From Animal Defense League- Salt Lake City
September 29, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah --- On October 19, 2010, Jordan Halliday, a
Utah animal rights activist, will be sentenced for refusing to testify
before a grand jury. Because the prosecutor is asking for 15-21
months, Jordan faces as much prison time as those he was brought to testify
against. We are calling for solidarity actions from October 16th to
19th to show support for Jordan and all grand resistors.
2009, Jordan was subpoenaed to federal grand jury investigating a
series of mink liberations in Utah. He asserted his 5th Amendment right
against self-incrimination. The court jailed Jordan for nearly 4
months under civil contempt of court in an effort to compel him to testify.
The day after Jordan refused to testify, the grand jury indicted Alex
Hall and William 'BJ' Viehl under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
The week following his first grand jury appearance Jordan (still in
jail) received a second subpoena, which he again refused. While in jail,
Jordan also received thousands of letters of support from all over the
world, made friends, and confidently reflected on his decision not to
Upon release the court charged Jordan with federal criminal
contempt of court, to which he pleaded guilty in August of this year.
There are no sentencing guidelines for criminal contempt. However, the
prosecution is trying to follow the guidelines of "obstruction of justice"
and pursuing an enhancement. These guidelines have a maximum of 2
years and allow the prosecutor to ask for an egregious sentence of
between 15 and 21 months. Comparatively, BJ and Alex were sentenced to
24 months and 21 months respectively.
Jordan is the first dissident
in more than 2 decades to be charged with criminal contempt of court
after already serving time for civil contempt for the same act of
Over the past 20 years many animal rights and
otherwise rad kids have suffered subpoenas and coercive incarceration,
but rarely for more than a few weeks. But at present we are
experiencing an increase of pressure. Shortly after Jordan's
incarceration an Iowa grand jury subpoenaed Carrie Feldman and Scott
Demuth, and held them in civil contempt for four months. Fortunately,
neither Carrie nor Scott has been charged with criminal contempt.
Jordan's sentencing is set for October 19th, 2010, 2 p.m., at the
Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse at 350 South Main Street in Salt Lake City,
Utah. We encourage any one in Salt Lake to attend this hearing (in
Lastly, Jordan's hearing presents only one
moment for convergence, and we call out for an eruption of many more
moments, for acts of recalcitrance anywhere and everywhere, for actions that
show solidarity with grand jury resistance from October 16-19, 2010.
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