Juror 4 vigorously defends the across-the-board acquittals of Ammon Bundy and his six co-defendants, calling the rulings a "statement'' about the prosecution's failure to prove the fundamental elements of a conspiracy charge.
The full-time Marylhurst University business administration student was the juror who had sent a note to the judge on the fourth day of the initial jury's deliberations in the case, questioning the impartiality of a fellow juror, No. 12, who the judge bounced from the jury a day later.
"It should be known that all 12 jurors felt that this verdict was a statement regarding the various failures of the prosecution to prove 'conspiracy' in the count itself – and not any form of affirmation of the defense's various beliefs, actions or aspirations,'' Juror 4 wrote Friday in a lengthy email to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
He expressed relief that he can now speak out freely, but he wasn't ready as of Friday morning to drop his anonymity. He said his studies have suffered since the trial started, and he's not ready for the attention revealing his identity would bring but felt it was important to defend the verdict. The judge withheld jurors' names during the jury selection process and trial, instead referring to each by number.
The jury closely followed U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown's instructions on how to apply the law to the evidence and testimony heard during the five-week trial, he said.
The jury returned unanimous verdicts of "not guilty'' to conspiracy charges against all seven defendants. Each was accused of conspiring to prevent employees of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management from carrying out their official work through intimidation, threat or force during the 41-day occupation.
Juror 4 noted the panel couldn't simply rely on the defendants' "defining actions'' to convict.
"All 12 agreed that impeding existed, even if as an effect of the occupation,'' he wrote.
"But we were not asked to judge on bullets and hurt feelings, rather to decide if any agreement was made with an illegal object in mind,'' the Marylhurst student wrote. "It seemed this basic, high standard of proof was lost upon the prosecution throughout.''
Shorter Juror #4: Haha, can't read minds, losers.
Bet you dollars to donuts that this guy not only voted for Donald Trump, but would suffer a complete apoplectic stroke if you asked him whether or not the FBI could prove Hillary Clinton's intent involving her e-mail server.
In all seriousness, this guy right here is the dude responsible for the Bundys being free men today, and I'm wondering how he got past jury selection. Keep in mind also that federal prosecutors had a plea bargain in hand with Ammon Bundy but that the feds thought they had an open and shut case and told him to go to hell.
They beat the system, period. I don't like it, I'm sure none of you do either, but that's exactly what they did.