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Armed Occupiers Convene Common Law Grand Jury Against Local Officials


Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation in Harney County, Oregon, talks tactics with occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Ammon Bundy, one of the leaders of the armed occupation in Harney County, Oregon, talks tactics with occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Armed occupiers in Harney County are moving forward with efforts to change the legal system.

Occupiers say they’ve voted to ask Joaquin Mariano DeMoreta-Folch, a long-time Tea Party activist, to convene a common law grand jury.

He tracks its origins back to the Magna Carta, British common law and the U.S. Constitution and he warns, the jury meets in absolute secrecy. “The media, you cannot ask the question to them. That’s a felony,” he told reporters.

“So make sure (you know) what you are doing because if you ask me: How many? What they say? Why they vote? You’re committing the crime of felony and I will hold you accountable,” said DeMoreta-Folch.

Grand juries held under U.S. law also meet in secret. But after an indictment, they’re followed by a trial.

DeMoreta-Folch said common law grand juries deliver an indictment and that’s it.

Punishment can involve placing a lien on a person’s property.

He said the jury is considering quote “multiple constitutional crimes” against local officials on behalf of the Hammond ranchers.

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