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Judge Navarro in Bunkerville case has finger on the scales of justice

Justice is blind, objective and impartial — unless U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro sits on the bench. With her thumb heavy on the scale of justice, the defendants being retried for their participation in the 2014 armed standoff in Bunkerville have little chance of acquittal.

In their first trial, jurors deadlocked on all counts involving these men. Their defense focused on First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, as well as Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. Before the current trial commenced, Judge Navarro barred the defendants from using these constitutional rights in their defense. Evidently, this defense was compelling.

The prosecutor in this retrial knows the defense strategy and can prosecute accordingly. Usually the prosecution prevails in retrials. Does Judge Navarro doubt the ability of U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre to overcome this defense?

The term “kangaroo court” comes to mind. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the defendant a “process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.” Judge Navarro’s rulings violate this protection. As defendant Eric Parker testifies on his own behalf, he cannot reference his constitutional rights or strong “witnesses in his favor.” Previously, she prohibited Mr. Parker from referencing anything negative to law enforcement and had his testimony stricken from the record when he used the word “sniper” to describe the scene.

Additionally, four witnesses to the standoff offered testimony via Skype, and the judge decreed that the jurors will not hear it. The jurors hear only what Big Brother permits.

Mr. Parker cannot defend himself. He was present at the standoff, armed and consequently guilty of interfering with the government’s roundup of cattle on public land. His motives and intents and rights do not matter. No one was injured. In fact, no shots were fired.

This trial is a sham. There is no impartial justice. Welcome to the Ministry of Truth a la 1984.

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