The Scott Warren acquittal and providing sanctuary

I speculated that the acquittal of Scott Warren for giving aid to the people crossing the desert regions on the US southern border was possibly a case of jury nullification, the process by which juries acquit someone who is guilty on the facts because they feel that the law is unjust or should not have been applied in that case. Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept says that what happened with Warren was not jury nullification but the government being unable to make the case.

[Read more…]

Scott Warren acquitted in second trial

It took the jury just a few hours to acquit the human rights activist who was charged with breaking the law because he provided food, water, clothing, and shelter, to weary immigrants crossing the desert regions on the US-Mexican border. The first trial had ended in a hung jury and the Customs and Border Protection agency decided to try him again and this time urged the judge to not allow Warren to bring up the cruel policies of Donald Trump as a defense.
[Read more…]

CBP wants retrial of Scott Warren to omit mention of Trump policies

Readers may remember the case of Scott Warren who was arrested and charged for providing food, water, clothing, and shelter to weary undocumented migrants who had undertaken the dangerous trek over arid and barren land on the southern US border. The trial resulted in a hung jury that refused to convict him. Of course, the Customs and Border Protection agency has decided to waste time and money by retrying him.
[Read more…]

Judge uses RFRA to throw out conviction of humanitarians

You may recall the case of Scott Warren of the humanitarian group No More Deaths who was charged by the federal government because he provided food, water, clothing, and shelter to the undocumented people who crossed the southern border and then undertook a grueling and dangerous trek through the desert. A jury acquitted him of all those charges but in a different case a judge found him guilty on a misdemeanor charge of illegally operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area in the course of delivering the supplies.
[Read more…]

Increasing condemnation of US behavior

The human rights group Amnesty International usually criticizes the behavior of foreign governments, and when it has criticized the US it is usually for its actions against civilians in other parts of the world in the many wars and other military entanglements that the US is involved in. But it has now issued a stinging report criticizing what the US is doing within its own borders.
[Read more…]

Jury refuses to convict man who gave food and water to migrants

I wrote recently about how the US Customs and Border Protection agency had been destroying water stations left by humanitarian groups in the desert to prevent migrants dying from dehydration. After one of those groups No More Deaths had publicized these horrendous actions by the CBP, the US government arrested one of its volunteers Scott Warren because he had provided migrants with water, food, clean clothes, and beds in a barn. He faced up to 20 years in prison.
[Read more…]

Looks like the US government and the CPB have never read St. Matthew’s gospel

A humanitarian group known as No More Deaths places water at various locations in the desert regions near the Mexican border so that migrants do not die of dehydration while making the crossing. Whatever one’s views are of migrants crossing the border in this way, I think we can all agree that taking steps to prevent the deaths of people is a noble endeavor. That is, unless, you are the Customs and Border Protection of the US government whose agents were found to be systematically destroying the water stations. The No More Deaths group held a press conference where they leveled these accusations.
[Read more…]

The tilted scales of justice

Two stories in The Intercept illustrate well how skewed the justice system is in the US.

In the first case, Shaun King writes about a man, clearly inflamed and influenced by Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and in particular at CNN, who phoned in multiple deaths threats to that network.

EARLY TUESDAY MORNING, we learned that Brandon Griesemer, a 19-year-old grocery store clerk from Novi, Michigan, made at least 22 calls to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters where he not only threatened to shoot and kill employees, but used racial and ethnic slurs for both African-Americans and Jews. The calls were made two weeks ago, and Griesemer was charged last Friday.

This was not Griesemer’s first rodeo. On September 19, he was reported to have made similarly ugly calls to an Islamic center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Brandon Griesemer is a bigot.
[Read more…]