Posts Tagged ‘Ammon Bundy’

Burns Chronicles No 48 – Robert “Rob” Seever (R.W. Seaver) #2

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 48
Robert “Rob” Seever (R.W. Seaver) #2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 20, 2016

Rob Seever was the name and spelling that I was given in my first article on Seever. I was told, at the time, that he had helped to expose a law enforcement officer in Washington or Oregon. I had the wrong spelling of Seaver’s name, no name of the officer, and unsure of the location, I was unable to substantiate that claim.

However, my first article led to contact by two people with information applicable to Robert W. Seaver. So, we will first discuss Seaver’s activities dating back, at least, to 2009.

The Willamette Weekly published an article on October 13, 2009. The article is titled, “The Ice Man Weepeth – A Portland cop denies a new video’s accusations of Nazism“. The allegations made against Central Precinct Captain Mark Kruger by Seaver are lengthy, and include dressing in Nazi uniforms, posting a plaque above the II-205 honoring five World War II German soldiers, and other claims demonizing Kruger.

From that article, “Seaver, a former legal aide with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, claims he first came forward against Kruger six years ago to make amends for his own racist past.”

Seaver also posted a YouTube video he had made to demonize Kruger. The video was removed by YouTube after complaints of violations were submitted.

There is a note at the end of the article that provides even more insight into the character of Robert Seaver. I haven’t researched the accuracy, though I would suppose that the Willamette Weekly would not have published it – if they hadn’t verified that accuracy.

FACT:

In the late 1980s, Seaver fell in love with Diane Downs, who was serving a life sentence for shooting her three children in 1983, killing one. Seaver plotted to spring Downs from prison, then testified against her in 1990.

So, we can see that Seaver will go after someone he disagrees with “tooth and nail”. That appears to be the case in his targeting of Corey Lequieu, in that Seaver didn’t agree with what Ammon Bundy and the others were doing by occupying government property.

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Burns Chronicles No 47 – Robert “Rob” Seever

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 47
Robert “Rob” Seever

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
December 19, 2016

Notice: Because of her extremely biased judicial discretion, Judge Anna Brown has ordered that I remove the information that I obtained from a ‘prohibited’ copy of the Discovery for the trial of the defendants in the Malheur Occupation trial. I have fully complied with that order and removed all of those portions prohibited, according to that order. All instances of removed text will be marked “[REDACTED]”, which is the same method the government used in depriving information that should have been available to the defendants, as well as you, the reading public, with factual information needed in order for you to make a fair and logical assessment. The FBI redactions were the government’s efforts to “protect” their army of paid informants, but they did a lousy job, as I was able to identify them with the unredacted text.

Rob Seever joined a start up militia in Fallon, Nevada, started by Corey Lequieu in January 2015.  He had been a reserve deputy in Yamhill County and a clerk of a District Attorney in Washington, before moving to Nevada.  He met Lequieu through Modern Militia Movement (MMM).  Lequieu and Seever became close friends over the following months.

Lequieu had been active with Operation Mutual Aid (OMA), an organization created by Jerry Bruckhart and Ryan Payne.  Many of those who participated in discussions appended “OMA” to their Facebook names and otherwise express their commitment to what OMA stood for.

Among those OMA supporters were Robert Beecher (the Demonization of Robert Beecher) and Kevin “KC” Massey (Update #1 on K. C. Massey).  The government targeted both of them, and both are currently serving prison terms.  It seems that the OMA membership list may have become a hit list for the FBI.

When I first spoke with Lequieu, he said that if Seever were an informant, he would have turned “after he came home from Burns, in December 2015”.  However, after I provided Lequieu some of the information from the 1023 forms (CHS Reporting Documents), he realized that Seever had started informing much earlier.  Seever’s first report was filed on November 22, 2015.  He begins his first report with the text of a message that he sent to Ammon Bundy:

[REDACTED]

He follows that with:

[REDACTED]

Corey Lequieu is a convicted felon and Seever was fully aware of that fact.

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Burns Chronicles No 45 – Mark McConnell #2

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

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.

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Burns Chronicles No 44 – Mark McConnell

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 44
Mark McConnell

mm-wo-cap

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 25, 2016

Notice: Because of her extremely biased judicial discretion, Judge Anna Brown has ordered that I remove the information that I obtained from a ‘prohibited’ copy of the Discovery for the trial of the defendants in the Malheur Occupation trial. I have fully complied with that order and removed all of those portions prohibited, according to that order. All instances of removed text will be marked “[REDACTED]”, which is the same method the government used in depriving information that should have been available to the defendants, as well as you, the reading public, with factual information needed in order for you to make a fair and logical assessment. The FBI redactions were the government’s efforts to “protect” their army of paid informants, but they did a lousy job, as I was able to identify them with the unredacted text.

I first interviewed Mark McConnell back in August 2015 That interview was in regard to Parris Frazier and his effort to steal cartel drugs and sell them (Arizona Misfits – A Bad Operation Gone Worse).  McConnell seemed to have an extraordinary knowledge of some of the facts surrounding that incident, which was quite useful in researching for that story.  It never occurred to me, at the time, that this knowledge would have been extremely beneficial to law enforcement, leading up to the bust.

The Criminal Complaint that lead to the arrest of Frazier and his cohorts began with the government putting an undercover employee (UCE) in a position provide access to Frazier to make the government’s plans to set Frazier up for the bust.  This scenario omits what led up to the bringing in the UCE, so there was a substantial part of the story that was missing.  It is quite possible that they chose not to mention a confidential human source (CHS) that provided the background that led to the setup of Frazier.  Or, possibly, any such report was filed on form 302, an “Investigation Report”.

Let’s move forward to the events that occurred in Burns, Oregon, this past January.  During the trial, the government, for whatever reason, outed McConnell as a CHS.  In every other instance of a CHS being involved in spying on the occupiers, this would include nine who were at the Refuge and six who were not, the government has taken pains to conceal their identity.

This would lead one to conclude that they just wanted to wipe their hands clean of any association with Mark McConnell — to make him an outcast in both the government and patriot sides.  What other reason could exist for intentionally expose just this single informant?  Could it be his arrogance and air of superiority in dealing with his handler?

Many had determined that McConnell was an informant, early on.  However, in an effort to find verification, I have interviewed McConnell 3 more times since LaVoy Finicum was murdered on January 26.  The first was on January 30, as he was driving back to Arizona after having his vehicle returned to him.  My purpose was simply to find out what happened from the first stop to his release, that evening.

That interview was much different from the video that was posted on YouTube where he talked about LaVoy rushing the Oregon State Police (OSP) officers.  He had learned his lesson and wouldn’t claim that he saw Ryan get out of the LaVoy’s truck, only what Ryan told him, when they were placed on the ground together.  And, he made clear that all he would say was what he saw, or heard.  This interview was straightforward.  The details he gave were consistent with what has subsequently been confirmed by others.

My next interview, on May 16, was an effort to find something that would support the accusations that he was an informant.  Now, obviously, getting such a “confession” is nearly impossible.  However, often clues come out that would support such a conclusion.  McConnell said that there was a meeting on the Saturday, before the shooting, Brandon Curtiss, McConnell, Booda (Brian Cavalier) and Ammon had a meeting and Curtiss and McConnell explained that was over three hundred FBI agents in the area.  Then, the night before the shooting, he had tried to talk the people out of going to the meeting at John Day.  However, he was willing to drive to John Day and make sure that Ammon was in his Jeep.

On October 10, after McConnell was outed as an informant, I spoke with him, again.  The only interesting point in this interview was the McConnell said that the occupation was a “criminal enterprise”.  A rather interesting statement from one who participated to the extent that he did.  This would raise a question of motivation as to why he participated in such an enterprise, at least as an accessory, unless he had a reason, and immunity, to do so.  Here is what he told me (from my notes of the conversation):

He spent three nights at the Refuge, the second trip.  He could not find a motel room.  He did not agree with the occupation.  He called it lies and bullshit.  He also claimed that Payne and Joker J (Jason Blomgren) had given me [Hunt] money to secure supplies, listing pipes and pipe caps, stating, “That’s not what the statements I have found said.”

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Burns Chronicles No 36 – Words from the Poor Losers

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 36
Words from the Poor Losers

crying-emoticon

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 29, 2016

Quite often, while writing an article, my heart is heavy over the actions of government that is suppressing the rights that are our birthright, as posterity of the Founding Fathers.  However, as I sit at my keyboard, today, it is with a sense of pleasant surprise and extreme joy that so many felt, yesterday, when the verdict was announced in the Ammon Bundy, et al, trial.

The pleasant surprise comes because for the first time in over twenty years of watching Patriots stand trial for pretend crimes, the jury came back with a verdict that was not what the government wanted.

In a recent article, “The Bundy Affair – #16 – The Legal Shotgun“, I explained how there is a tendency for juries to find defendants guilty of something, especially when many charges, or counts, are a part of the prosecution.  This seems to be based upon the infallibility of government.  If they say that someone did something wrong, then we, the jury, must find them guilty of doing something wrong.

The jury found that though the government tried, desperately, to prove “intent”, they saw an “effect” in the matter of government employees failing to go to work during the occupation.  Interestingly, as explained in another article, “Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer?   What Officer?“, the law that was cited in the Indictment applied only to “officers”, not “employees”.  So, the jury being denied that information, what the law really is, still found no cause of intent, on the part of the defendants, to have kept any employee from doing their duty.

Before we move on to extreme joy, we will lay a foundation for a better understanding of what led to the exultation.  And, it is mostly predicated upon the various government bureaucrats’ reaction to the verdict.

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Burns Chronicles No 31 – Public Lands – Part 3 – The Queen has Ruled – Off with their Heads

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 31
Public Lands – Part 3
The Queen Has Ruled – Off With Their Heads

anna-brown-judge-clr-w-crownGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 29, 2016

In two previous articles, Shawna Cox brought the matter of Jurisdiction to the Court.  The first, explained in “Public Lands – Part 1 – It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction“, was filed in response to the government’s “Motion for Judicial Notice” (1229), providing proof of ownership of the land upon which the MNWR headquarters sit.  In that Motion, filed September 9, 2016, they cited no previous motion to which they were responding.

Shawna, based upon a chain of title that she had received, had no dispute with the ownership.  However, neither the government’s request for judicial notice and attached documentation nor the chain of title provided any indication that the land, which both parties agreed, had been in private hands before the government reacquired it, had been ceded back to them by Oregon.

Shawna then filed her “Response to and Motion for Judicial Notice Regarding Ownership & Ceding of the MNWR Headquarters Area” (1245).  In that Motion, she stipulated the government’s ownership and asked the Court to take Judicial Notice that the subject lands had not been ceded back to the federal government by Oregon.  The Motion was quite simple and simply stated that since no proof of ceding had been provided, the Judicial Notice was in order.

The government then filed its Response (1272) to a number of motions, including Shawna’s Motion.  Geoffrey A. Barrow, the attorney that signed the Response, apparently has a reading disorder.  Shawna never contested the government’s motion for judicial notice.  Instead, she stipulated that they did own the land.  However, he chose to read into her motion what he thought the Judge might like:

Cox opposes the government’s request (ECF No. 1229) and, in turn, moves for judicial notice consistent with the separately filed McIntosh Declaration (ECF No. 1252). McIntosh repeats the adverse possession theories that this Court has already rejected many times, although he reads the government’s Houghton Declaration (ECF No. 1230) as further support for his views. McIntosh’s theory is that the federal government simply could not have obtained lawful title to the MNWR absent permission from the state. His theories are contrary to the law that this Court has already recognized controls this issue, and his stated credentials (i.e., his stated directorship of two web-based, environmental-sounding organizations) reveal that he is an advocate who shares defendants’ misguided views. (One organization promises to give a “strong voice that will dominate and control state and federal bureaucrats”).
Cox’s counter-Motion for Judicial Notice should be denied.

Now, Shawna never mentioned “adverse possession” in her motion – she simply sought judicial notice that the land had not been ceded back to the government.  This is quite consistent with what the government had cited in their judicial notice, when they said:

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 permits this Court to take judicial notice of adjudicative facts “not subject to reasonable dispute.” The Advisory Committee Note to the rule explains that “adjudicative facts” are those that “relate to the parties, their activities, their properties, their businesses.” Courts routinely take judicial notice of recorded property records.

Now, the government has proffered no argument establishing that Oregon had ceded back jurisdiction to the federal government.  If it had been ceded back, then it would have, as required by the Statute of Frauds, been recorded in the public records.  There is no argument, except the false association with Ammon’s motion, which would be cause for the Court not to take “Judicial Notice”.

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Burns Chronicles No 29 – Public Lands – Part 2 – The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 29
Public Lands – Part 2
The Federal Government Has No Jurisdiction

harney-county-resource-centera-cropped

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 21, 2016

In a previous article, “It’s a Matter of Jurisdiction“, we looked at the constitutional aspect of jurisdiction.  Many will simply ignore that aspect, since they believe that the government is not bound by the Constitution, anymore.  So, we must wonder whether those who enacted laws, more recently, regarding jurisdiction, especially on lands that were obtained for certain purposes, were as doubtful of the intent of the Constitution.

The original buildings on the Refuge were built during the Great Depression under one of the various work programs intended to provide employment.  The land that they were built on was acquired by the government on February 18, 1935.  The remainder of the government-owned land in Section 35, as the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was expanded, was acquired on November 22, 1948.

Shortly after the first parcel was acquired, on April 27, 1935, Congress enacted “AN ACT To provide for the protection of land resources against soil erosion, and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 163.  Those “other purposes did include uses anticipated “to preserve public lands and relieve unemployment“.  That Act applied:

(a) On lands owned or controlled by the United States or any of its agencies, with the cooperation of the agency having jurisdiction thereof; and
(b) On any other lands, upon obtaining proper consent or the necessary rights or interests in such lands.

So, it was recognized that the federal government need not have jurisdiction, but more about why, later.

The benefits of the Act would be extended where local government would extend “reasonable safeguards for the enforcement of State and local laws imposing suitable permanent restrictions on the use of such lands…”

So, we see no effort to presume prior jurisdiction, to make all needful rules and regulations, as per Article IX, § 3, cl. 2, or to presume a necessity to require the State to cede the lands to the federal government, as per Article I, § 8, cl. 17, since there were no “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings”.

Then, on June 29, 1936, Congress went even further in abiding by the Constitution by clarifying their position on “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” (I:8:17), with “AN ACT To waive any exclusive jurisdiction over premises of resettlement or rural-rehabilitation projects…; and for other purposes”, at 49 STAT 2035.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the acquisition by the United States of any real property heretofore or hereafter acquired for any resettlement project or any rural-rehabilitation project for resettlement purposes heretofore or hereafter constructed with funds allotted or transferred to the Resettlement Administration pursuant to the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, or any other law, shall not be held to deprive any State or political subdivision thereof of its civil and criminal jurisdiction in and over such property, or to impair the civil rights under the local law of the tenants or inhabitants on such property ; and insofar as any such jurisdiction has been taken away from any such State or subdivision, or any such rights have been impaired, jurisdiction over any such property is hereby ceded back to such State or subdivision.

So, not only did they relinquish all “civil or criminal jurisdiction“, but they ceded back any jurisdiction that had been taken away from any State or subdivision.  Now the record had been set straight, in accordance with the Constitution.

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Burns Chronicles No 28 – Public Trial – Mistrial? – What stinking Mistrial?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 28
Public Trial
Mistrial? What stinking Mistrial?

anna-brown-judge-bww-crown

Judge Anna Brown

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 19, 2016

A rather interesting what, and from a lay standpoint unjust, occurrence, happened both in the paper chase (at this point, nearly 1300 docket entries) and in the courtroom. It had to do with the testimony of the government’s first witness, Harney County Sheriff David Ward. It was a Motion for Mistrial.

An interesting note on the Motion is that we obtained a copy shortly before it was “SEALED”. This led to the admonishment that is addressed below.

It all began on the 2nd day of the trial (Wednesday, September 14), during cross-examination by Ammon Bundy’s attorney, Marcus R. Mumford is questioning Sheriff Ward.  Here are excerpts from the Motion, taken from the rough-draft transcripts:

Q.  And you had conducted some investigation, into Bunkerville?

A.  I had.

Q.  And did that investigation come – that was in the process of those meetings that you had with the U.S. attorney, and the FBI?

A.  I had – I had gone on to the Internet and googled it, it’s amazing what you can find on there.

I found videos from the things that happened at Bunkerville. I – I looked at a lot of different – lot of different things that happened, throughout that incident. And the thought that have happening in my community scared the hell out of me, where I saw armed people lined up on both sides, advancing, you know, with – with one side advancing against another.

I had learned some of unstable people who had left that situation, and killed two police officers, while they were eating lunch in a restaurant.

I think that there are – there are a lot of circumstances I was attempting to avoid in my community, sir.

Then, Mumford asked that some of Ward’s testimony be stricken:

MUMFORD: Your Honor, I would move to strike that.

THE COURT: Move to strike what, sir?

MUMFORD: The nonresponsive part of the –

THE COURT: I don’t know what you identify as nonresponsive.

The answer seemed responsive to your question, so be specific.

MUMFORD: Okay. Well – I think it was a yes-or-no question, your Honor.

THE COURT: Is there another objection?

Mumford, failing to make any progress, is simply abandoned by Judge Brown. However, Ryan Bundy, acting pro se (representing himself), jumps in, once the Judge recognizes that he, too, has an objection.

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, my objection, your Honor, hearsay, there, it alludes to events that were not necessarily related to – to the situation.

THE COURT: The court reporter is not hearing you, Mr. Bundy, because of your microphone not being on.

Would you –

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: The mic is on.

THE COURT: Let’s try again. The court reporter wasn’t hearing, would you please restate your objection?

DEFENDANT RYAN BUNDY: Yes, hearsay.

He’s tying in persons that were not involved it (pause, conferring.)

Prejudicial, I change that to prejudicial.

About the folks supposedly killing people that were not associated with us.

THE COURT: Jurors, I’m going to ask you to disregard the witness’s references to events that occurred in Nevada that had to do with the police officers being killed, and whether they were or weren’t associated with Bunkerville.

The answer generally was responsive, in that it reflected the witness’s state of mind, but you’re not to consider that particular part of his answer in any part of your consideration of this evidence.

Now, the transcript is a “rough-draft transcript”, and we are told that there was an Order made by the Judge, referencing “Court’s Sealed Order 1141”. Then, she goes on to admonish Mumford for using quotes from the “rough-draft transcript” in his Motion.

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Burns Chronicles No 24 – To Plea, or, Not To Plea

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 24
To Plea, or, Not To Plea

white-flag-surrender-question

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 16, 2016

As some of those staunch defenders of our rights, in both Burns, Oregon, and Bunkerville, Nevada, decide to make a plea agreement with the prosecutors, the Internet has both armchair quarterbacks damning them and sympathetic supporters who will stand by their decision.  However, perhaps it is necessary to look a little deeper into who those people, at both the Ranch and Refuge are, and to consider their respective objectives.

We can categorize those who participated in both events by comparing them to those who stood up against the British, 240 years ago.  In so doing, there are three general categories, so that we can consider them in a contemporary context.

The first category is, for want of a better term, the politicos.  Historically, these would be those who served on local and Provincial Committees of Safety and, those who went to Philadelphia and served in the Continental Congress.  There may be others, such as newspaper editors and others who were outspoken against the British, so that we can lump them into this category, as well.

Now, in the past two years, we have, likewise, the politicos, those whose involvement is to challenge the government concerning both rights and that which should be right.  Their objective is educational as well as political, desiring to provide understanding to other citizens as well as to attempt to get the government to stay within its limits and to remain obedient to the Constitution.

The second category is those with military inclinations.  For the most part, they had prior military and leadership experience in the French and Indian wars.  Their purpose was to use military force to protect the rights of Englishmen and defend against forces thrown against them.

In the contemporary context, it would include those with military and leadership experience who have taken the task of protecting those politicos against attempts at violent suppression of their right to seek redress of grievances and to speak freely on subjects of concern to others.

These first two categories can easily be equated to the First Amendment, for the politicos, and the Second Amendment for those with military inclinations. (more…)

Burns Chronicles No 23 – Terrorism Enhanced Penalties v. Due Process

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Burns Chronicles No 23
Terrorism Enhanced Penalties v. Due Process

kangaroo court2

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
August 10, 2016

So far, ten of those charged in United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al, have pled guilty, and the eleventh is soon to follow. They are, as follows:

  • Jason Blomgren (Joker J), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Brian Cavalier (Booda), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and a charge of possessing firearms or dangerous weapons in a federal facility.
  • Blaine Cooper, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Travis Cox, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Eric Flores, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Wesley Kjar, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy
  • Corey Lequieu, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Joseph O’Shaughnessy, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy
  • Ryan Payne, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Geoffrey Stanek, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge.
  • Jon Ritzheimer, scheduled to plea

So, why are they pleading? Is it because they really think that they are guilty?

Most, if not all, of those above have been “intimidated” or “threatened“, by federal prosecutors, either directly, or through their appointed counsel, that a Terrorism Enhancement could result in a sentence of 30 years, possibly for each count.

For a little background, over twenty years ago, I reported on a trial (see below) that I would eventually learn to be one where the Federal Sentencing Guidelines had brought into our judicial system something that was very foreign to the system of justice, as implemented by the Founders. Perhaps it would be beneficial to begin with an understanding of the judicial system that was intended, based upon many centuries of evolution in the British Common Law.

The English Constitution, even before the Magna Carta (1215 AD), began evolving in 1080 AD, and was also the beginning of a legal evolutionary process that sometimes went backwards, but most often went forward, in an effort to provide justice rather than blind obedience to laws. It was the English Common Law that was the foundation of jurisprudence for the Founders.

This foundation is evidenced even in current statutes, such as Florida Statutes (2015), where we find:

2.01 Common law and certain statutes declared in force.—The common and statute laws of England which are of a general and not a local nature, with the exception hereinafter mentioned, down to the 4th day of July, 1776, are declared to be of force in this state; provided, the said statutes and common law be not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the acts of the Legislature of this state.

We can also look to the Maryland Constitution (2008), which provides, in its Declaration of Rights:

Art. 5. (a)
(1) That the Inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the Common Law of England, and the trial by Jury, according to the course of that Law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes as existed on the Fourth day of July, seventeen hundred and seventy-six; and which, by experience, have been found applicable to their local and other circumstances, and have been introduced, used and practiced by the Courts of Law or Equity…

In the same Declaration of Rights, we also find:

Art. 23. In the trial of all criminal cases, the Jury shall be the Judges of Law, as well as of fact, except that the Court may pass upon the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction.

Now, the Maryland Constitution predates the United States Constitution, as it was first ratified by the People on November 11, 1776 – over a decade before the Constitution. Clearly, the understanding (original intent) of the Maryland Constitution and the United States Constitution were predicated upon those laws that then existed, and definition, or intent, of the words used, were as they were understood at the time. Absent a lawful change of definition, those definitions and intentions are still the body of the law and should be recognized as such.

Also true of the Common Law, at that time, and remember, the intention is still the same, is that a jury determines law and fact. However, there is one more aspect that comes into play. The jury also imposed the sentence, as they were the judge of facts, those which determined the severity of the crime; the law, what was intended and the extent applicable to the case at hand; and, by combining the two, would determine the sentence to be imposed, if the accused were found to be guilty.

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