Your July 14 editorial on the trial of the Bundy “gunmen” was rather misleading. You state that Alexander Hamilton defended John Zenger in his 1734 trial, which is celebrated for its “jury nullification” implications. It was Andrew Hamilton who defended Zenger.
Having sat on juries for criminal trials lasting three-plus weeks, I can attest that the tedium suffered by jurors can get quite acute. With this in mind, your accusation that Judge Gloria Navarro’s orders represent a deep mistrust of the American jury system is off base.
The Bundy “gunman” wish to argue that two wrongs make one right; that their egregious actions of April 14, 2014, were somehow justified by such acts as the stupid “First Amendment” zones or the tazering of the aggressive Bundy partisans who were impeding the government from carrying out legitimate court orders.
In other words, let’s blow smoke on the defendants’ egregious actions by highlighting the supposed misconduct and/or incompetence of the BLM. Well, sorry, the BLM’s incompetence, frankly, is not material to whether or not those defendants are guilty or not.
If I were a juror, I would recognize that the defendants were on trial — not the BLM and its acts leading up to the violations with which the defendants are charged. As your editors surely know, the grazing fees and the constitutionality of the actions taken by the government in this case are long-litigated and settled in favor of the government. That the Bundy partisans refuse to acknowledge this and wish to re-litigate these issues as perhaps the only justification they might offer in their defense exposes the bankruptcy of their position.
Defense attorneys are the only ones in our society who should make it their avocation to defend the indefensible. Perhaps the Review-Journal editorial board should be more circumspect when trying to defend the indefensible.