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Ping Pong Law – Federal Style

The government shouldn't be allowed to "ping-pong these defendants between two jurisdictions."

ping pong law
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Ping Pong Law – Federal Style

Ammon Bundy and four other defendants were in court today trying to keep from being bounced around like, well, ping pong balls, as Lisa Hay, a defense attorney for Ryan Payne, argued. The government shouldn’t be allowed to “ping-pong these defendants between two jurisdictions,” she said.

Constitutional Rights will not get in the way of the Federal agenda, that is clear. Bouncing these defendants between two different states, preparing for two different cases, with different attorneys and prosecutors that prioritize themselves over the accused, well… let’s just call this a bit of a circus.

Payne’s defense attorney in Nevada, Shari Kaufman, said she couldn’t prepare for trial with her client over the telephone. For one, Kaufman said, there are hundreds of hours of video to watch. To claim that she and her client can carry on meaningful conversations when he’s constantly shuttling back and forth between two states is “a farce” and “absurd,” Kaufman said.

Ryan Bundy told the judge: “Our time would be completely taken up with transports.”

But Steve Myhre, a federal prosecutor in Nevada, said the defense was “getting way ahead of” itself by claiming the defendants can’t have adequate representation if the two criminal cases proceed simultaneously.

“Standing up here and yelling” isn’t proof that the defendants’ rights will be compromised, Myhre said.

Really? Preparing for two separate cases, transporting them back and forth, not being given adequate access to their attorneys, all at the same time, is Okay With the Federal Government?


The Sixth Amendment reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

It seems that the Federal Government has the attitude that if you are charged with Defending the Constitution, then you cannot use the Constitution in your defense.