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Militia Group Wins Big In Domestic Terrorism Case

Militia Group Wins Big In Domestic Terrorism Case

Despite a victory in the prosecution of a Mississippi murder under a new federal hate crime statute, the Department of Justice lost a high profile case in Michigan against the Hutaree militia.

Last week a federal judge dismissed a majority of the government’s case against the Christian militia holding that the heated rhetoric against law enforcement employed by the Hutaree’s leader David Stone Jr. and his son Joshua did not amount to a specific plot and that the evidence against the other members of the militia was weak.

Both David and Joshua Stone plead guilty to possessing illegal machine guns. They both face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Based on their felony convictions, the Stones will never be allowed to possess firearms again.

The plea marks the end of a rocky road for this domestic terrorism prosecution. The case started after he FBI  raided individuals in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana alleging the group was preparing to carry out a series of bombing attacks in a larger plot to kill police officers. The group was then going to follow up with additional bombings during the funeral processions of those slain officers. The goal of the attacks, according to the FBI was to incite nationwide anti-government violence.

The allegations were spectacular and the raids executed early in the stage of the purported conspiracy. Perhaps too early.

The case faced bumps from the beginning as U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts said, basically, that the individuals charged lacked the sophistication, skills, and means necessary to carry out the acts charged. This plea seems to support Judge Roberts’ initial skepticism.

Which leads to a different problem. No doubt this failed prosecution will only embolden other hard-right anti-government militias. And with the Rep. Ron Paul (R) presidential campaign stagnant and an election around the corner, emboldening the militias could prove to be a very dangerous thing.

Related Stories:

Hutaree Militia Members May Be Released, And It’s Not A Bad Thing

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Photo from Dushan and Miae via flickr.

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38 comments

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3:52PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

3:52PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

3:51PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

3:51PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thank you.

10:53AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Think my posting were lost in cyber space, so I try again. Sorry if they both turn up.

They go to prison for possessing illegal firearms and will therefore never be allowed to own legal guns. Well, they will just get some illegal once. All militias need to be dissolved and the children in those compounds need to be taken away. We don't need any more gun crazy, violence happy people who pass their hatred on to the next generation.

10:43AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

They go to prison for possessing illegal firearms and will therefore never be allowed to own legal guns. Well, they will just get some illegal once. All militias need to be dissolved and the children in those compounds need to be taken away. We don't need any more gun crazy, violence happy people who pass their hatred on to the next generation.

1:52PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

@Jamie

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

'Notice nowhere in the phrase does it say state santioned militia and nowhere in there does it specify you can have this gun but not that one.'

No but if you look at the historical context, at the contemporaneous state constitutions, it's clear that the amendment was based on state militias. That appears to be the original intent.

'The supreme court recently ruled that your right to keep and bear arms does not depend on
you being in a militia.'

I believe SCOTUS ruled that citizens have the right to keep arms for self-defense. If I remember correctly, Scalia made some comment that this did not mean that all laws regulating of arms were unconstitutional. e.g. no machine guns. I don't believe any general right to bear arms as in carry, was included in the ruling but I'm not sure of the precise wording.

1:25PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Notice nowhere in the phrase does it say state santioned militia and nowhere in there does it specify you can have this gun but not that one. The supreme court recently ruled that your right to keep and bear arms does not depend on you being in a militia. Furthermore since everyone over 18 is required to be enroled in selective service we could make a valid argument that we the people are the militia.

10:01AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Steve,

According to the only rightful inhabitants of the Americas we and the British we all foreigners. As English subjects (as we were before and during the revolutionary war), we were the terrorists. George Washington didn't have a constitution or a government to which to submit prisoners of war. And, George Washington treated is prisoners very well by the standards of the day - he didn't summarily execute them, and he didn't abuse them.

9:53AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Doris, It's the new Taliban.

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