Climate Campaigner Tim DeChristopher Released From Prison
Activist Tim DeChristopher, who was jailed for the past 18 months for disrupting a leasing auction for federal oil and gas exploration, has been released from prison. He is due to serve the remaining six months of his sentence at a halfway house in Salt Lake City, reports Deseret News.
Peaceful Uprising, the climate justice organization DeChristopher founded, posted on their Facebook page:
“Obviously his friends, his family, his community is excited to have him back here in a halfway home, but we are going to respect whatever time he needs. We will honor that he is still serving time (until April 2013)”
Although his attorneys have been fighting the conviction arguing that DeChristopher acted out of a greater necessity to protect the environment, that defense was dismissed and the greater environmental implications never became an issue during his trial or subsequent appeals.
DeChristopher released a statement last month that he was suspending his appeal explaining that the court has forbidden any discussion of “ethics, justice or the role of citizens,” restricting his defense to a “narrow range of technicalities rather than the critical issues of the case.”
After nearly four years in the criminal justice system and 14 months in prison, I have decided not to continue my appeal through the federal court system. [...]
Throughout every stage of this legal process, it has been a predetermined conclusion that I should be punished for standing up to the collusion between government and corporations. Any potential discussion of ethics, justice or the role of citizens has been banished from the court. The government insisted on this back in 2009 when they wrote that such discussions should be relegated to “the public square, not a court of law.” The first development in this case was a preemptive motion by the government to limit our defense, setting the stage for the trivialities which followed. As a result, our defense team has been restricted to debating a narrow range of technicalities rather than the critical issues of the case. Read more…
Background: Tim DeChristopher
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tim DeChristopher is an American climate activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising. On December 19, 2008, he protested an oil and gas lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah’s redrock country, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management. DeChristopher decided to participate in the auction, signing a Bidder Registration Form and placing bids to obtain 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned. On July 26, 2011, Judge Dee Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison; his lawyers appealed Read more…