Fighting for the 1st Amendment in the Bunkerville Trial
by Shari Dovale
Freedom of the Press has been a driving issue in the Bunkerville Standoff trials happening in Las Vegas.
From the ‘First Amendment Zone’ to the incarceration of a media reporter, the government has made every attempt to keep the truth from the public.
Pete Santilli has been an independent internet journalist for a number of years, reporting on government over reach and wasteful spending.
Santilli was the only full-time news media that attended the Bunkerville Standoff. There were other news reporters, but not before most of them watched Pete’s reports on his YouTube channel.
The government has repeatedly shown contempt for the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They continue on this lawless path by incarcerating a journalist for over 18 months on charges related to the First Amendment.
Santilli has been incarcerated since January 26, 2016, without bail, and without a speedy trial.
The prosecution filed a motion to keep the jury from hearing the majority of the facts in this case. They have asked Judge Gloria Navarro to keep the defendants from any chance of a defense argument, not allow them to discuss any events leading up to the protest in April 2014, or allow anyone to show the heavily-armed SWAT teams in a ‘negative’ light, and more.
This is not the first time the prosecution made this request. Indeed, this is the third trial for some of the defendants. We have seen, in the prior trials, that Judge Navarro was quite willing to grant every request of the prosecution, and deny all motions from the defense.
However, each defendant is entitled to file, on the record, their response to the government’s request. Sometimes the responses are solely to put points for appeal on the record, for possible use in event of conviction.
The argument shown to you below is a very well presented argument for the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press. It is important, not just to defendant Pete Santilli, but to every citizen in this country. This motion should be shared with every Legislator and elected official in the US. And it certainly needs to be brought to the attention of AG Sessions and President Trump.
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