State of Nevada has a water rights registry including livestock watering rights. A law was created to protect those rights. The water rights that my father owns were first registered in 1891 by the State of Nevada – the State of Nevada is important, a sovereign state, it’s own unit, which entered the union in 1864. It entered equal to the original states, it is its own entity and state laws are important.

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair #22 – Ryan Bundy’s Brilliant Opening Statement’ »

Barbeau Qued in Seattle – A Patriot’s Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 2

Barbeau Qued in Seattle

A Patriot’s Bulletin Vol. 1 No. 2

Schuyler’s Last Edition from Behind Prison Walls

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 20, 2017

Later today, Schuyler Barbeau will walk out of Federal Detention Center, SeaTac, after over 23 months for making his own firearm and finding that the government’s overarching authority extends well beyond commerce and that you can be taxed for something you made with your own hands.

Today will be his last day in prison, and today, his last “A Patriots Bulletin” will have been published from prison.

The Bulletin is 31 pages, including the cover, and has articles by Schuyler, other inmates he has shared the past two years with, and copied newspaper articles with subject matter having to do with the infringed right to keep and bear arms.

Get your copy here: A Patriot’s Bulletin-Vol 1 No 2.pdf

 

Burns Chronicles No 60 – Duane Ehmer is Going to Prison

Burns Chronicles No 60

Duane Ehmer is Going to Prison

Hellboy will be Without His Companion

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 20, 2017

Duane Ehmer was convicted of a felony, willfully damaging the refuge, or depredation of government property, by using a refuge excavator to dig two deep trenches, and misdemeanor trespassing; tampering with government vehicles and equipment; and destruction and removal of government property during the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. For these, he was sentenced to serve one year and one day in prison and to pay restitution in the amount of $10,000. The restitution is based upon a claim that a burial ground was disturbed, though no evidence of a burial or an artifacts have been presented. So, just words by someone who wasn’t there is sufficient to steal Duane’s hard earned money, when he gets out of prison.

During his sentencing hearing, he read a prepared statement:

“I am a proud American veteran and father. I am active in my community and a small business owner. After ten years of good service I left the Army I was too broken for military service any longer, I had to start over with a hearing loss and PTSD and other issues

“I tried to isolate myself from the world just focusing on what was important in life and starting over. I taught myself to weld and started a welding business. I built my business for about ten years before the Refuge.

“When I went to the refuge I went because I heard on the radio that terrorist had taken over the Burns wildlife refuge.

“This wasn’t the case. I went there expecting to stop terrorists in my backyard. This is why I went to the Refuge. I had no background information about the Bundy’s or the Hammond’s before I got there. I had never heard of anything to do with the militias or anything else.

“Once I arrived at the Refuge, I quickly learned that what was happening on the ground didn’t match what was being told to anyone. The Hammond family came the first morning I was there, and I learned their story first hand. So, I tried to talk to the locals about what was going on. I knew old cowboys never begged for help. But they begged us to stay. I also knew it was going to get real ugly and dangerous. After being there three or four days, I returned home.

“I love my daughter very much and valued her freedom. I prayed about what to do, and I felt God telling me to return to the Refuge with my horse and flag. So, I did. I knew it was a symbolic fight and there was no way to match the government’s firepower. But I would do what I could to get the truth out. I was going over everything in my head from my military experience to meeting the Hammonds, and it broke my heart to see old cowboys beg for help.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 60 – Duane Ehmer is Going to Prison’ »

Camp Lone Star – Massey is in the Hole

Camp Lone Star – Massey is in the Hole

Maybe there is more to this than meets the eye

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 6, 2017

I’m going to piece a story together from some information I was provided by a friend. I can’t yet confirm the veracity of the story, though in writing it, perhaps the truth of its accuracy will eventually be established.

It begins in a federal prison in Texas. The prison has the main blocks (behind the wall), and a less secure area known as the “Satellite”. It is in the Satellite where the following people and events occurred.

To begin with, there must be someone in authority who can allow certain things to happen, and to make other things happen. Let’s call that person “Mz. Ruiz”. She works for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and is involved in setting, or changing, release dates for prisoners. She is also the Case Manager for Massey, who recently ‘advised’ him that his release date had been moved from December 7, 2017 to January 8, 2018. Though Ruiz blamed the change on the Resident Reentry Manager, as you will see, there may be more to this story than meets the eye.

Ruiz had also made accusations against Massey, saying that he had threatened her on the phone. However, when the Lieutenant that investigated the matter reviewed the recorded phone calls in front of Massey, there were just a number of derogatory comments about Ruiz, no threats, at all. Apparently, her claim was concocted, and the charge was dismissed. Ruiz told Massey that she would never talk with him, again, unless his counselor or a Unit Manager were present

One of the prisoners, Cody Mayfield, is in Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, and even as a federal prisoner, he manages to keep his Facebook page going. He also seems to have a very good relationship with Mz. Ruiz. He seems to know when there will be inspections, or investigations that are trying to catch him operating his illegal gambling operation.

When he pressured an inmate to pay up on a gambling loss, the inmate threatened to turn him in. Instead, he relieved that debt and hid his gambling equipment until the SIS (Special Investigation Squad) searched, and found nothing. It seems that he must have the support of someone within BOP to manage to always avoid the bullet. What led to this incident was the debtor that owed the gambling debt, contacted his wife and told her about it. She then called the prison about the money her husband owed to Mayfield for the gambling debt.

It appears that Mayfield also borrowed $150 from Massey, about 7 months before to pay some gambling debts. However, he has yet to repay the $150 to Massey. Not a good character reference, considering the Facebook posting.

The next player in this soap opera is Danny Contreras (Daniel Armando Contreras). Danny, according to sources, brings in about 90% of the contraband that comes into the Satellite. Danny appears to be Mayfield’s source for steroids and needles. Danny must have some good connections, and some of what he brings in is “K2”, which is a Synthetic marijuana, and was found in the autopsied remains of New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez, who died in prison. The K2 was considered as contributing to Hernandez’s death.

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star – Massey is in the Hole’ »

Camp Lone Star – Domestic Terrorist! Really?

Camp Lone Star

Domestic Terrorist!   Really?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 1, 2017

Kevin “KC” Massey filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request back in October 2016. He just received a response (FOIA Response). Though only two and a little bit of a third page, it is rather interesting. You can read the whole Response, though I will give some highlights. “xxx” indicates redactions, mostly names.

It begins with a Summary of Events, “On September 2, 2014, Cameron County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Investigator and Task Force Officer (TFO) for the FBI Brownsville Field Office xxx called ATF SA xxx for assistance on the ‘BP Militia’ case.” So, the government had already set up an investigation on the “BP Militia”. So, well, it wasn’t just a coincidence that the events of August 29, 2014 occurred as they did. (ATF=Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms; SA=Special Agent; BP=Border Patrol; NFA=National Firearms Act)
Now, when we see the background, well:

“On September 2, 2014, CCSO Investigator xxx had called ATF SA xxx for assistance with the firearms from an arrest of a militia member that had been shot at by an United States Border Patrol Agent over the weekend of August 29. 2014. xxx advised SA xxx that the BP agent was following a group of illegals through the brush when he encountered a militia member pointing a firearm at him. CCSO Investigator xxx also informed SA xxx that this militia member is a previously convicted felon who was possibly in possession of NFA weapons.”

Nobody was arrested on August 29, and Court testimony established that Foerster (the one that was shot at) never pointed his weapon at the BP agent.

This, too, establishes that the government was making up a story, or they are piss-poor investigators, that would allow them to expand this operation to encompass Massey.
Then, “SA xxx advised CCSO Investigator xxx that the ATF would assist the CCSO with the investigation and agreed to meet xxx at the CCSO on this same day to examine and take custody of the recovered firearms in order to send them to ATF lab, as well as obtain copies of the current case report.”

On that same day, September, 2014, we have:

“CCSO Investigator xxx called SA xxx, approximately 15 min[utes] after the conclusion of the first phone call [described in the previous paragraph], to inform SA xxx that he had to  “un-invite” ATF to the case. CCSO apologized and said that the call came from above him and he was following orders.”

So, the normal course of investigation and the involvement of ATF was abruptly halted, in just 15 minutes, because, “the call came from above him and he was following orders.”

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star – Domestic Terrorist! Really?’ »

Burns Chronicles No 59 – Ryan Bundy Holds the Key

Burns Chronicles No 59

Ryan Bundy Holds the Key

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 30, 2017

On January 26, 2016, several people, in two private vehicles were on their way to a scheduled meeting John Day, Oregon.  While in a forested area, with extremely poor, if not non-existent, cell phone coverage, they were set upon by modern day highwaymen (highwaymen were people who stopped travelers and robbed them).  The driver and passengers of the second vehicle submitted to the demands of the heavily armed interlopers, at gunpoint, to leave the vehicle and sit on the side of the snow-covered roadway.

The driver of the second vehicle, a white pick-up truck, following the exit of one of the passengers, sped away, seeking the assistance of a peace officer, Sheriff Glenn Palmer, of Grant County, Oregon.  However, within a couple of miles they found that the highwaymen had set up a barricade across the road, barring passage.  The highwaymen, hidden behind their vehicles, began firing shots at the white truck.  This forced the truck off the road, where some rather adept driving may have saved one of the highwaymen’s life, by swerving, at the last moment.

The truck then came to a stop, and the driver, LaVoy Finicum, exited.  In the back seat were three people; Shawna Cox, Victoria Sharp, and Ryan Bundy.  Bundy sat on the left and Cox on the right.

Having already been shot at, there was concern for the safety of the party.  Finicum, in an effort to draw fire away from those still in the truck, began moving towards the rear and away from the truck.

There were lots of loud noises.  Some from 40 mm projectiles of rubber bullets and tear gas (OSP recovered 13 40 mm casings), others from flash-bang type grenades.  Included, however, were two shots that came from the left-rear of the truck.  One hit the top of the truck and one broke the driver side rear window.  The round that broke the window may well have hit the side of the truck, pressuring the window to break, and deflecting into the shoulder of Ryan Bundy.  This is the more logical explanation, as the velocity of the bullet, absent any other external resistance, should have penetrated much further than the fleshy part of Bundy’s shoulder.

Now, this gets interesting since the Oregon State Police (OSP) had to account for shots fired, though they could not account for two shots.  Shell casings were missing, and the rather perplexing task resulted in speculation regarding the bullet impact on the driver’s side of the truck.  Their conclusion was that it must have come from the shooter that fired three shots as the white truck approached the highwaymen, as shown in this OSP exhibit:

The government tried to attribute the shot at the rear door to the three shots fired as the vehicle approached the barricade.  However, this does not quite work, as if you look at the yellow line in the third image.  You see that if it did hit the truck, it would be a glancing strike.  It would have been deflected upon impact, and the initial point of impact would be the most damaged.  Any additional damage would have been less, as the bullet was deflected away from the truck body.  As you can see, the greater impact was on the right side of the gap between the door and frame.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 59 – Ryan Bundy Holds the Key’ »

Freedom of the Press #18 – The Big Guns

Freedom of the Press #18
The Big Guns

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 10, 2017

August 8, 2017, was the date set for the government to file their response.  They did so in the Government’s Reply to Respondent’s Opposition to Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt.  That will be the subject of this article, however the recent background, since the May 9, 2017, Jurisdiction Hearing.

As a result of that Hearing, the government first filed the Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt (June 12, 2017).  That was the subject “Freedom of the Press #16 – Jurisdiction Hearing“.  It appears that since January, when the government sought to have me held in Contempt of Court, they have yet to come up with a case citation that supports their position.

My response was filed as Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Government’s Memorandum in Support of Civil Contempt (July 21, 2017).  This Memorandum increases the burden on the government, separating articles published before the “Supplemental Protective Order” and the one article published after that Order.  The government has yet to meet any standard of proof with regard to their legal responsibility to do so.

So, the current government Reply endeavors to regurgitate some of the same arguments that the government has relied upon, through the course of this ordeal.  For example, they have, from the beginning, relied upon Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957), when they state, “The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established.”  Where they fail in Roviaro, is that the protection is afforded by allowing the government to protect the identity of the informant.  In the words of the Roviaro decision, “What is usually referred to as the informer’s privilege is, in reality, the Government’s privilege to withhold from disclosure the identity of persons…”  What it does not do is to extend any criminal liability to those that disclose an informant’s identity.  It simply gives the government the right to try to protect the identity.

In the current matter, that was done to the extent that the law allows, the Protective Order that sanctioned those who were given certain information from disclosing that information.  It is only that person, whether a defendant, defendant’s counsel, or even government employee, was subject to the Court’s order not to divulge the identity of the informants.

The government did so even prior to the Discovery being given to the defendants, when they redacted what they believed to be any information that would tend to expose the informants.  The informant’s names were redacted as where many hundreds of words that the government felt would identify the informants.  The government keeping that information away from the defendants (the identification of informants) was their exercise of the protection of the informants, as per Roviaro.

The government continues to persist in stating, rightfully, “this Court had the authority to issue the orders and that it continues to have the authority to enforce the orders.”  However, they have yet to address the relevant aspect of jurisdiction.  To put this in context, if a judge in Mexico issues an order, he has such authority.  He also has the right to enforce that order.  However, does he have the jurisdiction to first, apply that order to someone not within his jurisdiction?  And, second, the authority to enforce the order against someone not within his jurisdiction?

The government wants to spin the context of what I said into a confession that is very, very far from my belief and honest admission as to the authority of the judge.

As the government continues, they make this rather curious assertion:

“When Hunt complains that this Court’s orders “prohibit” him from publishing “certain investigative pieces,” his factual premise is simply inaccurate.  Second, the justification for the original Protective Order continues because there is an ongoing need to protect cooperating witnesses regardless of the status of the trial.”

So, let’s break this down.  I have never complained about anything, except the fact that I was arrested by the government, similar to this current contempt situation, wrongfully applying a statute that did not apply to me, resulting in my spending a week in the Sacramento County Jail.  It would have been substantially longer had not Judge Brown seen through the deceitful tactic of the government in attempting to punish me, by simply lying to have a warrant issued for my arrest.  See Freedom of the Press #17 – Is This Legal?

Then, the government shysters endeavored to make a point:

“We are not asking this Court to restrain Hunt’s ability generally to write about the case — or even the informants — we only want him to observe this Court’s Order, which means that he cannot publish the discovery material subject to the Court’s Order.”

How nice of them to say that they don’t have a problem with me writing “about the case — or even the informants.”  How gracious.  However, these shysters are supposed to present facts.  My reputation as a journalist (not a blogger) is based on presenting facts.  Let’s suppose that I wrote about the informants, but failed to justify my conclusions without facts to back up those conclusions.  Well, then, I might just be a blogger.  However, as facts are a requisite in our judicial system, they are also a matter of principle to a good journalist.  To make accusations without presenting the facts makes a mockery of journalism, as it would of the judicial system.

Besides, such accusations are prolific in the patriot community.  They tend to lack any substance and are often made over a simple disagreement between two people.  Should some rely upon simply my word that so and so is an informant, the informant would simply accuse the accuser of being an informant.  And, the louder voice would probably prevail.  Surely, the government shysters would love to see an expansion of the “he said; she said” sort of rhetoric in the community.

As we continue through the Reply, we find this rather subjective statement of ‘facts’:

“[T]he government’s interests far outweigh any First Amendment interest Hunt may assert.  First, we need to protect our confidential sources for all of the valid reasons identified in Roviaro.  Second, the Court has a significant interest in enforcing the terms of its own Protective Orders.  Without enforcement, Hunt’s defiance threatens to undermine our ability to exchange discovery in future criminal cases.”

Now, the first point has already been addressed, with regard to the government’s right to endeavor to protect their sources — which they did by denying the defendants the right to call the witnesses against them (6th Amendment).  Second, the Court wrote the Protective Order and subjected those identified as subject to that Protective Order.  Daniel Ellsberg was the criminal in the “Pentagon Papers”.  The New York Times was not.  Finally, and the most laughable, is that the government feels that the exchange of discovery might be undermined.  Well, there is little doubt that the shysters want to keep as many secrets as they can from the defense.  However, in an effort to attempt to maintain their unscrupulous cadre of spies amongst us, they would willingly subvert the Constitution.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #18 – The Big Guns’ »

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’ »

The Cause – What To Do?

The Cause – What To Do?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
June 12, 2017

I have been writing about the Bundy Affair since April 12, 2014 and the Burns Chronicles since February 2, 2016.  Both evolved out of a common grievance, Public Lands, and the rights that are inherent in them.  There are other commonalities, such as some of the players involved in both events and the fact that both had left behind the concept of Civil Disobedience and had entered the realm of Civil Defiance.  Those players, unlike most other patriots, had moved along “The Other (not so) Thin Line” to a point where their actions were intended to speak louder than their words.

The first event, in Nevada, the Bundy Affair, was an evolution from an event back in 1993 when Cliven Bundy, supported by hundreds of patriots who went to his ranch to side with him, defied the federal government and first stood for his right to continue both grazing and water permits necessary to continue his ranching business.  Cliven Bundy’s right to his historical use of the public lands culminated on April 12, 2014, or so we thought, in the “Unrustling” of the cattle that had been rustled by agents of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

In 2015, in Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond had been “resentenced” for a “crime”, though they had already served their time.  Their “crime” was the use of controlled burn and backfire to do what ranchers and the BLM have done for over a century.  The first is to destroy unwanted vegetation, the second, to control an existing fire in order to protect property.

This was not the beginning of their ordeal with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  Their ordeal began almost a decade before Cliven Bundy’s first confrontation with an out of control federal government.  The FWS had been trying to restrict the Hammond’s ranching by cutting of water supply, fencing public corridors, and requiring annual licensing for what were perpetual rights to Public Land Usage.  “The Harassment of the Hammonds” dates back to October 1986.

For all intents, the Hammonds were tried, sentenced, served their time, and left prison as free men.  The government waited until all of this was done before filing an appeal to the Appellate Court, contending that they should have been sentenced according to the Sentencing Guidelines.  Funny, the word guidelines isn’t mandatory, simply a guide.  But, more on that in a future article.

The resentencing of the Hammonds raised the indignation of some of those players from the Bundy Affair, and others who had, possibly a result of what they witnessed in April 2014, moved further along that “Thin Line”.  Unable to convince the Hammonds that they should not turn themselves in for the additional 4+ years they would now have to serve, the objective changed to the FWS, the aggressors against the Hammonds.

There had been a planned demonstration in support of the Hammonds scheduled for January 2, 2016, just two days before they were to turn themselves over to the US Marshal Service to begin their second punishment for the first crime.  This demonstration, like many others, was Civil Disobedience.  However, behind the scenes, a plan of Civil Defiance had been hatched.  It was left to those who either went to Burns, Oregon, before or after the January 2 event to decide just how far along that “Thin Line” they had moved.  Unfortunately, many who claim that they are “fed up with the Feds” are not fully committed to action.  Instead, they chose to act big and criticize what was acted out by those who were more committed and chose to occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR), an FWS facility about thirty miles south of Burns, and the adversary of the Hammonds rights for three decades.

For nearly a month, the Civil Defiance brought attention to the country, and the world, that the historical rights of Public Land usage were being trampled upon by the government.  The government, possibly absent any legal standing to deal with the occupation of the MNWR, chose to ambush a two vehicle, eight-person convoy going to a public event in John Day, Grant County, north of Burns.

Lying to the Oregon State Police (OSP), the FBI claimed that they were making a “felony stop” (legally, to stop the completion of a felony) and/or to serve an arrest warrant.  The warrant, however, was not issued until after seven were arrested and one murdered, while in transit to the event in John Day.

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