Jury: Rancher didn't violate illegals rights

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by artabr, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    New Iberia, Louisiana

    Jury: Rancher didn't violate illegal immigrants' rights

    TUCSON, Ariz. — 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.

    "They won a fraction of the damages they were seeking," Hardy said.

    All six plaintiffs are citizens of Mexico, five of whom are living in the United States with visa applications pending, and the sixth resides in Mexico but was allowed into the U.S. for the trial, said Nina Perales, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She declined to say where in the U.S. they're residing.

    Perales called the outcome "a resounding victory that sends a message that vigilante violence against immigrants will not be tolerated."

    David Urias, attorney for the plaintiffs, said, "Obviously we are disappointed with some aspects of the verdict. But I think that overall this was a victory for the plaintiffs."

    For years, Arizona has been the busiest point along the Mexican border for illegal immigrants entering the United States.

    For more than a decade, Barnett has been a controversial figure in southern Arizona. He's known for aggressively patrolling his ranch property and along highways and roads in the area, often with his wife and brothers, on the lookout for illegal immigrants.

    The plaintiffs alleged that Barnett threatened them with his dog and told them he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

    Barnett's lawyers argued that his land was inundated with illegal immigrants who left trash on his property, damaged his water supply and harmed his cattle.

    Barnett's wife and a brother were dismissed as defendants; in addition, 10 more people initially named as plaintiffs were dropped from the proceedings.

    Barnett has been known to wear a holstered 9-mm pistol on his hip and upon coming across groups of migrants, to flash a blue and gold badge resembling that of the highway patrol, with the wording "Barnett Ranch Patrol. Cochise County. State of Arizona."

    The Barnetts detain and turn over those whom they encounter to the U.S. Border Patrol. In 2006, Barnett estimated that he had detained more than 10,000 illegal immigrants in 10 years.

    His actions have resulted in formal complaints from the Mexican government against what it considers vigilante actions, and in several other lawsuits, including one stemming from an October 2004 incident.

    In that case, a jury awarded a family of Mexican-Americans on a hunting trip $100,000 in damages, later upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court.

    Barnett's 22,000-acre ranch, about five miles north of the Mexican border, includes private and federal lease holdings in addition to nearly 14,000 acres of state-leased land.

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    seem common sense isn't completely dead. but i have to wonder how did it and who allowed it to get this far :(

  3. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Jackson County West Virginia
    It seems to me that the rancher has still lost a lot. It is hopefull that this will be remedied on appeal. Such charges against a man that should be considered a hero is a strike against our nation. What if one of those stopped and held by the man was coming here to poison water supplies or other acts of terrorism?
  4. kingnothingugm

    kingnothingugm Member

    Feb 7, 2009
    Just goes to show that American citizens are increasingly becoming the threat...not the foreigners...just the domestics...at least that is the position held by the government. It's ridiculous.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  5. oldogy

    oldogy New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    East TN
    OK, what is so hard for the US government to understand about the word "Illegal" as in illegal alien. :confused:We have laws against them crossing the boarders and over 70% of Americans say those laws should be enforced. A guy trying to protect his property and now he is prosecuted. Does Arizona not have trespass laws? Dayum, it does get frustrating for this old tax paying law abiding citizen.
    I know Pogo was right.:D
  6. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Unfortunately, oldogy, he wasn't prosecuted. Had it gone to criminal trial, there would have been a much different outcome, in my opinion. This was a civil (?) suit, brought strictly because of the prospect for money.

  7. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    A wretched hive of scum and villiany
    "violence against immigrants"? You know what, those people were IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY DO NOT BELONG HERE!!!!!!!! If they want to come to the US then get a freakin' VISA and a GREEN CARD!!!!!!! Pfft, "violence against immigants" :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  8. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Dec 14, 2003

  9. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    They are criminals, across international boundries. Thus they are international criminals. I thought the idea of Law and Justice was to apprehend and punish criminals.

  10. obxned

    obxned Active Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    Shoot, shovel, shut up!
  11. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

    Aug 27, 2005
    Bay Point, Kali..aka Gun Point
    10-4 to that Good Buddy!

    The fact the rancher has to pay anything, just ticks me off. Stinkin' illegals got a payday, anyway. :mad::mad::mad:
  12. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I'll pass on the "good buddy" part :eek:, but I agree. I wouldn't be calling INS any more. He's got more than enough land to bury the evidence.
  13. momo

    momo Former Guest

    Sep 18, 2007
    We should tell those thieving bastards that run Mexico that we're going to treat our illegal immigrants like they treat theirs, beat the crap out of them, take their money and then throw them in jail.:cool:
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