It has been a while since we've sent out anything.
In case you didn't know, Animal Rights Activist and Alleged Grand Jury Resistor Jordan Halliday will be going to trial very soon. If you don't know who Jordan is read below:
Who is Jordan & Why is he going on trial?:
On Friday, March 13, 2009, Then 21-year old Jordan Halliday was taken into federal custody for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the animal rights community of Utah. He was held for nearly four months. On June 29th, Jordan was federally indicted with felony "criminal contempt of court" and released on pretrial. Jordan is still facing even more jail time for this charge.
What are grand juries?
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 has 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.
Why was Jordan in jail and why is he still under indictment?
This particular grand jury was allegedly established for the purpose of investigating mink releases in Utah. However, the questions asked of Jordan went far beyond inquests on criminal activity. The prosecution is clearly using the grand jury as a fishing expedition/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. Jordan 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 held in contempt simply because he refuses 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 constitution rights of free association, free speech, and against self-incrimination.
Why is this important?
Jordan is the first person to ever be charged with "Criminal Contempt of Court" after serving time for "Civil Contempt of Court" in the continental United States. This could set a new bar for future Grand Jury Resistors.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Jordan needs your support in court and out. Below are some ways you can support him.
Jordan's court dates have again been moved. His new court dates are as follows:
Pretrial Hearing: July 8th, 2010 at 2:00 PM
Info to distro:
Legal Note: Just to be clear. We are with "The Jordan Halliday Support Committee". Anything we say should not be considered Jordan Halliday's Views, Thoughts, Opinions or Quotations.
-The Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City