Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Trial for Ammon Bundy, 6 others in Oregon standoff set to begin

Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the federal conspiracy case against Ammon Bundy and six others will spend the next three days picking 12 Oregon residents to sit on a jury and eight alternates for a trial that could last two months or more. The sheer number of defendants, the volume of evidence and the turbulent politics of public land ownership make the trial one of the highest-profile proceedings to land in a Portland courtroom in years. The federal judge, in an acknowledgement of the complexities of trying so many people at once, has taken remarkable measures to try to manage a case that has riveted the West this winter and for much of this year: the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The court initially sent juror questionnaires to 1,500 people across Oregon. Of those, 350 responded. Lawyers whittled the jury pool last month to 263 based on prospective jurors' answers to everything from what they know about the case to their personal beliefs about the Second Amendment. About 60 people were eliminated for either bias or hardship...more

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