WHY ARE WE TRYING TO FREE PAUL?
In July of 2014, Paul Oatman was convicted of assault in federal court and sentenced to nearly three years in a maximum security prison in California where he is currently among this countries most violent offenders; he is in DANGER. The case rested on the testimony of Kamiah Marshall's Office Deputy Kurtis Gaston, whom unprovoked sprayed Paul with OC- debilitating Paul for several minutes while others on scene continued to fight. Deputy Gaston, who Paul was convicted of assaulting, perjured himself over 5 times on the stand. During his sworn testimony he said he was "100% certain that Paul Oatman punched me in the face" which was ironically similar to his earlier testimony that he was "100% blind without his glasses." (video shot on scene shows shows another non-Native man kick Gaston causing his glasses to fall to the ground). During Gaston's statement to his doctor as well as in his inital statements provided to Tribal Police and the KMO, Gaston claimed that he received a broken jaw when he was "kicked in the face." This story was consistent until the FBI and agent Blake Hostetter became involved in the investigation (at the urgence of KMO Marshall Joe Newman) and was the point in which Deputy Gaston became "100% certain that Paul Oatman punched me in the face." YES, I said FBI. Because the alleged assault occurred on the Nez Perce Indian reservation, which is the permanent treaty domicile (12 Stat. 957) of Paul Oatman, he was subject to charges in both tribal court and Federal court. (The feds could not charge him with assault against an officer in federal court because Gaston is a City Deputy NOT a federal marshall).
Paul has not truly had his day in court. On the day he was convicted, we discovered that his public defender's husband was, get this: A COP!!! Perhaps biased? Not as "effective" as she could have been given the circumstances? In her sentencing report, she referred to Paul Oatman in the female pronoun over 10 times!!!!! It almost read as though it was a cut and paste job from a prior client.
Paul is owed in the very least: 1) A new team of attorney's that will move to vacate his sentence because the federal government never had SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION to try this charge 2) in the alternative, to ensure that he has effective counsel during his appellate review and 3) to receive a new trial that includes a self-defense argument where an officer of the law is acting outside of the scope of authority.
THE INDIAN COUNTRY LIE
The assertion is this: Congress has NEVER provided authority for the Kamiah Marshall's Office to exist. To date, the only Congressionally authorized law enforcement activty is that of the Federal Marshall's Office. Additionally, the Treaty with the Nez Perce Indians of 1855 clearly bans "ardent spirits" on the reservation. This contract term has never been changed. Therefore, the federal governemnt owed Paul a duty and they failed that duty. This was brought up to Judge Edward Lodge during Paul's sentencing, where nearly 60 people provided testimony for leniency to no avail. This same judge also subjected Paul to a technique referred to as diesel therapy (see link), which is not an uncommon practice for Judge Lodge to employ on a political prisoner (Think Congressman George Hansen). In another ironic twist, Judge Lodge entered senior status, which is essentially partial retirement. The last time a federal judge has done this in Idaho is the early 1970's. This is RARE. Federal judges DIE on the bench...
"It does not take many words to speak the truth." Chief Joseph
You help, support, and prayers have gotten us this far... the next phase of this journey is to raise the needed $16k to to pay the Appellate team out of Southern Idaho so that we can reunite this dad with his three beautiful children Jada, PJ and Keane and the community that he has contributed to his entire 34 years on this earth.
WHY PAULS CASE NEEDS HEARD?
Injustice occurs by aggressive law enforcement EVERY DAY, drastically changing the lives of people forever. According to the Kamiah Marshalls Office Policy, a deputy marshall must receive regular training, including in the use and deployment of OC spray. During Deputy Gaston's testimony it was revealed that his last certification ON RECORD for being trained in the use of OC spray was 2001! The alleged incident occurred in July of 2013. What happened to community policing in Kamiah, ID? The current mission is clear, and their actions expose their secrets. I have included a video of KMO Deputy Matt Taylor trying to arrest my other brother Wesley for driving on an invalid license and attempting to arrest him for resisting arrest. Deputy Taylor has written several letters to the editor of the newspaper stating that it was his "Christian duty" to abrogate the treaties, which are the biggest mistake the government has ever made. This perspective certainly does not foster the community spirit that Paul Oatman and our family have been a part of for our lives.