Friday, October 21, 2016

Jury completes day one of deliberations in Oregon refuge trial

A federal court jury completed its first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict on Thursday in the trial of six men and a woman charged with conspiracy for their roles in the armed takeover of a U.S. Wildlife center in Oregon earlier this year. The 12-member panel was expected to return to U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday to resume deliberations. The trial is dark on Friday. The occupiers say they acted out of solidarity for two Oregon ranchers they believed were unfairly punished in an arson case, and to protest their larger grievance against federal control over millions of acres of public land in the West. Bundy and others, including his brother and co-defendant Ryan Bundy, cast the takeover as a legitimate and patriotic act of civil disobedience. The government has countered that the defendants engaged in a lawless scheme to seize federal property by armed force. Prosecutors also argued that defendants' own claims that they sought to confiscate the refuge under an obscure doctrine of property law called "adverse possession" was itself an admission they were conspiring to prevent federal employees from returning to their jobs...more

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