Jury restarts deliberations in armed standoff on tribal territory

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

An all-White jury has restarted deliberations for seven people who took part in an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

According to news reports, one juror was removed and replaced by an alternate after questions were raised about his impartiality. The ex-juror had once worked for the federal government.

"You’re going to have to set aside the conclusions you have and start over, just like when the case was handed to you," Judge Anna Brown told the 12-member jury on Wednesday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Seven defendants -- a group that includes anti-government ringleaders Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan -- are facing numerous charges in connection with the 41-day standoff at the federal refuge. The land was originally set aside as a reservation for the Burns Paiute Tribe in 1872.

Six years later, the government kicked the tribe off the land and forced its members to march to reservations in Washington following the Bannock War in 1878. Many eventually returned, only to find their reservation was gone.

The Indian Claims Commission later determined that the tribe should have been compensated for the theft. A settlement put just $743.20 in the hands of each tribal member in 1969, The Oregonian reported earlier this year. Some members want to reopen the judgment, saying they were cheated.

Read More on the Story:
Court Agrees To Dismiss Juror No. 11 In Malheur Trial (Oregon Public Broadcasting 10/26)
Federal judge dismisses a juror for 'good cause' in Oregon standoff trial (The Oregonian 10/26)
‘A New Start’ as Judge Halts Deliberations in Oregon Refuge Trial (The New York Times 10/27)

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