By Tim Pearce
A federal judge rejected prosecutors’ request Tuesday to reconsider her dismissal of the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and friend Ryan Payne.
U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro dismissed conspiracy charges against the four men on Jan. 8 after finding that prosecutors had acted “with prejudice” throughout the trial, The Oregonian reported. Federal prosecutors violated federal law and failed to share evidence favorable to the defendants case with the court. (RELATED: Bundy Case Dismissed, Judge Orders Rancher Released)
“The Court’s finding of outrageous government conduct was not in error,” Navarro wrote in her 11-page ruling, obtained by The Oregonian. “On the contrary, a universal sense of justice was violated by the Government’s failure to provide evidence that is potentially exculpatory.”
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The prosecutors’ request did not make any new arguments or bring forth any evidence that Navarro had not already considered in her decision to dismiss the case.
“The Court gave somber consideration to the ramifications of its Order and found that it was in the interest of justice to dismiss the case with prejudice,” Navarro wrote. “A motion for reconsideration should not be ‘used to ask the Court to rethink what it has already thought.’”
Prosecutors requested the court grant another trial against the Bundys and Payne, calling the missteps and violations throughout the trial “inadvertent.”
“The Brady violations found by the court are regrettable and benefit no one,” Nevada’s Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre wrote in a legal brief, according to The Oregonian. “But because the government neither flagrantly violated nor recklessly disregarded its obligations, the appropriate remedy for such violations is a new trial.” (RELATED: REPORT: Fed Agency Committed ‘Militaristic’ Operation Against Nevada Rancher)
Myhre’s team of prosecutors had dismissed several claims of missing and hidden evidence by the defendants as “fantastical” and a “fishing expedition.” However, an investigation into the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) handling of the 2014 Nevada standoff with the Bundys revealed “incredible bias,” widespread misconduct and likely illegal actions by the BLM.
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