Whether from personal experience or basic logic, most of us know that jail isn’t vacation and you can’t make up your own rules in a courtroom. Yet those realizations still elude Ammon and Ryan Bundy.
The brothers are members of Nevada’s notorious Bundy family and led the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Ranch in Oregon earlier this year. Awaiting their September 7 trial, the pair has been incarcerated for several months at Multnomah County Detention Center, which they seem to believe is a Motel 6 that isn’t quite earning its 2 1/2 stars.
It began in May, when the Bundys complained about not having internet access in their cells, citing a need to post on Facebook and send emails. They also demanded a printer, scanner, video editing software and comfortable chairs, as well as permission to socialize with each other and their co-defendants whenever they wished. Ammon Bundy declared that he was going to sue the jail for violating his civil rights, especially his Second Amendment rights. Because people in jail should be allowed to keep their guns. After all, the place is full of criminals.
That’s not the only ridiculous legal action the Bundys have thrown at the judges like monkeys fling poo:
• Ammon Bundy filed to dismiss all charges on the basis that the federal government has no authority over the refuge and, thus, no standing to prosecute him. Incredibly, the court did not agree.
• In July, Ryan Bundy filed “legal” paperwork declaring that “I, ryan c, man, am an idiot of the ‘Legal Society’; and; am an idiot (layman, outsider) of the ‘Bar Association’; and; i am incompetent.” No, our copy editor didn’t just have a stroke: It’s part of sovereign-citizen theory that randomly scattered semicolons can bring the entire legal system to a grinding halt.
• In the same filing, Ryan Bundy demanded $100 million to play the “role” of “defendant” during the trail. Shit, for that kind of money, they could hire Johnny Depp to play him, Leonardo DiCaprio as Ammon and have enough to bring them both back for the sequel.
Incarceration does seem to be getting to at least one of the brothers. When guards searched Ryan Bundy’s cell in July, they found hidden food, clothing and a rope made out of sheets and towels. Bundy claims that he was just a “rancher trying to practice braiding rope.” (The rope was only about 12 feet, and the tower from which he was trying to escape from is more than 200 feet tall: Maybe they should have let him go for it.) Three weeks later, he began struggling with U.S. marshals during transport and had to be restrained.
Ryan Bundy has now been moved into more restrictive accommodations. It should only be another week or two before he starts whining about how “disciplinary housing” doesn’t have enough towels and no one will give him the Wi-Fi password.