Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Nevada judge stands by her dismissal of Cliven Bundy standoff case, rejects prosecutors' motion

A federal judge in Nevada on Tuesday rejected prosecutors' request to reconsider her dismissal of the conspiracy case against Cliven Bundy, his two sons and Ryan Payne stemming from their 2014 armed standoff with federal agents over cattle grazing near Bunkerville. U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro found prosecutors raised arguments she had already considered. She dismissed their contention that the dismissal of the case with prejudice was "unjust,'' or that she should have ordered a less severe sanction for their failure to share evidence that could assist the defense as required by the 1963 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland. "The Court's finding of outrageous government conduct was not in error,'' Navarro wrote in her 11-page ruling. "On the contrary, a universal sense of justice was violated by the Government's failure to provide evidence that is potentially exculpatory.'' In January, Navarro dismissed the Bundy prosecution, citing "flagrant misconduct" by prosecutors and the FBI in not disclosing evidence before and during trial. The judge listed six separate types of evidence withheld and ruled that each violation was willful. In a motion urging the judge to reconsider the dismissal, prosecutors reiterated their unsuccessful argument that the evidence they failed to share until too late wouldn't have been admissible anyway because they didn't believe the defendants could argue that they acted in self-defense, were provoked or intimidated. But the judge called that argument "outrageous'' and made it clear that the government was not allowed to withhold evidence that would enable the Bundys and Payne to argue they acted in self-defense, or evidence they could use to challenge the charges in their indictment. In fact, her prior order should have placed prosecutors on notice that any evidence that could bolster a theory of self-defense might become relevant at trial, Navarro wrote. "The evidence that the Government failed to disclose, such as the insertion and positioning of snipers and cameras surveilling the Bundy home, is evidence of provocation,'' Navarro wrote. "The Government's theory of prosecution relies on the fact that Defendants were acting offensively instead of defensively. The evidence that the Government failed to disclose could have assisted Defendants in showing that the officers were engaging in provocative conduct and that Defendants were not the aggressors. Therefore, the undisclosed evidence might have supported a theory of self-defense.''...MORE 

 And let's not forget this motion for a retrial was filed under the Trump/Sessions watch. I posted a story recently where they changed DOJ's position on several cases before the Supreme Court. But this was filed under their watch and was never revoked or amended. Let's hope Trump shows his true colors by pardoning the Hammonds.

Judge Navarro's 11 page decision is embedded below:

1 comment:

Floyd said...

This conclusion by Judge Navarro that federal employees chose not to be truthful in her court is just like the experience of District Court Judge Robert Jones in the 2012 Hage trial in Reno. After declaring that the federal witness testimony by and large was not credible which seemed to be a nice way of saying that more than 20 federal employees lied under oath. Judge Jones referred the whole bunch of them to the U.S. Attorney for criminal prosecution and most didn't even get their hands slapped.

Prosecution by the Justice Department never happened but there is a little indication that the federal employees were investigated. The Forest Service Regional Supervisor retired and apparently slinked off out of reach and several high level BLM officials moved safely into new jobs.

On the other hand, the Ninth Circuit overturned Jones decision on procedural grounds. Judge Jones' well prepared findings of facts remain intact. But the Circuit Court judges called him all sorts of awful names based on an accusation of being biased against lying federal witnesses. Judge Jones was removed from the Hage case and Navarro was assigned much of his work by the Circuit Court judges.

Now Judge Navarro, Judge Jones' replacement, is faced with the very same dilemma faced by Judge Jones and every indication is that some or most of the federal witnesses who lied to her should face prosecution.

Judge Jones' decision in the Hage case was sound, thoughtful, and detailed.

Jones would make a really good Supreme Court Justice and I hope someone might read this and pass it on the Trump administration.