Malheur Protest Trial 2 Begins Jury Selection
by Shari Dovale
Jury selection began today in the Second Malheur Protest Trial (MPT2) in Portland. Four defendants stand ready to defend themselves and their Constitution against the overreaching government and Judge Anna Brown.
Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Jake Ryan and Darryl Thorn are the final four. The difference in this trial is the government panicked after the trial last fall found all defendants acquitted. It has been reported that the government has spent over a million dollars in the prosecution of these Patriots, yet they have very little to show for it.
To resolve their poor showing in the courtroom, the have devised a near surefire way to get the convictions. They are only allowing the jury to deliberate on a few of the charges. The remaining charges are going to be decided by Judge Brown in a Bench Trial while the jurors are deliberating.
Judge Brown decided that because the charges of trespass, tampering with vehicles or equipment and destruction of property are Class B misdemeanors and considered petty offenses, the defendants don’t have a right to a jury trial.
Yep, you heard that right.
The judge that made such a point of showing her bias against the last defendants has decided that she is the only one qualified to decide the fate of these Patriots on several charges, each bringing jail time.
She has already made it clear that the law in her courtroom is according to her, not the Constitution. She stated it multiple times last fall, and she, again ,made it clear today.
The jurors were also asked if they could judge this case according to the law even if they did not agree with the law She was making it clear that she will not allow jury nullification, even though it is legal. She has put her foot down again.
These defendants do not seem to stand a chance.
After 1,000 jury questionnaires were sent out, it has been whittled down to 75 prospective jurors. 9 more were released today for various reasons, mostly financial hardships. There are 25 more to be interviewed tomorrow morning. The afternoon should see the jury selections finalized. 12 with 4 alternates.
Judge Brown is continuing to show her bias in the jury pool. A good example is the gentleman that stated very clearly that the “occupiers” stole a truck and he felt that was illegal. He did concede that he would “reconsider” his opinion if selected because that was expected. However, the defense will have to use one of their challenges to get him removed because Judge Brown did not see a problem with him.
It was amusing watching the Judge battle with the decision to remove the juror that graduated from Burns High School and worked for one of the witnesses. It was not an easy or immediate decision for her, but she had to let her go.
The charges that the jury will consider are: Conspiracy to impede officers of the United States. Specifically the prevention of BLM and US Fish & Wildlife to carry out their duties through Force, Threats or Intimidation. This charge is against all 4 defendants.
Firearms charges are against 3 of the 4 defendants, the exception is Duane Ehmer. Depredation of Federal Property is charged separately against Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan. This totals 9 charges for the jury to consider.