Friday, June 17, 2016

Evidence in Oregon standoff case immense, including 6,000 hours of video

As U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown pushes ahead to begin selecting a jury in September for the federal conspiracy trial in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, defense lawyers have raised concerns about the volume of evidence they need to decipher and their need to know more. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan Knight said he anticipated it will take the government three to four weeks to present its case. Jury summonses have gone out and several hundred people have responded that they'd be available for a Sept. 7 trial, the judge said. Brown is convening a work group to figure out how to lay out a courtroom to allow so many defendants to be tried at once and save some room in the gallery for spectators. "I'm pushing us all hard because I respect the right asserted by the parties to a speedy trial and a fair trial," Brown said during a monthly status hearing Wednesday. "Just because the record includes a lot of information, doesn't mean it can't be done." Defense lawyers have said the evidence received so far is staggering: 6,000 hours of video, more than 13,000 photographs, up to 250,000 pages of Facebook account information and more than 40,000 pages of FBI reports. They're also pushing the federal government to release additional information: the investigative reports regarding the FBI Hostage Rescue Team's apparent shooting at Robert "LaVoy" Finicum and the alleged tampering of evidence; the FBI's use of vast databases to obtain information on the defendants and any evidence that suggests the FBI and government officials sought "to grab and own social media" to manipulate information about the refuge occupation...more

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