Bundy trial embodies everything dividing America today

THE CONVERSATION, OCTOBER 2017, FEAT, PROF. ANN EISENBERG

It’s that time of year again: The Bundys are going to trial.

This fall, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their father, Cliven, will face charges over a standoff with federal officials in a dispute over federal lands in Nevada.

Many are wondering if they’ll be let off the hook. The two Bundy brothers were acquitted in an October 2016 trial for a different standoff in Oregon. The jury’s “not guilty” verdict on conspiracy charges for the Oregon standoff struck much of the public as shockingly lenient.

As a law professor who researches rural land use and juries, I’ve found that both conflicts over public lands and jury decisions often bring up the same question: Who gets to decide what justice is in America?

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