Public invited to Pioneer Courthouse, 700 SW 6th Avenue, on Monday, December 4 at 9:00 a.m. Ford has been incarcerated since his initial arrest on October 4, 2002.
Patrice Lumumba Ford's 18-year sentence will be reviewed by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 4 in Portland, Oregon. Ford received national media attention as part of The Portland Six, who were accused of being a "terrorist cell" in 2002. Ford's new lawyer, Shaun McCrea of Eugene, will argue that the sentencing guidelines for "treason" were erroneously applied in her client's case.
Ford made a trip to China in October 2001 in the company of five other Portland men--mostly African-American converts to Islam. In China, he was denied entry to Pakistan, where he hoped to help at the Afghani refugee camps. After a month abroad, he returned to his home in Portland. One year later, federal agents nabbed Ford and the others who had traveled with him to China. Attorney General John Ashcroft called the group a "terrorist cell." It was never proven that Ford or the others had any connection to Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or any other terrorist organization. The case was expected to be a challenge to the Department of Justice's expanded spying powers under the Patriot Act but, like other "terrorist" cases around the country, it never came to trial.