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Dispatch from Eco-Defense Political Prisoner Jeff "Free" Luers about the release of co-def

Yesterday, on January 6th, 2005, Craig "Critter" Marshall, my co-defendant walked out of prison after serving 41/2 years. I can only imagine what that felt like. Back in the day Critter was one of my closest friends, and while many are aware that he and I have had a falling out, I am truly glad his time is done and he has gone home. (My old friend if you are reading this, I wish you all the best.)
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Jeff Luers 2004
Jeff Luers 2004
Melbourne, Australia protest in support of Jeff Luers June 12, 2004
Melbourne, Australia protest in support of Jeff Luers June 12, 2004
January 7th, 2005
Dispatch from Eco-Defense Political Prisoner Jeff "Free" Luers about the release of co-defendant Craig "Critter" Marshall

Yesterday, on January 6th, 2005, Craig "Critter" Marshall, my co-defendant walked out of prison after serving 41/2 years. I can only imagine what that felt like. Back in the day Critter was one of my closest friends, and while many are aware that he and I have had a falling out, I am truly glad his time is done and he has gone home. (My old friend if you are reading this, I wish you all the best.)

Now that Critter is out I can't help but wonder why I am still here. We were arrested at the same time, charged with the same offenses. Up until the very end he & I refused to cooperate with the state. Yet, the state in Critter's case decided that the exact same fire was only "conspiracy to commit arson" and "possession of destructive devices".

I've half a dozen theories as to why things played out the way they did. The one fact I know is not once did the state offer to treat my case as Critter's. I'm doing 17 years more for the same actions and same evidence. 22 years for actions that hurt no one and caused less than $50k in damages.

Critter is home now where he belongs.

I'm counting on this movement. I'm counting on you to bring me home. I can't win this fight alone. I need your support. I need your agitation. Make the impossible reality. Rise up and free all political prisoners and prisoners of war.

We are in prison because we believe in dreams. We are in prison because we believe in freedom. We are in prison because we believe these things are worth fighting for. Dare to believe. Dare to resist.

Jeffrey "Free" Luers
#13797671, OSP,
2605 State Street,
Salem, OR 97310

For more information:
 http://www.freefreenow.org
 http://www.breakthechains.net

homepage: homepage: http://www.freefreenow.org
address: address: Free's Defense Fund, POB 3, Eugene, OR 97440

add a comment on this article

who was free's lawyer??? 13.Jan.2005 01:49

just curious

i have a lot of respect for jeff luers. i hope he will be freed from his shackles and that right quick.

i have a question. who was jeff's lawyer and how in the hell did he/she blow this case so bad that a jury sentenced jeff to 20+ years for an act that harmed no one and cost less than $50k damage??!!

wtf?

Not so sure it was the lawyer's fault.... 13.Jan.2005 06:00

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High Court: Federal sentencing system wrongly applied

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday
that federal judges have been improperly adding time
to criminals' sentences, a decision that puts in doubt
longtime sentencing rules.

The court, on a 5-4 vote, said that its ruling last
June that juries -- not judges -- should consider
factors that can add years to defendants' prison
sentences applies as well to the 17-year-old federal
guideline system.

The justices refused to backtrack from a 5-4 decision
that struck down a state sentencing system because it
gave judges too much leeway in sentencing. But the
high court stopped short of striking down the federal
system.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, said
the federal sentencing system is at least in part
invalid because it forces judges to use the
guidelines.

About 64,000 people are sentenced in federal courts
each year, under a system that had been challenged as
unconstitutional in a pair of cases at the Supreme
Court.

The divided ruling Wednesday took longer than
expected. Justices had put the issue on a fast track,
scheduling special arguments on the first day of their
nine-month term in October.

Most court watchers expected a ruling before the
holidays.

The federal guidelines are intended to make sure
sentences do not vary
widely from courtroom-to-courtroom.

While juries consider guilt or innocence, judges make
factual decisions that affect prison time, such as the
amount of drugs involved in a crime, the number of
victims in a fraud or whether a defendant committed
perjury during trial.

The high court's vote to require more jury
participation was 5-4 and included the same odd
right-left combination of justices as those who had
held sway in June. Justices Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas are the court's most conservative
members. Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter,
and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are in the liberal wing.

In a dissent, the other four justices wrote: "history
does not support a `right to jury trial' in respect to
sentencing facts."

"We're disappointed in the ruling and we are currently
reviewing it. We will have more to say later," said
Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo.

The federal guidelines were being contested in two
cases involving men convicted on drug charges in
Wisconsin and Maine.

Justices, in siding with the two men, opened the door
to thousands of claims by other defendants. Stevens
said that not all of them will get new sentencing
hearings. Judges must sort through the claims, he
said, to determine which defendants have current
appeals on the subject.

Defense lawyers and prosecutors had been anxiously
awaiting the ruling.

"The whole federal criminal law system is operating in
a state of suspended animation," said Jeffrey Fisher,
a Seattle attorney who argued last year's sentencing
case. People have been waiting "for the shoe to drop
so we can start grappling with the hard issues in the
aftermath."
(< http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/12/scotus.sentence.ap//2004/LAW/07/21/seattle.attorney/index.html>Profile

of Fisher)

The cases are United States v. Booker, case no.
04-104, and United States v. Fanfan, case no. 04-105.


Copyright 2005 The
< http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/12/scotus.sentence.ap//interactive_legal.html#AP>
Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material
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