Cultural Revolutions

The Ruby Ridge Saga Continues

The Ruby Ridge saga continues. Five years to the day after 14-year-old Samuel Weaver and United States Marshal William Degan were killed in the initial confrontation at Randy Weaver's residence, prosecutors in Boundary County, Idaho, indicted Weaver's friend Kevin Harris on charges of first-degree murder. Weaver's supporters were rightly outraged, with some claiming that the charges represent double jeopardy (Harris was cleared of similar charges at the federal level), and others pointing out that Harris deserves a medal for defending his friends against an assault by federal marshals, dressed in black, who had killed Weaver's dog and opened fire on Weaver's house without even identifying themselves. But instead of a medal, Harris could face the death penalty if convicted.

While Boundary County prosecutors claim to have new evidence that will show that Degan was killed while retreating (and may even have been off of Weaver's property when he was shot), the possibility of a conviction in Harris's case seems "fairly slim (as the extremely low bail—10,000—attests). Far more interesting is the decision of Boundary County prosecutor Denise Woodbury to indict FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi on manslaughter charges. Horiuchi, who killed Vicki Weaver as she held her baby in her arms, has become a symbol of an arrogant federal government that refuses to hold its agents accountable. Less than a week...

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