Robert Anglen, The Republic | azcentral.com Updated 4:28 p.m. MT Aug. 23, 2017
Federal prosecutors who didn’t succeed in the Bundy Ranch standoff trial will retry and retry again.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas confirmed Wednesday it will go back to court for the third time in an attempt to convict two men accused of taking up arms against federal agents.
Less than 24 hours earlier, a jury had acquitted two standoff defendants and dismissed the most serious charges against two others. Now federal prosecutors say they will retry the men next month on outstanding weapons and assault charges.
The move pushes back the trials for 11 other defendants in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, including Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who have spent 18 months in prison while awaiting their court date.
O. Scott Drexler and Eric Parker, both of Idaho, were released from prison Tuesday night after a jury acquitted them of conspiracy and extortion, which were the key elements of the government’s case.
But they found out Wednesday they have been ordered back to court Sept. 25 to face the charges on which the jury deadlocked.
The Double Jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution provides that “No person shall … be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” Most states have the same guarantee for defendants appearing in state court. Even in states that do not expressly guarantee this right in their state constitutions, the doctrine of incorporation ensures that the Bill of Rights applies to state and local governments, therefore the protection against double jeopardy must still be afforded to criminal defendants.
There are several reasons for double jeopardy protection:
- To prevent the government from using its superior resources to wear down and erroneously convict innocent persons;
- To protect individuals from the financial, emotional, and social consequences of successive prosecutions;
- To preserve the finality and integrity of criminal proceedings, which would be compromised if the government were allowed to ignore verdicts it did not like;
- To restrict prosecutorial discretion over the charging process; and
- To eliminate judicial discretion to impose cumulative punishments otherwise not clearly prohibited by law.
State courts decisions on double jeopardy can provide more protection for defendants than the U.S. Constitution, but not less.
Judge declares mistrial in Bundy Ranch case
Robert Anglen, The Republic | azcentral.com Updated 7:12 p.m. MT April 24, 2017
A federal judge declared a mistrial Monday after jurors deadlocked in the case of six men accused of taking up arms against federal agents during the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014.
Jurors convicted two defendants on multiple counts but could not reach a unanimous verdict against four others.
Jurors told lawyers after court Monday they never came close to convicting four defendants, voting 10-2 in favor of acquitting two and splitting on the others, according to one of the defense lawyers.
Moreover, jurors did not find any of the six defendants guilty on the two main conspiracy charges that made up the core of the government’s case, dealing a blow to federal prosecutors who have not won a clear victory against Bundy defendants in three separate trials.
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Four linked to Bundy ranch standoff acquitted in Nevada
By Lukas Mikelionis Published August 22, 2017
The surprise ruling to acquit Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and rule not guilty on most charges against Eric Parker and Scott Drexler, is considered a major setback for federal prosecutors attempting to try Bundy and his two adult sons later this year.
The jury deliberated for four days following 20 days of testimony. None of the defendants were found guilty of the conspiracy charge accusing them of plotting with the Bundy family to create a militia force to prevent lawful enforcement of court orders to remove the family’s cattle.
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Once again, a jury rules in favor of Bundy supporters in their 2014 standoff with federal agents
By: Melissa Etehad and David Montero Aug 22, 2017
In October, a jury acquitted Ammon Bundy and his followers who were embroiled in a 41-day armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
The proceeding that ended Tuesday was retrial of a case that was originally tried in April but ended in a hung jury.
Each of the four defendants faced multiple felony charges including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, weapon possession, assault and threatening federal officers stemming from the 2014 standoff near the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nev.
Guilty verdicts could have resulted in decades-long prison sentences. After 20 days of testimony, the jury deliberated for four days before reaching its verdicts.
A detention hearing for Parker and Drexler is scheduled for Wednesday. Both men in the meantime have been transferred to a halfway house until the hearing….
….In 11 contiguous Western states, 46.3% of the land is owned by the federal government. That figure is nearly 85% in Nevada.
The decades-long legal dispute between Cliven Bundy and the government escalated in 2014 when federal agents came to round up his cattle after he refused to renew permits that would have allowed his cattle graze on public lands near his ranch. The government said Bundy had racked up $1 million in grazing fees that he refused to pay to the Bureau of Land Management for at least two decades….
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