With little to go on, I speculated this morning that the Bundy militiamen who carried out an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were cleared of charges because their jury of peers was populated by nincompoops.
That's not necessarily the impression I have at this point after reading one juror's account as reported by The Oregonian.
I don't believe this person is stupid as much as they are an arrogant bro who seemingly believes he's a lawyer because he stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
A juror only identified as Juror 4 emailed The Oregonian to explain why they cleared the Bundy militiamen of all charges, and this particular juror, who is a local business student, took the opportunity to lecture federal prosecutors.
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.'
"Inference, while possibly compelling, proved to be insulting or inadequate to 12 diversely situated people as a means to convict,'' the juror wrote. "The air of triumphalism that the prosecution brought was not lost on any of us, nor was it warranted given their burden of proof.''
There's more. In addition to lecturing federal prosecutors, Juror 4 also explained to The Oregonian that he had another juror, Juror 11, thrown out because of bias.
In summary, the Bundy militiamen walked because an arrogant Reddit Bro monopolized and intimidated the rest of the jury and explicitly rejected the prosecution's case because he felt insulted by their supposed confidence.
Only an arrogant man would say they were not asked to judge the case based on "hurt feelings," and then explain that his feelings were hurt by the prosecution.
The militiamen were charged with conspiracy to impede federal employees and officers from doing their job. Juror 4 and (according to him) the rest of the jury seemingly agreed that they did impede federal employees and officers, but for reasons poorly detailed by Juror 4 they decided that wasn't enough.
Conspiracy aside, the idea that there wasn't enough evidence to at least convict them on federal weapons charges is absurd. Unless The Oregonian left that part out, Juror 4 did not address their decision to clear the men on weapons charges. Addressing that would admittedly be difficult because the evidence is overwhelming.
Reading the full report from The Oregonian will probably leave you even more pissed off than what you read here. I was so infuriated by the arrogance of this young man, Juror 4, that even writing this post was a challenge.