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Whoops! Federal Judge Acquits January 6 Defendant

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | April 8, 2022

In what can only come as an extreme shock to people who still view the January 6 Capitol protests as a gigantic conspiracy to violently take over the reins of the federal government, a federal judge has just acquitted New Mexico engineer Matthew Martin of all charges relating to the protests.

Acquitted! As in Not Guilty! As in walking out of the federal courtroom a free man.

Mind you, I’m not referring to a federal jury trial. For some reason, Martin chose to waive a jury trial. In a non-jury trial, the judge serves the same role as a jury. He not only determines the law of the case, he also determines whether the evidence supports a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In most instances, it is much more difficult, as a practical matter, to get an acquittal from a judge than it is to get one from a jury. That’s because federal judges ordinarily lean toward the prosecution, especially since many of them are former prosecutors.

Our American ancestors clearly understood this phenomenon, which is why they had the Bill of Rights guarantee the right of trial by jury.

Thus, to get an acquittal from a judge is considered by lawyers to be a super-big achievement.

The facts of the case were not very much in dispute. There was no question but that Martin entered the Capitol, along with lots of other protestors. He took the stand and told the judge that he figured the Capitol police were granting people permission to enter the building, a point that prosecutors challenged. Once inside, Martin did not start shooting people, setting off bombs, or committing any other violent acts that would ordinarily be associated with a violent revolution. Instead, he spent his time taking pictures with his cellphone.

According to Politico, in finding Martin not guilty, Judge Trevor McFadden called Martin’s conduct “about as minimal and not serious as I can imagine.”

Whoops! That doesn’t bode well for those people who have been claiming that the protestors were involved in a gigantic conspiracy to violently take over the federal government. Never mind that the protestors didn’t have AR-15s, bombs, or other high-power weapons that are ordinarily used in violent revolutions. In fact, the only person who was shot and killed was one of the protestors, who wasn’t even armed.

Politico stated that “the verdict could be viewed as a message from McFadden to prosecutors that pursuing criminal charges against nearly every demonstrator who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 was unwise and that resources should have been trained more intensely on those accused of violence or of conspiring to block the electoral vote count.”

Good for Judge McFadden. His verdict of acquittal goes to show why an independent judiciary is an essential part of a free society. There is no doubt that if the Justice Department, the Pentagon, or the CIA were determining Matthew Martin’s guilt, the result would have been a conviction.

April 8, 2022 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular |

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