Change of Plea Hearing for Animal Rights Activist and Alleged Grand Jury Resister Jordan Halliday
On Friday, March 13, 2009, Then 21-year old Jordan Halliday was taken into federal custody for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury investigating the animal rights community of Utah. He was held for nearly four months. On June 29th, 2009, Halliday was released from custody and federally indicted with felony "criminal contempt of court" for the same act of recalcitrance.
Grand juries are a threat to the rights of social dissidents and the rights of Americans generally. Grand juries ostensibly were established to be a curb on prosecutorial power but have instead resulted in greater misuse of prosecutorial power. Prosecutors have the unilateral power to subpoena anyone and compel them to answer questions under threat of imprisonment. At a grand jury, you have no Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. You also have no right to have an attorney present with you during the questioning. Grand juries almost always indict because no other side is allowed to present their argument against indictment.
This particular grand jury was allegedly established for the purpose of investigating mink releases in Utah. However, the questions asked of Halliday went far beyond inquests on criminal activity. The prosecution was clearly using the grand jury as a witch hunt to investigate the activities of animal rights activists generally. These tactics are employed to chill free speech activities and intimidate people from standing up for the rights of themselves and animals. Halliday is making a commendable principled stand for his refusal to cooperate with this abridgment of rights. He has committed absolutely no acts of violence or property destruction. The government has even expressed that he is not considered a suspect in the mink release or any other illegal activity. He is being charged with contempt simply because he refused to acquiesce to the abridgment of his First and Fifth Amendment rights. The government is criminally indicting him now with felony contempt of court to send a message to political activists that the weight and the authority of the government should not be resisted. This use of criminal law and federal subpoena power is a serious threat to our constitutional rights of free association, free speech, and against self-incrimination.
There will be a support rally for Jordan Halliday at 9 am on July 27th, 2010 at the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse (350 So. Main St.), preceding his Change of Plea Hearing at 10 am on the same day at the same address.
Please Dress Conservatively.
For More information please visit: http://www.supportjordan.com
-The Jordan Halliday Support Committee
PDF flyer image: http://www.supportjordan.com/files/CoPrally.pdf
forwarded by: ADLSLC