Appeals court upholds convictions in Malheur Refuge takeover but finds fault with juror screening

A gavel.

In the 160-page opinion, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel wrote that Oregon's U.S. District Judge Anna Brown “went well beyond” allowable administrative screening in determining a juror’s potential bias based only on their written comments to lengthy questionnaires about the specific case, and without input from the defendants and their lawyers.Canva stock image

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A federal appellate panel on Thursday affirmed the convictions and sentences of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Darryl Thorn and Jake Ryan.

At the same time, the three-judge panel found U.S. District Judge Anna Brown improperly excused some of the prospective jurors for cause without input from the defendants and their lawyers -- though the appeals judges said the issue wasn’t enough to reverse the verdicts.

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