Remember Cliven Bundy? The Nevada rancher triggered an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014 by refusing to stop grazing his cattle on federal lands; this act of protest against the feds, not to mention his retrograde views on “the Negro,” have made Bundy a hero in certain reactionary quarters. (His sons would later go on to involve themselves in the ostensibly rebellious armed takeover of a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon that culminated in the death of one occupier.) On Monday, Bundy and three co-defendants won a major legal victory when the government’s effort to retry him on charges related to the 2014 standoff was rejected by … an Obama-appointed Latina judge who said that authorities committed egregious violations of the 71-year-old’s civil rights. From the Arizona Republic:
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.
Navarro found that prosecutors and FBI officials failed to provide Bundy’s attorneys with crucial and potentially exculpatory evidence about government agents’ conduct before and during the standoff, writing that the prosecution’s behavior amounted to “intentional abdication of its responsibility” under the law. She ordered that Bundy be released from jail, where he had chosen to stay rather than accepting the government’s offer of house arrest in November 2017.
Appointed to the federal bench by Barack Obama in 2009, Navarro worked previously as a public defender for indigent and non-English-speaking clients and was once named Pro Bono Public Lawyer of the Year by the Nevada state bar.
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