To the Editor:
The “leaders” of the Malheur refuge protest were acquitted on all charges last October. The prosecution’s response was to add many more charges to the remaining defendants, Darryl Thorn, Jake Ryan, Duane Ehmer, Dylan Anderson, Jason Patrick and Sean and Sandy Anderson.
Judge Anna Brown decided that the defendants are not entitled to be judged by the jury on the misdemeanor charges, instead their innocence or guilt and the sentencing on the misdemeanors will be decided by bench trial by Judge Anna Brown herself. For a judge that showed so much contempt for the defendants of part one of this trial, this seems to be a guarantee that the prosecution will get at least some convictions. The jury will be allowed to decide innocence or guilt on the felony charges only, and even then the jury will not be allowed to know what the sentencing for those charges may be.
When denying a jury trial on misdemeanor charges, Judge Anna Brown is holding a U.S. Supreme Court opinion superior to the U.S. Constitution. It is written in the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2: “ The trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by jury...” There are no other exceptions. This goes against the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.
Starting Feb. 14, supporters of the defendants will be watching the trial and gathering across the street from the courthouse at “Patriots Corner.” Hatfield Federal Courthouse is at 1000 SW Third Ave. in downtown Portland.