U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro has dismissed all charges against Cliven Bundy, his two songs, as well as another man involved this week after it was discovered that prosecutors withheld evidence from Bundy and his lawyers.
Navarro called it “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct” while handing down her decision to dismiss all charges, further saying “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated.”
As the rancher walked out of the courtroom, hugging his wife, supporters cheered. He’s been jailed for some 700 days all for refusing to acknowledge federal authority over his own land…
The case finally went to trial in October and only two months later Navarro suspended the trial and even warned of a potential mistrial after the release of information to the defense by the prosecution passed the deadline.
In all, some 3,300 pages of documents were late on delivery with some requests by the defense being called “fantastical” and a “fishing expedition” by the prosecution.
As reported by Fox News:
The 71-year-old Bundy’s battle with the federal government eventually led to what became known as the Bundy standoff of 2014. But it began long before that.
In the early 1990s, the U.S. government limited grazing rights on federal lands in order to protect the desert tortoise habitat. In 1993, Bundy, in protest, refused to renew his permit for cattle grazing, and continued grazing his livestock on these public lands. He didn’t recognize the authority of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over the sovereign state of Nevada.
The federal courts sided with the BLM, and Bundy didn’t seem to have a legal leg to stand on. Nevertheless, the rancher and the government continued this dispute for 20 years, and Bundy ended up owing over $1 million in fees and fines.
Things came to a head in 2014, when officials planned to capture and impound cattle trespassing on government land. Protesters, many armed, tried to block the authorities, which led to a standoff. For a time, they even shut down a portion of I-15, the main interstate highway running through Southern Nevada.