The last two defendants in the Oregon eco-sabotage cases will likely be sentenced to federal prison this week by U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken. In the past two weeks, Aiken has ordered the other eight defendants in Oregon to serve sentences ranging from 3 to 13 years. Just before the sentence hearings, Aiken determined that, despite no injury caused to any living being, some of the arsons constituted "terrorism" under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: the Romania car dealership, the Jefferson Poplar Farm, a Eugene police substation, and the destruction of a Bonneville Power Administration transmission tower. The two remaining defendants are Daniel McGowan and Jonathan Paul. McGowan has admitted involvement in the action against Jefferson Poplar.
The application of the terrorism enhancement to any of the defendants allows the Bureau of Prisons to place them in the harsh environment of maximum-security prisons, including 23-hours-a-day lockdown and potential assaults from the most violent criminals. The nonviolent defendants' crimes were committed nearly ten years ago. They have been contributing members of society since then and include a volunteer firefighter, an abused women's law clinic worker, and a health clinic worker. [...]
McGowan's hearing is at the federal courthouse in Eugene today [6/4/07], and Paul's is tomorrow.
-- Civil Rights Outreach Committee
NEWSWIRE UPDATE, 6/5/07: Jonathan Paul was originally sentenced to 51 months (4 years, 3 months) today. The sentence is in "abeyance." Due to some objections raised by Paul's lawyer, a sentence will be handed down in a couple of weeks after the lawyers go back and forth on paper one more time. Full court notes are here.
NEWSWIRE UPDATE, Afternoon of 6/4/07: Daniel McGowan was today sentenced to 84 months (7 years) with the Terrorism Enhancement applied for the Jefferson Poplar arson. A brief report is here. Daniel McGowan's statement to the court is here. Full court notes are now here.
NLG Calls "Terrorism Enhancement" Chilling to Free Speech
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