RT: Oregon grand jury indicts 16 wildlife refuge occupiers – prosecutors

My question – Since I think we are all learning how grand juries are treated to less than the facts: Is the use of a grand jury ever mentioned in the Constitution? Why do they operate in secret? Truth depends on transparency, does it not? Where is the transparency in what happened with this Grand Jury? It seems to me grand juries are used to scam us, the American people. ~J

Published time: 4 Feb, 2016 04:59

A pro-militia supporter holds a constitution while chanting "Hands up. Don't Shoot" during a protest outside the Harney County Courthouse in Burns, Oregon February 1, 2016. © Jim Urquhart / Reuters
Ammon Bundy and 15 others involved in the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon were indicted Wednesday, prosecutors told reporters. Defense attorneys claim their clients were exercising non-violent civil disobedience.

The indictment remains sealed, though Assistant US Attorney Geoff Barrow said it would be released within 24 hours. Defense lawyers sought to have it released immediately, but US Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart denied their request.

Few details related to the indictment are known, but at least 11 of the people charged were arrested last week on charges of felony conspiracy. They are Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Ryan Payne, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Pete Santilli, Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Dylan Anderson, and Jon Ritzheimer.

They are accused of using intimidation to keep authorities out of the refuge. Their arraignment has been set for February 24.

The charges stem from the seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on January 2. The protesters, who came to be known as Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, demanded the exoneration and release of imprisoned father-and-son ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, who had been re-sentenced after their time served for arson charges was deemed unlawfully short. The Hammonds distanced themselves from the armed supporters though, turning themselves in to federal authorities.

Before a charge can become an indictment, it is simply a criminal complaint by police. At that stage, defendants get a preliminary hearing where they can question the arresting officer under oath as long as the questions pertain to probable cause for the arrest. However, in the matter of the Oregon occupiers, Judge Stewart canceled the scheduled preliminary hearings, citing the indictment delivered by prosecutors. The defense has yet to see the indictment.

“That’s an unusual thing and it’s unfortunate in a case like this, where many of the people distrust the government to begin with,” Lisa Hay, defense attorney for Ryan Payne, told the Associated Press.

Hay also suspects the federal government of having told the US Marshals Service ahead of any indictment not to bring defendants to court.

“It makes a mockery of the grand jury process to alert marshals ahead of time,” Hay told The Oregonian.

Defense attorney Mike Arnold asked the court to make sure his client, Ammon Bundy, would always be in court during hearings. Another defense lawyer, Amy Baggio, who is defending Joseph O’Shaughnessy, told the court it didn’t have the right to withhold the indictment per Rule 6 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, according to The Oregonian.

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7 Responses to RT: Oregon grand jury indicts 16 wildlife refuge occupiers – prosecutors

  1. Watcher says:

    This is a set up. The term “unusual” was used, this action is UN-lawful …. and out of order.

    The “grand jury” is looking at more “ham sandwiches” to indict… and they did what they were TOLD to do.

    The judge is the traditional “hanging judge”… the process is skewed and will move ahead in the proscribed manner.
    The victims/defendants will try to “use the law” to fend off the unsubstantiated allegations/claims of the law enforcement and federal government, for an extended period of painful time as long as their money and/or donations hold out to pay the ‘attourn-ys’, all to no avail.

    Point of FACT “The Rule of Law” no longer exists in the corporate United States. It has been effectively abolished by ‘precedent’.

    The outcome/decision is predictable. Now it is only a matter of how many defendants the government can get to “betray the other defendants”, to testify to “facts” that are dictated for them, and the length of time that the hold outs versus the snitches are sentenced to spend in jail.

  2. Bill says:

    Here’s a vid and a link that you’ll love!

    Richard Sidey | Expedition Photography from Richard Sidey on Vimeo

    • Jean says:

      Bill, after reading Ammon’s UPDATE, I was so glad to be able to publish this for other like-minded people to view. Thank you so much for sharing it. . . Hugs, ~Jean

  3. Julie says:

    The Constitution (5th Amendment) does mandate a grand jury. However this original constitutional (or common law) grand jury has been hijacked so that jurors today do not realize they have the supreme power to think and judge independently for themselves, without influence and interference by attorneys.

    Most of us were taught that there are three branches of government. In fact, there are four.
    In addition to the legislative, judicial and executive branches the common law grand jury is the fourth branch of govt. It is “We the People”. The people truly have great power but it has been glossed over by a sleight of hand and out of neglect, laziness, or whatever on our part this awareness has been abandoned and forgotten.

    Please read below for the full story of the true function of the grand jury and how the people have been fooled into giving up their power (a power that still exists),


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