Images of Government Abuse
By Scott Michael Rohter, November 2017
There are no cameras permitted in the courtroom. All cell phones are confiscated before you are allowed to pass through the doors. There is no way to record the images of government abuse going on inside of Judge Gloria Navarro’s courtroom… No one can photograph the spectacle of innocent Americans being treated as if they were guilty criminals. There is only an artist’s sketchbook or a writer’s pen to record the events.
Every morning at around 9am a rather frail looking, harmless old man is led into the courtroom in shackles and chains. Along with Federal marshals he is accompanied by his two sons, and one other man. All four of them are bound at the ankles in shackles and chains. As they make their way to their places in front of the judge there is no way to capture these disturbing images for the rest of the nation to see.. The only ones who can actually see the shackles on their feet are the judge, their attorneys and the other officials of the court.
Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and Ryan Payne are all being treated as if they are some kind of dangerous criminals. In reality all of these men are law abiding citizens who believe in the Constitution, but they have one thing that most of the other men and women in that courtroom probably don’t have. They have faith and determination that allows them to put their lives on the line for a cause they believe in. For this we should all be grateful to them. Their cause is also our cause… It is a cause that is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. It is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness not just for the defendants in that courtroom, but for all Americans… Those men are fighting for our right to live our lives as free men and women too, free of excessive government interference. That is why they have spent the last two years of their lives in jail.
The jurors are not present as the defendants enter the courtroom and take their places. After everyone is seated the judge gives the order for the jurors to enter the room. The men and women of the jury are never allowed to see the shackles on the defendants’ feet nor the chains that hold them captive. One by one the jurors enter the room while everyone else stands. They are all oblivious to the spectacle that just occurred… It is the spectacle of innocent Americans who are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but instead are presumed to be guilty at their trial and forced to wear shackles and chains as if they have already been convicted.
Our entire judicial system is based on the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty, but it has not worked that way for the defendants in this trial . They have all been denied bail, and incarcerated for nearly two years waiting for their day in court, and this trial has been anything but speedy. These men have already been punished for a crime that they have not been convicted of. They have only been accused of committing a crime.
Not a single juror may know that the defendants in this trial have already been prisoners for nearly two years, held captive against their will were it not for the fact that they have chosen to wear prison clothes to their trial, but the abuse of these good men does not just end with the denial of bail. Pretrial release is not the only right they have been deprived of. Two of them have been beaten, starved, and placed in solitary confinement for extended periods of time. It is the second time that three of them have been prosecuted for their alleged crimes., and it is the second time that two of them have stood before a jury of their peers.
Two other defendants who have been charged in the same Bunkerville Standoff which occurred in April 2014 are set to go on trial next year for the third time. Their first two trials resulted in mistrials being declared after hung juries in both trials refused to deliver any convictions. The United States Constitution clearly states that, “No man shall be twice put in jeapordy of life or limb.” How many times does the Justice Department think it can retry the same men in the same case for the same crimes? How many foul balls does the government think it can hit before someone calls strike three and says you’re out? This isn’t a baseball game. Men’s lives are at stake. It is said that justice is blind, but in this case justice is not only blind. It is also deaf and dumb. and extremely unfair.