Former TEA Party Lawmaker’s Trial Gets Weirder

Today’s TEA Party news comes to us courtesy of former GOP lawmaker Joel Boniek, who is using his trial to put forth conspiracy theories and frivolous arguments to defend himself against charges that he ran a police roadblock in 2012. Because of his behavior, the court was forced to issue an official ruling to limit what Boniek can address in his upcoming trial to try to keep him on topic.

Cowgirl readers will recall that last year, Boniek was hauled into court to answer charges that he’d sped through a roadblock in defiance of an officer’s order to keep out. Boniek was trying to get to his house, but his house was in an area where a forest fire was burning and had been evacuated and blocked off due to the emergency. As a devoted Tea Partier and general wingnut, Boniek did not recognize the authority of the policeman to keep him away from his private property. Also, during his encounter with the officer before he crashed the barrier, Boniek allegedly reached for a gun that he had with him in the front seat. As the Livingston Enterprise reported, he:

“allegedly argued with the officers and eventually ‘dropped his left hand near what looked like a holster’ before a deputy brought him to the ground….The deputy removed a loaded handgun from the holster, according to court documents.”

For his day in court, Boniek brought with him an angry mob of supporters, who shouted down the Judge and Prosecutor in such a menacing way that they fled the courtroom fearing for their safety. At that point, Boniek stood up and proclaimed himself regent over the courtroom, and decreed himself innocent of all the charges (before the bailiff told him otherwise, while brandishing his own weapon).

Boniek, who is representing himself, has been asked to stop bringing up a number of frivolous and conspiracy-related arguments.

The first is “jury nullification” which is when a jury ignores the evidence and or instructions of the judge and returns a verdict of “Not Guilty” despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation he or she is charged with. This appears to be a primary focus of Boniek’s self-defense, and the case is being closely followed by the jury nullification crew, as you can see from their press release on the case. He and his band of TEA Partiers have also been ordered not to distribute TEA Party pamphlets around the courthouse before the trial tomorrow, May 10.

During a hearing of his court case on Friday, the Livingston Enterprise reports, Boniek himself “lodged multiple complaints and objections, including that the court is fraudulent and that officials are treating him as an “artificial person” because his name appears in all capital letters on legal documents.”

He’s also accused the judge and everyone involved with the trial of being “fraudulent” so therefore his trial should not proceed. Boniek alleges that the judge will see personal financial benefit from his trial and any fines related to it.

Boniek is also angry with the Livingston Enterprise,who he has demanded show him every story they write about him before it is printed. The whole Enterprise article on the case’s latest developments is a must read.


45 Comments on "Former TEA Party Lawmaker’s Trial Gets Weirder"

  1. Ahhh Yep…………… Certifiable.

  2. People like Joel Boniek need to go back under the rocks they climbed out from under.

    I like a good ghost story,now and again… it just isn’t allowed to take over my life, or be pushed on others as some sort of truth we can’t live without.

    Conspiracies are a lot like suntanning. If you seek to continually require a tan, by the sun or under sunlamps, sooner or later you the conspirator, end up with skin Cancer….you get burned by following your own Bullshit, your own agenda!

  3. Probably a safe bet that this will be turned into a TV movie.

  4. Two questions:
    How do we end up breeding such narcissists?
    How can any group function with so many of them in one place? I’m surprised the Tea Party and the NRA haven’t imploded from internal power plays and infighting.

  5. Drunks for Denny | May 10, 2013 10:33 AM at 10:33 AM |

    “Joel Boniek does not accept nor give his consent to being treated as a human-created entity or other artificial entity,” he wrote.

    This guy is certifiably looney tunes.

  6. Conspiracy theorists are all about the ME. I am so smart and so observant that even though I failed in school and life in general, I know this SOOPER SEKREET STUFF which makes me better than you. Nyah. So there. Pfffffth.

  7. I don’t see the problem with Jury Nullification. Neither does the US Supreme Court nor the Montana Supreme Court.

    Cowgirl’s explanation of jury nullification is not quite accurate. The jury does not ignore the evidence for one thing. Basically, the jury says “yes, the person broke the law, but it is a bad law” and we find him not guilty.

    Missoula did a flavor of jury nullification a while back when it could not seat a jury in a marijuana case. No one was willing to convict as I recall.

    • Its called rigging a court case, or Tampering with the Jury and the supreme court and the Montana Supreme court do not agree with that!

      Where the heck do you get your information?

      and do provide the articles that prove the Marijuana case was called nullification. I sure want to see that.

      • Norma, Jury nullification has been a part of common law systems as far back as the 12th Century. If you want to know more about it, start with this article from Wiki –

        Elizebeth is correct in her definition of Jury Nullification and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court on many occations. The Court doesn’t like it (it has upheld laws preventing a judge from informing a jury that it is an accepted practice) but it has also upheld the right of a jury to use it. I have no knowledge on the case in Missoula but I have lots of knowledge of it being used before. I may not like what this wingnut is doing (and it is likely over the line into jury intimidation) but jury nullification itself is a sound legal practice.

        • I am pretty well versed on the legal understanding of so called Jury Nullification Usually it is when a jury returns a verdict of “Not Guilty” despite its belief that the defendant is guilty of the violation charged. last time was used effectively was for Draft Dodgers during the vietnam war.

          Changing “Not guilty” to “we don’t want to have to obey any law we don’t like ,” is the extremists way today.

          Used sparingly and correctly “Jury nullification is often used as a protest of a law, it doesn’t stop the law, because only lawmakers can do that, but to extremists particularly right wing groups such as tax protesters and the militia movement, they feel it is a tool to not follow any law they do not like.

          Example: the Christian Movement have been trying to use nullification for years for pro-lifers who kill doctors and support staff, who perform abortions….Because they dont like laws like Wade vrs Roe. and yeah they don’t read their bibles either, cause even Jesus said to follow man made laws and pay Taxes starting at Mark 12.13

          13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement.14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?15“Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.”16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.”17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

          This will sound even more insane in a second……

          Advocacy today of jury nullification as a means of protesting laws with which people disagree is often done out of opposition to laws, like civil rights to Minorities and voting laws… the same shit republicans are trying desperately to do in statehouses across America, it’s no different than their Idea of Nullification today…. Yet, as a strategy in court, jury nullification does nothing to establish any legal precedent against those laws.

          Joel Boniek and people like Elizabeth want him to have a “Get out of Jail free card.”

          The man tried to pull a gun on an officer in his duty, he was rude crude disobeyed direct orders, ram a roadblock, and directly tried to put a judge in harms way. The mans a fucking menace, and needs to go to court and face his crimes if convicted.

          Lastly we have a crank organization in Montana called FIJA with their annual distribution of a “Freedom Calendar” that is full of atrociously reasoned “common law” references, Bible thumping, god bothering, and loaded with enough”patriotic”Bullshit to fill a dump truck…. all brought to you by Christian patriots” and activists M.J. “Red” Beckman & William J. Benson. Conspiracy theorists about Taxes… oh yeah and Bensons convictions of tax evasion, because he wanted to Nullify the 16th amendment, not pay his fair share. Yeah right!

          Civil liberties groups like the ACLU which I belong to, have not been particularly keen on joining the jury nullification causes, on the grounds that it results in uneven (and hence, in the eyes of some, unfair) application of the law while accomplishing nothing toward repealing bad laws, which should be the real goal of all Americans who wish to change the paw peacefully.

          The ACLU has defended the advocacy of jury nullification on First Amendment grounds, like draft dodging….But thats not the case here with this nitwit. In my opinion, he needs to enjoy the view out of the same tiny windows and Bars Benson has.

          • I get that you don’t like Jury nullification but it has been used successfully much more recently than the Vietnam draft dodgers. Yes, there are people that abuse it and it is being abused here in Montana by the group under discussion, but that does not mean that it is invalid or that it doesn’t enjoy Supreme Court Protection. You are getting very agressive with me and attempting to turn my statements into something they are not. I was simply defending Elizebeth’s original statement and you have yet to show that jury nullification is, in anyway, illegal or against accepted constitutional law. I have provided links to information to support that jury nullification has been and continues to be used successfully.

      • Drunks for Denny | May 10, 2013 9:09 PM at 9:09 PM |

        Norma, you really need to improve your reading comprehension skills.

        All Elizabeth did was provide the Tea Party spin of things,….merely opinions, no statements that can be disputed.

        Opinions are opinions, like Larry and I thinking that the federal government should stay out of regulating guns in our states, and you thinking otherwise.

        Facts are facts. Elizabeth can post all the silly innuendo she wants, and spin is really all she has.

        Kind of makes me sad, that this is all that is left of the party of TR and Lincoln.


        Do pay attention, Norma.

        I did not say it WAS jury nullification, I said it was de facto nullification.

        • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers. | May 10, 2013 10:28 PM at 10:28 PM |
        • Read above Elizabeth you’re the one who needs a little better understanding of what Nullification is Period. A defacto tool.

          • I wouldn’t have wanted to arrest a guy with a few buds either especially since medical marijuana laws were still in force then. Meaning other laws, made grass less of a crime. probably still wont happen in Missoula but in eastern Montana the poor schlip would be behind bars for a year now!

          • In its 1906 decision in the case of State v. Koch, the Montana Supreme Court also upheld jury nullification, ruling that, “It has nevertheless always been recognized in practice in this jurisdiction, that the jury has the power to disregard the law as declared and acquit the defendant, however convincing the evidence may be, and that the court or judge has no power to punish them for such conduct.”

            • Attention, Elizabeth, that was a 106 years ago.

              • You appear to have a problem with precedent in law. Are there other 106 year old court rulings you don’t like?

                • Heres some precedent for you in Federal Court!

                  United States v. Thomas, 116 F.3d 606 (2d Cir. 1997) involved an African-American juror’s dismissal from the criminal jury trial of five African–Americans on drug charges. However, the narrow opinion also reversed the convictions of the five defendants and remanded the matter for a new trial. Although the court ruled that a juror’s refusal to apply the relevant law was just cause for dismissal, only unambiguous evidence of the juror’s deliberate disregard of the law (not apparent in this case) would justify such a dismissal. In so holding, the appellate court acknowledged the necessity for secrecy in jury deliberations.

         Cert denied.

                  Read more than the garbage you now spout Elizabeth!!!

                  • Everyone went to jail Elizabeth your nullifaction didn’t work, and it put a strain on the legal system because all the cases had to be retried! For a small government conservative you sure are all gung ho to spend taxpayer money!!!

        • You never said Defacto in your earlier statement!!!!! Lets go back to your whole statement:

          ” I don’t see the problem with Jury Nullification. Neither does the US Supreme Court nor the Montana Supreme Court.

          Cowgirl’s explanation of jury nullification is not quite accurate. The jury does not ignore the evidence for one thing. Basically, the jury says “yes, the person broke the law, but it is a bad law” and we find him not guilty.

          Missoula did a flavor of jury nullification a while back when it could not seat a jury in a marijuana case. No one was willing to convict as I recall.”

          I don’t see DE Facto anywhere Elizabeth. Whos the fool now??

          • Missoula did a flavor of jury nullification a while back when it could not seat a jury in a marijuana case. No one was willing to convict as I recall.”

            I don’t see DE Facto anywhere Elizabeth. Whos the fool now??

            Did I say “DE FACTO”? No, I said a “flavor of”. Seems YOU are the FOOL.

            You seem to have a misunderstanding of what jury nullification is. Try to educate yourself before exposing yourself as a fool.

            • Right after you Tea party idiots grow up, and stop hiding from black helecopters. I worked with famous attorneys in Federal courts for years. MY MIDDLE FINGER on my right hand has more understanding of law, then you’re entire embodiment does

          • Actually, that is only one reason for Jury nullification. It can also be used when a jury feels that the crime charged is too harsh for the situation or specific instance, or that the defendant – while having committed the crime – should not be punished for the crime because of extenuating circumstances.

  8. There’s a long and generally honorable history of juries returning not guilty verdicts in cases where any other verdict would be irresponsible and unjust. That’s generally called jury nullification, and it’s one way a community protects its members against rogue courts and prosecutions. Whether the jury that nullifies did the right thing must be judged on a case by case basis.

    • And there is the rub with jury nullification. It is a “case by case” thing (at least it is seen that way by the law). In cases where jury nullification has been used multiple times, it is usually taken as an indication that there is something amiss with the law in question.

      • Its not a case by case thing though Moorecat. it was last used effectively as a protest against the war, before that Prohibition, and before that Slavery. Laws that unevenly went after numerous individuals not case by case.

        • Norma, first, it is Moorcat, not Moorecat. Second, regardless of how many attorneys you have worked for, you are incorrect about Jury Nullification. A simple google search is all it takes to prove you wrong, in fact, I have already provided a link to information that indicates you are somewhat misinformed on jury nullification. I do not know what your stake is in this hardline stance you have taken (except a seemingly personal problem with Elizabeth) but you are pushing pretty hard for your “interpretation” of Jury Nullification. I am curious why…

          • Well obviously, You don’t read past the first page of any search nor do you, look for the individual cases and read them, like I have. Secondly, If you have ever worked for attorneys you will find that, making sure the sixth amendment is followed is far more important and surefire than Jury Nullification is on a case by case basis.

            Jury Nullification, is a last ditch effort, that only works when a class of people are represented not one on most instances. It is also Litigious Bullshit most of the time, and a waste of the taxpayers money….in the -the negative column of Hung Juries Jury Nullification has included some notorious cases in which all-white southern juries in the 1950s and 1960s refused to convict white supremacists for killing blacks or civil rights workers despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt.

            Sorry, it is a defacto Bullshit tool that should be used only very sparingly… if at all! It doesn’t change a bad law, even if there was one. it is still on the books until a legislature removes it!

  9. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers. | May 11, 2013 7:09 AM at 7:09 AM |

    Call me what you like, it just doesn’t matter. But THIS is your f*cking reality, America! Watch it. Share it. And ACT upon it!

    This is the most watched video of recent times. The nazis have won, so let’s give up our guns, for the Big Kockh is a’comin’!

    The most sophisticated propaganda ever! The bush and his dick wars!

  10. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers. | May 11, 2013 7:26 AM at 7:26 AM |

    Hell, I’ve been saying this for twenty YEARS now, ever since the first wackos started moving here!

  11. The whole “I’m not an artificial person” argument makes me ask one question: How did he receive title to his property in the first place if his name can’t be written down on a legal document?

  12. Until the late 1800’s juries were told of their rights to judge law and fact. Juries still have that right and the courts have said juries don’t have to follow the Judges’s instructions, nor can juries be punished for their verdicts. Juries are the conscience of our society.

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