Wow. Follow up to THIS STORY – In a stunning rebuke to federal prosecutors a federal court judge has thrown out the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy “with prejudice”. Bundy and his sons cannot be retried, and will walk free.
In order for a federal judge to completely dismiss a case of this significance indicates the court has found serious and compelling evidence of “gross misconduct” on the part of the prosecuting team.
LAS VEGAS — Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a militia member will not face a retrial on charges that they led an armed rebellion against federal agents in 2014.
A federal judge on Monday said the federal prosecutors’ conduct was “outrageous” and “violated due process rights” of the defendants.
U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the charges against the four men “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot face trial again. She said a new trial would not be sufficient to address the problems in the case and would provide the prosecution with an unfair advantage going forward.
As the courtroom doors opened after Navarro’s ruling, a huge cheer went up from the crowd of spectators gathered outside.
Navarro’s decision comes less than a month after she declared a mistrial in case and found federal prosecutors willfully withheld critical and “potentially exculpatory” evidence from the defense.
Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and militia member Ryan Payne were all in court. Cliven Bundy had remained in jail until the hearing; the judge ordered his immediate release.
Navarro on Dec. 20 cited six pieces of evidence the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office failed to disclose that was favorable to the defense and could have changed the outcome of the trial.
The evidence included:
- Records about surveillance at the Bundy ranch;
- Maps about government surveillance;
- Records about the presence of government snipers;
- FBI logs about activity at the ranch in the days leading up to standoff;
- Law-enforcement assessments dating to 2012 that found the Bundys posed no threat;
- Internal affairs reports about misconduct by Bureau of Land Management agents.
“Failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,” Navarro said last month. “A fair trial at this point is impossible.” (read more)