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Bunkerville Jury Confused by Conspiracy

Even Judge Navarro seemed confused by the jury's questions.

On April 12, 2014, the Bundy family and their supporters fly the American flag as their cattle is released by the Bureau of Land Management back onto public land outside of Bunkerville, Nev. (photo: AP)

Bunkerville Jury Confused by Conspiracy

By Shari Dovale and John Lamb

During the 5th day of deliberations, the jury for the first tier Bunkerville defendants have come back to the courtroom with another question.

Though the specific questions remain sealed, the responses from the court indicate the question pertained to contradictions in the jury instructions on how to determine if there was a conspiracy.

Judge Gloria Navarro responded that the conspiracy could have existed from people who are not in this room. She was referring to future defendants and also those that have not been indicted.

At one point, Judge Navarro attempted a convoluted analogy involving baseball. If there was a conspiracy to play a game of baseball, did these defendants bring the tools (bat, ball, glove) to play the game?

If the jury finds that no conspiracy existed, then several of the charges would automatically be found as not guilty. However, it does not mean that all the charges would have a blanket not guilty. There are several charges that are not tied to the conspiracy charge.

The jury questions also indicated that they are having difficulties on unanimity. There could be a possibility of a hung jury on some of the charges.

The jurors must decide on over 70 charges in this case. There are 15 pages of jury instructions and 11 pages of verdict sheets.

This has become very confusing for everyone today, as even Judge Navarro seemed confused by the jury’s questions. The defense attorneys argued that, with today’s responses, their defendants are being tried for crimes possibly committed by other people.

The jury seems to be needing a break, and they have indicated they would like to leave early today and possibly take tomorrow off as well, returning Monday morning. The jurors are setting their own schedule at this point.

It does seem that if the jurors are have having trouble defining a conspiracy on the 5th day of deliberations, then the verdict pendulum could possibly be swinging away from the government.

In related news, many of the defendants have been incarcerated for over 400 days now. It was determined early on that the second trial would commence 30 days after the first was completed. The third trial would then begin 30 days after the second trial completed.

The prosecution filed a motion to delay the start date of the second tier trial until June 5th. Judge Navarro set the date back to June 26th. Cliven Bundy filed a motion contesting that ruling based on the defendants rights to a speedy trial.

The court has continuously delayed these trials for their own convenience. Judge Navarro has cited her reasons for delay, again, as the logistics of responding to pre-trial motions. This is something that she should have planned for from the beginning.

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5 Comments on Bunkerville Jury Confused by Conspiracy

  1. The *conspiracies* tend to emanate from federal moles, who then entrap others. What I hear is that Navarro is saying “well yeah someone else might have conspired, but the defendants came ready to engage”. Which is, of course, entrapment. And that is how the Oregon defendants in the first trial were acquitted.

  2. Such a tangled web…I do not envy the jurors, who are contentiously trying to make sense out of it, and trying to draw conclusions about six individual defendants. Navarro has been put on a razor’s edge in answering these questions, as the wrong words from her,anything that could be characterized as undue partiality by the defense,will be explosive on appeal. One thing the jurors never saw during the trial was any direct link of “Conspiracy” between one defendant and another. The Govt. boys showed a huge grab bag of evidence, all showing the actions and words of individuals. but no conspiracy.Those days in early April 2014 were the opposite of any plan or conspiracy, they were chaos, moment by moment. Hopefully, the jurors will run out of patience in trying to untangle all this, remember the basic “Reasonable Doubt” obligation they must answer to. and scrap the whole can of worms – NOT GUILTY !

  3. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. There has to be intent and there has to ne an overt action by one of them to furtherence of the Conspiracy.

    None of this has been proven at all much less beyond all reasonable doubt. This Judge is not even explaining the three elements that need to be proven to even find a conspiracy..and its a very hard thing to prove…just what crime was it that they “conspired” to commit? There is none….this was a peaceful protest not a crime.

  4. Isn’t “Conspiracy” synonymous with secrecy ? Clandestine plotters hatching some evil deed ? Ludicrus to call one of the most documented and talked about events of our time by this name. But of course, in a courtroom where the Constitution is declared anathema by the judge, and the prosecutors portray wearing camo as a criminal act,conspiracy theories can flourish.

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