Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Prosecutors having a hard time convicting Ecoterrorists....

The law's first major test came in February 2009, when four animal-rights activists — Adriana Stumpo, Nathan Pope, Joseph Buddenberg and Maryam Khajavi — were arrested and later indicted under the AETA, for incidents at the homes of several University of California system researchers in 2007 and 2008. The group, with other protesters, wore bandanas over their faces and wrote messages such as "Stop the Torture", "Bird Killer" and "Murder for Scientific Lies" on the pavement with blue and purple chalk, according to police reports. The protesters allegedly burst through a researcher's door and one of them hit her husband with an object.

But on 12 July, a federal judge dismissed the indictment for being too vague: prosecutors did not say which of the activists' alleged actions violated the law. However, prosecutors are free to re-indict if they can show how particular actions crossed the line.

Maybe I'm oversensitive but I think breaking into someone's house and assaulting their spouse is crossing a line. These people are out of the minds they don't have. Also not sure why the judge is saying that this covers a freedom of speech issue - yeah ok chanting and giving out pamphlets - but I think once you are on private property (and damaging it) it becomes a private property issue. Not that I'm a lawyer or anything.

Just wondering how long it will be before US judges follow the UK's example and say that the activists should be acquitted because they were preventing further crimes against animals.....?