Can Ya Spare a Tenner for Eco-hero Tim de Christopher?
Pardon me for just pasting in the several ways that the defense was cut off at the knees; most of you know all this already: (from Wikipedia)
“In November 2009, DeChristopher’s defense team claimed a necessity defense, which required proof that DeChristopher was faced with choosing between two evils and that his actions resulted in the lesser of the two to avoid imminent harm where no legal alternative was available. Federal prosecutors and U.S. District Judge Dee Benson prohibited the defense, precluding DeChristopher from presenting evidence that might have supported his argument for necessity defense. DeChristopher and his attorney’s were also forbidden to inform the jury that the lease auction was deemed unlawful, that DeChristopher had raised sufficient funds for an initial payment to the BLM (which the BLM refused to accept), or that DeChristopher’s motives were grounded in moral convictions related to climate change.
DeChristopher’s necessity defense claim was condemned by prosecutor John Huber, “It becomes clear that the defendant’s hopes are to have a prominent venue for his global-warming show — a platform from which he could educate the masses.” Huber also asserted that DeChristopher overlooked legal methods of protest. In a court address, DeChristopher responded to Huber’s assertion:
“The government has made the claim that there were legal alternatives to standing in the way of this auction. Particularly, I could have filed a written protest against certain parcels. The government does not mention, however, that two months prior to this auction, in October 2008, a Congressional report was released that looked into those protests. The report, by the House committee on public lands, stated that it had become common practice for the BLM to take volunteers from the oil and gas industry to process those permits. The oil industry was paying people specifically to volunteer for the industry that was supposed to be regulating it, and it was to those industry staff that I would have been appealing.”
DeChristopher’s defense claimed a selective prosecution defense in March 2010. DeChristopher attorney Ron Yengich suspected “political machinations” behind DeChristopher’s indictment. DeChristopher learned about his indictment from an Associated Press reporter informed by an oil and gas lobbyist in Washington D.C. Yengich also requested information from federal prosecutors regarding previous cases where individuals and energy companies that reneged on bids for public land without prosecution. The request was denied by Judge Benson, citing “no support for further discovery.”
He was of course sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000.
Tim’s sitting in prison in Davis County Correctional Facility in Farmington, Utah.. He needs money for his fines and an appeal. You can contribute, even a tenner, at tarsandsaction.org.
September protest information of the Keystone tar sands pipeline is also available there at www.tarsandsaction.org.
“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”
~Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
He acted for us in defense of the planet. Thanks, Tim. And sorry so many of us have been asleep at the wheel while you went down for this non-crime. This is under the Obama DoJ, after the auction had been deemed illegal, remember.