Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Ammon Bundy's 10 hours of testimony may have swayed jury
The leader of the armed Oregon standoff sat on the stand for more than three days, laying out his views on the Constitution, the federal government and the duty of man in his plain-spoken way .
It was Ammon Bundy’s 10 hours of testimony that likely won over jurors in a trial that concluded with seven people being acquitted Thursday of federal conspiracy and weapons charges, one legal expert said.
“It gave Ammon a chance to explain his side,” Lewis & Clark Law Professor Tung Yin told the Daily News. “And apparently the jury seemed to agree. I think it’s really hard to see this as anything other than jury nullification.” “This is much bigger than the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy told the court about his quest in Oregon to bring awareness to what he called injustices carried out by the federal government. “It’s for my children, grandchildren.
“Everything comes from the Earth and if [the government] can get control of the resources, they can get control of the people.” Bundy, a father of six, described federal government officials as modern day Roman emperors trying to rule over their subjects by restricting access to resource-rich territories. “We need to wake up,” he told the jurors and the courtroom.
Ammon Bundy’s lengthy testimony was possibly a turning point in the trial, Yin said.
“The fact that they acquitted on everything must be representative of some kind of mistrust of the government or a symbolic protest, or anger at the government,” he said of the jurors. Yin, who followed the case closely, said he was stunned that jury found the occupiers not guilty of conspiracy and possession of firearms at a federal facility. “I erroneously thought this would be a slam dunk for the government,” he said. “And I’m sure the government, to a degree, the government prosecutors are surprised.”
He pointed to the mountains of evidence, photos and even Bundy’s own testimony, that proved the group carried guns while in the bird sanctuary.
Bundy told the court that the occupiers toted weapons because they would have been arrested otherwise. And they had to protect themselves against possible government attack, he said. “Of course you have to wonder if this this will embolden future Bundys,” Yin said. “But they’ve lost nine months of their lives. I don’t know if I were an anti-government type, I dont think if I would look at this as a true victory.”...more