JUDGE WON'T ALLOW JURY TRIAL FOR MISDEMEANOR CHARGES IN OREGON STANDOFF
Federal Judge Anna Brown has ruled she will hear evidence on misdemeanor charges and decide verdicts for seven people facing trial next month for the Oregon Standoff protest.
Brown's ruling yesterday (Friday January 27th) claimed "significant uncertainty in the law" prevented her from allowing a jury trial on the minor charges tacked onto the felony charges the seven defendants will face.
Defense lawyers were reported by "Oregon Live" as saying they want a federal magistrate to hear the misdemeanor charges because that's the standard procedure for such offenses.
The "Oregon Live" story published by reporter Maxine Bernstein went on to say:
"Defendants and their lawyers were dismayed by the ruling.
Andrew Kohlmetz, standby lawyer for defendant Jason Patrick said ' It's very important for Mr. Patrick to have a jury of his peers make those decisions. He's frankly not happy.'
Matthew McHenry, who represents defendant Sean Anderson, argued in court papers that a jury verdict that 'reflects the judgement of the public and the defendants' peers' would provide a 'more satisfactory and acceptable resolution' to the defendants and the public.
He also argued that one jury trial would be more efficient and that prosecutors are trying to avoid a repeat of the across-the-board acquittals in the first trial.
'Finally, the defendants believe the government's strong desire for a bench trial stems in large part from the jury acquittals in the first trial. The government should not be aided by this Court as it attempts to take this case out of the hands of a jury of the defendants peers,' McHenry wrote"
It looks like the judge is trying to help railroad the second group of Oregon Standoff defendants.
The "Oregon Live" story location is below: