Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Jury Has Spoken...

but are they talking gibberish? While exonerating a rancher of alleged civil rights violations, an Arizona federal jury awarded money damages on other counts to six illegal aliens trespassing on the defendant's land:
A federal jury found Tuesday that a southern Arizona rancher didn't violate the civil rights of a group of illegal immigrants who said he detained them at gunpoint in 2004. The eight-member civil jury also found Roger Barnett wasn't liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment.
But the jury did find him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages — $60,000 of which were punitive. Barnett declined to comment afterward, but one of his attorneys, David Hardy, said the plaintiffs lost on the bulk of their claims and that Barnett has a good basis for appeal on the two counts on which he lost.
Appeals courts often reduce excessive damage awards, but the defendant will have to run up more legal fees to get there.

In a somewhat related development in connection with border security, the Washington Times reports the following:
Heavily armed outlaws are threatening national parks and other public lands along the Mexican border, where terrain and environmental concerns limit the range of U.S. Border Patrol agents and are complicating efforts to build a barrier ordered by Congress.
The Department of Homeland Security has allocated about $50 million to counter the ecological impact on land managed by the Interior Department and other government agencies...
Numerous Border Patrol agents interviewed by The Washington Times said drug smugglers and human traffickers are using ecologically diverse sanctuaries to evade law enforcement officials, whose access is limited in some areas to foot patrols and horseback.

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