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for people who care about the West

Wrong charge


I understand that the case against the Bundys — or any other defendant, for that matter — can be dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct if the judge determines that prosecutors egregiously violated the rights of the defendants, preventing them from being able to conduct his or her defense, (“Cliven Bundy walks,” HCN, 1/22/18). That is a matter for the U.S attorney to address with his staff.

What I do not understand, however, is why the Bundys have been allowed by the federal authorities to violate the law for years by illegally grazing their cattle on federal land. You don’t need to charge them with criminal conspiracy. Whatever happened to simple trespass? I’m pretty sure I know what would happen if I decided to deny the rights of the federal government and brought in a truckload of cattle to graze in the meadows of Yosemite Valley.

Scott Finley
El Dorado Hills, California