Back in January, a group of armed anti-government activists remained encamped at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Sunday evening, vowing to occupy the outpost for years to protest the federal government’s treatment of a pair of local ranchers set to report to prison.
The armed occupation was led by Ammon Bundy, an Idaho rancher whose father, Cliven Bundy, led an armed standoff with federal agents in Nevada in 2014 and who has described his supporters as “militia men.”
Weeks later, one was killed, and Bundy and five of his followers were arrested by the FBI.
After a lengthy trial – they’re off. And it’s not thanks to any judge, it’s thanks to a sympathetic jury.
As the Federalist Papers reported:
The Portland jury acquitted Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan Bundy and five others of conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 300 miles southeast of Portland. The jury could not reach a verdict on a single count of theft for Ryan Bundy.
The charges were conspiring to impede federal workers from doing their jobs and that’s exactly what they did.
But in the end, the jury acquitted them.
The jury wasn’t dumb, or blackmailed or somehow brainwashed. They were sick and tired.
Sick and tired of a bureaucracy in Washington that didn’t listen to them. That dictated use of their lands from thousands of miles away with an iron fist.
It was a classic case of jury nullification: where despite the evidence, the jury is so convinced that the laws are immoral or so wrongly applied that the accused must be set free.
And so Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and their five co-defendants were found not guilty. Most of them were set free from the courtroom. Ammon faces charges in Nevada, so he is still being held.
As the Associated Press reported it, even lawyers for the Bundys were shocked at the verdict.
And it didn’t end there.
After the verdicts were read, an attorney for group leader Ammon Bundy demanded his client be immediately released and repeatedly yelled at the judge. U.S. marshals tackled attorney Marcus Mumford to the ground, used a stun gun on him several times and arrested him.
Good for them. Hilariously – liberals are crying about white privilege due to the acquittal, because why not.
Now let’s just hope the Black Lives Matter crazies who go out blocking off highways don’t benefit from jury nullification next.